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By Mahendra Mallya | 24 Aug 2014 | PUNE

Trainer Adil Dajee leading Vision Of Romance (Dashrath Singh Up), winner of The Prithvi Edifice Million

Vision of Romance (Noverre – Golda Seek) dished out a classic display of speed and maturity while storming in to overwhelm hard ridden Spiderman and company to win the Prithvi Edifice Million in an impressive fashion. The Adil Daji trained bay gelding looked spot on in the paddock and the odds plummeted further at race time to make him the firm favourite. Spiderman, on the strength of his solid victory in Mumbai combined with a noteworthy mock race win, was expected to give a good account of himself and had his share of supporters in good numbers.  However, Vision of Romance proved too good for the set and romped home in style to outclass the field and establish the fact that he has it in him to progress further and take a crack at the bigger classics in the near future.

The race began on a cracking note with Zadora and the rest following her in a close huddle. Spiderman was second with Vision of Romance close on the fence with Moussaeif in the rear but not more than four lengths away from the front-runner.

Spiderman made the first break as they turned for home. Jockey Srinath effectively smothered a sheepish attempt by Dashrath Singh as he tried to squeeze through a small gap between leader Zadora and Spiderman. There was a jostle at that crucial juncture and the watchful crowd let out a loud “oooohh” from the stands and the favourite’s path was cleverly blocked by Spiderman.

Spiderman darted to the front and was peaking to make his final bid. Undeterred by the skirmish at the mouth of the turn, Vision of Romance revved his jet engine and surged forcefully towards Spiderman. At this moment, Vision of Romance showed the torque power in him and zipped past Spiderman piling up a huge win in the process. Spiderman had no answer to that final blitz of Vision of Romance.

Trainer Adil Daji enjoyed a highly successful day, perhaps the best day of his career. He led in winners one before and one after Vision of Romance’s triumph walking the winner’s aisle three times in a row.

In the earlier race, Daji’s ward Fire Engine arrived with a rattle to douse the opposition making it a no-contest in the homestretch. The top weighted Belvedere set a decent pace for the mile-and-quarter race with Fire Engine ridden well off the pace, settling detached last all the way until the turn. Top Commander made his move and got past Belvedere on turning for home, but his lead was abruptly snatched by Fire Engine (European – Sunlit Moon) who stormed in, firing on all cylinders. Fire Engine left the field cold and shot ahead to score an emphatic victory underscoring the statement “further he goes, the better he goes” once the famous line of ace commentator SN Harish. Fire Engine who has had a long list of set-backs, has a huge heart indeed and has bounced back remarkably and looks in top form and condition. He surely will relish the longer trips and shapes to score again.

Adil Daji’s third success was a close call and it needed a record breaking performance for Tammy O to down the stubborn bid of Antartica Zone. They got off to a decent start, with perhaps My Freedom a fraction late into the stride. Antartica Zone hit the front with Peppercorn alongside. Tammy O did well to settle close behind the leaders, considering he had to move in from the tenth gate.

Antartica Zone had a good momentum going, with Dashrath Singh giving everything to stay in the lead. Tammy O started gaining ground approaching the distance post with Hudson Hawk lurking close behind, looking for the rail run. Antartica Zone was not giving up even as Tammy O drew level in the shadow of the winning post. Apprentice jockey Yash Narredu did a commendable job, showing a lot of skill in adding the finishing touches to a cracker of a race. Tammy O clocked the fastest timing on the new monsoon track, stopping it at a tizzy 58.88. Daji gleefully accepted the Nana Raghunath Trophy, named in memory of one of his most-liked fellow-trainer.

The other professional to shine was jockey Ilahi Pasha. He pulled off an upset partnering Shroff trained Knight of Ke (Noverre – Sweet Affair) to a start-to-finish victory. The rank outside at 15/1 made a dash for it from the gates and cantered away in the straight to shock the opposition and completely humbling favourite Ultrasonic. The latter could not even narrow the gap as Knight of Ke and Pasha drew away to score a facile victory.

While Knight of Ke was an easy win, Pasha had to use all his skill and experience to come up trumps in the last race of the day piloting Ceasarina to a thrilling win.  The task was even more challenging as Ceasarina found herself in the 8th or 9th spot with a wall of horses in front. Pasha had sensed the possible traffic congestion and took the turn opting to go on the wider outside. But that time, Reach The Stars and Farbizio were engaged in a battle with My Inspiration and Glorious Regime making their bids. Ceasarina arrived with a scorching gallop to easily zip past them all to land the spoils.

Trainer Pesi Shroff too saddled a back-to-back double scoring with Acclaimed after leading in Knight of Ke. Acclaimed (Burden of Proof – Alnaserya) had to pull out all stocks to keep Spirit of Mercy at bay. Invictus made all the early running as Acclaimed sat a handy second until the straight. Turning for home, Acclaimed seemed to cruise into the lead. However, he had to repel a strong challenge from the runner up. This run should bring Acclaimed up a lot and he should be a prominent figure in the terms races to come. 

Bezan Chenoy trained Dramarama (Phoenix Tower – Dramatikos) put in a nippy run in the straight to shock them all and log a winning debut. She was up with the pace and was headed the field jointly alongside owner-mate Attractive. On turning for home, Dramarama shifted gears quickly and darted ahead to seal the issue long way from home.  Khaleefa ended a faraway second, nosing out Square Moon for the runner-up berth.

Mohegun Sun (Ontario – Sorceress) pulled off a minor upset in the first race to Nirmal Jodha ridden favourite Lohtse. Mohegun Sun under a neat ride from Shrikanth Kamble landed a subtle coup for the connections. Settling in the second, Mohegun Sun shot into the lead as they straightened for home and fought his rivals off to etch out a narrow win. Lohtse suffered from an uninspiring ride from jockey Nirmal Jodha and lost a race which he could have won.