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By Mahendra Mallya | 10 Aug 2014 | PUNE

Mr. Ashok Ranpise, Mr. Dinsha P. Shroff, Mr. Munchi P Shroff & trainer Altaf Hussain leading (Dancing Prances Up), winner of The The Pune Bookmakers' Association Turf Club Trophy (Gr.3)

Prime fancy Dancing Prances (Ace – Dancing Greens) produced an inspiring gallop in the homestretch and won the Gr.3 Pune Bookmakers’ Association Turf Club Trophy in an impressive fashion. The runner up of the Sprinters’ Cup has been in forward form and absolutely consistent right through his career. Trainer Altaf Hussain has done remarkably well with Dancing Prances and his display today was evidence of abundant speed and class.

Jockey Sandesh settled Dancing Prances in the third spot after Dancing Phoenix set a scorching pace on the jump. Silver Streak was up with the pace while Machiavellianism about three lengths behind Dancing Prances, with Starry Eyes and Heatwave for company.

Dancing Prances looked graceful and in fine trim as he galloped fluently all through and looked the winner long way from home. He took charge soon on straightening up and then marched on ahead taking giant leaps as he devoured ground with impressive strides. Machiavellianism moved to second and that’s all he could progress. Chouhan rode out the Deshmukh trained high achiever, but the weight difference was far too much. Dancing Prances cantered away and returned triumphant without encountering any challenge. Heatwave was the surprise placer and he did commendably well to beat an illustrious lot.

Athens (Pioneerof the Nile – Little Treasure) was simply too good for her rivals and she justified the cramped odds offered on her by scoring a very comfortable victory. She jumped out in a flash and then allowed Paurus to guide her all the way to the homestretch.

Athens took charge soon on turning for home and in split seconds left Paurus far behind. It was a walk in the park for Dashrath Singh and Athens as they encountered no resistance whatsoever. Paurus was a tame second well ahead of King Glorieux.

Jockey P Trevor scored a fine double partnering favourite Ember Lady (Hymn – Truffles) and long shot Papakura (Senure – Autocop). Trevor jumped off well to drive Ember Lady to the front with Skywalk tagging along until the turn. Stormyday was keeping a watch on the leader and he started to close in as they turned for home. Stormyday gave it his all and got just a bit close to Ember Lady to have the crowds shouting for their fancies. However, Trevor stuck to his job and powered ahead to leave the challenger panting behind.

If that was a start to finish mission accomplished, Trevor brought Papakura from way behind to score a thrilling win while beating top fancy Moon Shadow in a close finish. Papakura was languishing a fair way behind the field with only Antonius Maximus behind him.

At the front, In The Limelight was in command with Ice Zone tracking him. Close behind came Moon Shadow along with Set To Fly, Honest Pleasure, Monza and Dictator. Papakura made steady progress to be in fourth as they turned for home. Ice Zone showed some hope when got past the leader but soon had Moon Shadow on his tail. Sandesh atop Moon Shadow soon got the measure of Ice Zone, but was floored by Papakura gaining steadily from the outside. In the final furlong, Papakura was a lot more powerful in his finish and nailed the favourite to win by a neck.

Soothsayer (Ace – Evatina) just needed the one outing to get into the groove and come into his own in the next. He showed good improvement over his debut fourth to Artiste on the opening day and was a confident winner beating close rival Cha Cha Cha convincingly. These two were the joint favourites in the betting ring and garnered all the betting 50:50.

Soothsayer matched strides with Ulrika in the early stages, with Ocean Dreams and Cha Cha Cha close behind.  However, once into the straight, jockey Neeraj Rawal built on the early advantage and shot ahead to safely keep Cha Cha Cha a fair distance away. Cha Cha Cha tried hard to catch up, but just couldn’t lift his game   o match that of Soothsayer.

Adhirajsingh Jodha trained Flash Drive (Sedgefield – Fabulous Fiorella) notched an impressive win and won the race on his own terms. He settled where he liked and bided his time as Mohegun Sun and Zumi Zumi headed a tightly packed field with Zoltan bunched along with them. Zumi Zum led briefly as they turned for home and Zoltan got a lovely opening along the rails. But before he could surge through, Flash Drive arrived with a sizzling turn of foot and dismissed them all out of sight in a flash! He was in complete command all the way into the straight and galloped on resolutely to the delight of his connections. He romped home with Kavraj Singh in the saddle to notch his maiden victory in his ninth outing, making the wait well worth it. He looks in devastating form and he is most likely to score n encore.

Dior (Razeen – Averoff) too found her touch to score a fighting maiden win on her fourth career start.  She won the opener of the day in a start to finish bid with apprentice G Santosh urging his hard at the closing stages to ward off a lively threat posed by Laurus Tikati. Dior easily shook off fancied Zagros off her tail as they entered the straight almost together. Annabeth, the tote favourite failed to quicken and disappointed a fairly large following. Dior seemed home and dry when Laurus Tikati slipped his challenge through the inner rails. Laurus Tikati gained considerably and was looking dangerous. However, Santosh rose to the challenge and guided Dior home showing strong finishing efforts.

The last two races were claimed by long shots Song Of Africa (Sussex – Arabian Shuffle) and Basic Life (Royal Gladiator – Spring Dawn).

Favourite Tammy O looked on course when she jumped out from an outside draw to get alongside leader Vixen and then take charge early in the straight. She darted to the front and looked to have built a handy lead. However, in the final furlong, Tammy O struggled to keep the momentum going and it was a matter of time before Song of Africa shot past her. Affirmation improved considerably to end a good third, finishing alongside Tammy O.

Basic Life too was a shocker after a ‘poor show’ in her last start. This time round, she used the inner draw advantage to the hilt and shot into the lead to make every post a winning one. Favourite Divine Wish received a check near the 600 and that might have been unsettling.

Basic Life marched on merrily once into the straight and all efforts from Lucky Charm came to a naught as Basic Life galloped further away to shock the field. Winds of Change ran on to earn place money while In Time stayed on to make the frame.