- india's first & foremost horse racing portal

Exuberance Shocks Field to Win Panchshil Million

By North-End | 28 Sep 2008 | PUNE


The Panchshil Million day had an exciting card framed for the day. Punters had raked in the Moolah on Saturday and would have hoped to add to their earnings. However, long shots ruled the roost and the bookmakers were certainly not complaining! The biggest upset came in the feature event, The Panchshil Million. Bee Quick and Aurora Aurealis were the contenders who garnered all the support. None of the other contenders were considered quick enough to match the pair. Consequently, the third horse in the fray was being quoted at least 15/1. As they jumped out, Aurora Aurealis and Bee Quick shot ahead of the rest and broke away to a sizable lead approaching the bend. Hymns to Freedom was a far away third. Exuberance and Accumulate were even further down the field. As they turned the corner, the Grand Stands was gearing to scream for their choices, but even as they cleared their throats, Exuberance burst on to the scene just before the stands and left everyone shell shocked. Bee Quick weakened early in the straight and Aurora Aurealis struggled to even fill the frame. Exuberance (Placerville–Million Girl) had stolen the thunder. As if that was not enough, Accumulate, another rank outsider in the bunch, put in the lone fight and came from the dead to finish on the tail of the winner. Jockey Rajendra astride the runner-up, later tried to pull a trick in the stewards’ room, but could fool no one. In hindsight, in their keenness to call the shots early both the fillies tried to outpace the other and ended up gasping in the straight. Don’t forget that both were carrying the top weight as well. This hara-kiri by the fancied pair gave the lighter handicapped rivals an unexpected advantage as they later caught up and outran them convincingly. Moral of the story: “When two fight, the third steals the thunder.” Wasn’t that what we learnt in school? Jockey Malesh Narredu, however, scored a good double at nourishing odds. Congrats (China Visit–Congratulations) outlasted her rivals with unbelievable ease. “I knew we were in with a chance, but never reckoned it would be so easy,” quipped Malesh after the race. “She eased into a good rhythm and was travelling beautifully. Nearing the turn, she was still very fresh and had a lot of steam in her. As if she knew what was to be done, she accelerated without much guidance from me and the rest was on full view,” concluded Malesh. Silver Falcon .ended a tame second and the favourite Western Challenge ended a poor third. Mountain King (Libor–Diamond Dreams) from Nirrad Karanjawalla’s yard was the other long distance runner on which Malesh won. Settling Mountain King well off the early pace, Malesh made his move past the 800 metres and by the time they were circling around the bend, Malesh had Mountain King in box seat. The Nirrad Karanjawalla trained dark bay stormed ahead and dismissed the opposition with disdain. Lone Trojan, the favourite was all out and ended a far away second. Rose Bourbon was an easy third and it might pay to keep an eye on the MAM filly. Mountain King was far superior and would be in the reckoning the next out as well. Hormuz Antia is finding his touch. After an unusually low key start to the season, Hormuz is now striking with a vengeance. He followed his double on Saturday with yet another one on Sunday, in the third and fourth races. Tullamore (Tirol–Royal Troon), quoted at 10/1 was up in the front group led by Classic Spirit. Adalia didn’t have the best of starts, was hampered as they jumped and had to improve from the last position. However, he had all the chance to make a race of it, after being prominent at the turn. He simply did not rise to the occasion and ended a tame third. Classic Spirit went down fighting and gave in only in the last 100 m to a determined Tullamore partnered by an over zealous I. Shiekh. The jockey was later pulled up and fined for excessive whipping and for his riding as well. In the very next race, Antia’s Rising Princess (Tirol–False Look) scored an encore but did not have it easy. Encouragement was not ready to give up and the duo took the fight all the way to the wire. In fact, the pair was disputing the lead right from the start with Encouragement having her head in front all the way but at the wire. Needforspeed did not justify the favouritism and ended in the rut. Thundering Tan made a brief presence for a while but did not quicken falling out of the place money as well. Sparta pipped ‘Tan’ for that honour. The home stretch belonged to the two fillies. It was always Encouragement who was ahead though just a shade, but the Princess got her a stride from home. Party Celebration caused a huge public outcry when he failed miserably and ended a shocking last. The piping hot favourite was never in the race and was struggling right from the start. As the field jumped out of the gates, Party Celebration lost the act. He was struggling to find his feet and looked in all sorts of trouble even as the field settled down. What did not go down well with the public was the fact that the same owner’s other horse Sea Strom (Diffident–Livardi) won handsomely and the favourite ended up a bad last. There was ugly shouting from the public enclosure and a posse of the uniformed men was deployed as a precaution. However, the Pune public is not too volatile and things were very much under control. The horses too were led out and led in from a different gate than from the paddock. An enquiry has been initiated into the running and riding of Party Celebration. Alaska (Warrshan–Taj Malal) from the yard of Narendra Lagad, was the only favourite to oblige from the nine-event card, in the first race. Hitting the front right from the start Alaska sped away from the rest on straightening up. Personal Point again bled and packed up just when looking to make a fight. Dangerous Belle impressed most after the winner and covered a lot of ground from the last position to finish second. Firecracker moved on the wide outside to give Narendra Lagad the honour of the first three placing. Intimacy was shocked on the post by Elementto Angel (Conquering Hero–Angel Face) who sneaked in from the rails to surprise the Lisa Jones ridden mare. Intimacy was in charge past the distance post and Elementto Angel bided her time and when she got the opening she was waiting for she finished on strongly to get the nod right at the post. Intimacy was the unlucky loser and is worth giving another chance. Hidden Dragon was not too far behind and Red Dawn finished a close fourth. The last race of the day saw Grand Stand (Hymn–Geri) pull of a ‘fast one’ on his rivals. Neglected in the betting, the others simply let Grand Stand to runaway to an ‘insurmountable’ lead and the one who paid the heaviest price was Solid Rock, who was in chase of the leader in second all the way. Grand Stand entered the straight with a huge distance in the kitty and that held him in good stead even as Solid Rock was clearly moving at nearly twice his speed especially in the final furlong. Solid Rock is the one to note. Thanda the favorite was just that - thanda!