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By Mahendra Mallya | 15 Feb 2015 | MUMBAI

Mr Dinsha P Shroff & trainer Dallas Todywalla leading Ageless (Yash Narredu Up), winner of The Provogue Agp Multi-Million

The high voltageIndia-Pak World Cup fixture may have eased the traffic on the roads, however, the streets leading to the racecourse saw the usual buzz. The RWITC on its part, ensured that their patrons did not miss out on the cricket action and several TV monitors beamed the live action. The periodical roar from enthusiastic cricket buffs as Pakistani wickets tumbled was as loud as the cheers that shrilled when fancied horses got across the line now… and… then. Yes, only two firm favourites obliged rendering the super jackpot and first jackpot pools unsolved.  The second jackpot saw a lone punter rake in more than half a million! The woes of the followers of form and favourites however, were amply compensated by the joy of seeing the Men in Blue thrash their arch-rivals by the biggest margin (76 runs) in a world cup encounter between the two countries.

While Virat Kholi bagged the Man of the Match award, jockey Yash Narredu was the performer of the day at the Mahalaxmi. The rising star was in top form booting home a fantastic treble, two of them at high returns. Yash’s treble included the day’s feature, the AGP Multi-Million, when she guided 10 to 6 on favourite Ageless (Arazan – Lindsay, Poonawalla Stud) to a solid victory.

Ageless got straight down to business and led comfortably right through the race. Christmas Eve was in chase with Sentimental following a couple of lengths behind.

Ageless looked far superior as she galloped on cruise mode even after they straightened for home. The only niggle perhaps was that she drifted out in the final furlong. Christmas Eve’s hopes of making the most of this opportunity were soon dashed as Ageless maintained a firm grip and galloped on to stay comfortably ahead all the way past the winning post. Hard-ridden Christmas Eve seemed to close in briefly only because Ageless drifted out and the 1 ¾ L margin would have doubled at least had Ageless kept a straight course.

Reynolds (Glory of Dancer – Highland Ghillie, Nanoli Stud) too had earlier posted a similar start-to-finish victory, but over the mile-and-half trip. He sailed into the lead and left nothing to chance all through the journey. Okavango and Caesars Star sparred with each other past the 1000 m mark but neither could make any impact on Reynolds march to victory. Reynolds, with Zervan in the saddle, turned for home and sped further away and won with a good measure of comfort. He showed that he goes the distance and is among the reckoning as one of the most steady stayers on the circuit. Caesars Star and Okavango both disappointed and looked on their way down. 

Ace Fantasy (Ace – Forest Fantasy, Poonawalla Astonish Stud) was yet another one to win from the word go. Jockey CS Jodha eased him into the lead and held his own all the way. Mystic Romance fared poorly and it was surprising that she garnered so much support. Ellipsis too was ridden off the pace and had too much to do in the straight.

Ace Fantasy entered the straight with Snowing tagging alongside. Mystic Romance was next up but failed to quicken. Ellipsis raised a late gallop but could only cut the margin down, without looking threatening at any stage. Snowing fought on, but it was always a losing battle. Ace Fantasy scored well but in the higher class will be a suspect.

Zabarwan (Glory of Dancer – Giacosa, Nanoli Stud) finally ended his victory drought with a fine effort on his fourth attempt. He was aggressive right from the start as he darted from gate 13 to surge his way to the front. Scarlet of Hope kept him company until the turn and from there on it was Zabarwan all the way.

Zervan confidently steered Zabarwan further ahead soon on turning for home. Star appeared the one to provide some fight early on, however, Zabarwan strode out powerfully to quell any challenge at the bud with some fine leaping strides. He was well away in the final furlong and won easing up by a whopping five lengths and clocking a fast 58 seconds and a bit looking a lot more impressive than he has ever done. His manner of victory suggests that he could swing it the next time out too.

Apache is proving a costly failure and although he went down narrowly, he certainly missed the bus. He had a great chance, particularly after getting out of gate 20 and shaping up well at the bend in the third spot. He was in the best of positions as Strategic Move brought the field into the straight. Apache, with Darren Williams in the saddle, looked on course with only the friendless Strategic Move in front. Apache simply could not find the surge forward and was stuttering for far too long. Strategic Move was proving to be a stubborn customer as he kicked on and on. It was only inside the final 100 that Apache got going.

Meanwhile, somewhere way behind, Yash Narredu was maneuvering his way through a bunch of horses. Once he got a clear passage, he thundered in with his mount Attraction at break-neck speed. He literally flew in the final fifty to cause the shock n awe affect! Attraction could not have timed his run to any more precision and managed to pip Apache agonizingly close to the wire. This one was the most electrifying finish of the day. Attraction (Dylan Thomas – Just Julie, Sohna Stud) had no recent form to go by and the 20/1 shot floored the most of the tote punters and all the jackpot pool hunters.   

Yash had earlier in the day helped the connections of Clouds of Glory (Alnasr Alwasheek – Arabian Lady, Yerawada Stud) land a successful coup in the third race. Sitting right up with the leader Izarra, Clouds of Glory zipped ahead soon on straightening up. Yash got the Altaf Hussain ward to charge forward and Clouds of Glory bounded forward past Izarra. Babylon took a while to light up and improved positions to end in the money.

Quick Fire (phoenix Tower – Star Qualities, Manjri Stud) showed vast improvement over her early form and lined up her second victory on the trot, this one far more convincing than her last. She was out of the gates swiftly and then settled in third as Ice Skates and In The Limelight shot past them all.

Quick Fire changed gears soon on turning for home and stormed ahead to pile up a handy lead. She was galloping at a good rate and was well ahead coming into the final furlong. Nature Boy moved up rapidly to get past a bunch of horses to end a noteworthy runner up. Sharmeely also arrived from the rear and her eye-catching effort got her the third place.

Armel’s start to finish bid was foiled close home when Play Fair (Ace – Bay of Angels, Poonawalla Stud) came to spoil his party. Armel had stolen a march coming into the straight and seemed to have a good gallop going. Play Fair had moved to second and was seen covering ground, inching closer with each stride. In the final 100 Armel still looked good enough to pull it off, when Play Fair picked up momentum with a scintillating burst and surged past Armel a stride or two before the winning post. Rapid Girl moved up along the rails and ran well to end in the money.

Reach The Stars (Black Cash – Touch a Star, Equus Stud) picked up the first race of the day with a determined run, starting off well from the gates and then building on the advantage in the straight. She got past Ocean Star soon on straightening up and then surged further away to stretch out clear of the rest. The well backed favourite Nazrana found himself behind a wall of horses at the start and by the time he got a clear passage, Reach the Stars was well out of reach. Nazrana improved positions rapidly once into the straight, but was not quick enough to get anywhere close to the winner. Ocean Star ran on to take the place money.

For the professionals, trainer M Narredu saddled a double, while Yash Narredu with a treble and Zervan with a double did well during the day.