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By Mahendra Mallya | 23 Jul 2015 | PUNE

Silver Streak (Trevor Patel Up), winner of The Fair Haven Trophy

The much awaited Pune Season 2015 had a surprisingly good attendance for a week-day. The owners and members have been very thoughtfully provided upgraded seating arrangements with air-conditioned enclosures at vantage points with LED monitors et al. The track looked immaculate and the weather ideal for a splendid day out at the racecourse. 

However, the punters were in for a shock as fancied horses and hot favourites tumbled race after race. Hudson Hawk broke this chain in the sixth race to the relief of the followers of favourites. P Trevor logged in his first treble continuing on his commendable form to start off with a bang. 

The one to impress in the day was debutante Roman Flame (Holy Roam Emperor – Christel Flame, Nanoli Stud). Trainer Vishal Gaikwad had the dark bay filly in ripping form as she decimated her rivals galloping away to a fluent, effortless victory. She took off nicely from the gates and held a firm sway until the turn. Once in the straight, Trevor simply had to niggle the filly just that bit and she responded with a flourishing gallop to sail away from the rest and post a memorable first win. 

Trevor’s persistence paid off on two other winners in Ricochet and Silver Streak. Ricochet (Sedgefield – Forest Family, Jai Govind Stud), mostly neglected in the betting as Sweeping Success and Spirited Touch grabbed the market trends, put in a determined effort in the final furlong to peg back Sweeping Success closer home. Spirited touch lost his chances as he was hanging all the way and went wide at the turn to bow out of the race without raising any hope. Sweeping Success soon took charge at the bend and her initial surge looked good enough to take her through. However, Trevor started to ride out forcefully and Ricochet gathered momentum. He sprang into top gear inside the final 150 meters to down Sweeping success in the run in to the finish.  

It was the other way round for Trevor while partnering Silver Streak (Verglas – Optimal) as he had to ride out to ward off a stiff challenge from Trance. Rosie Sunshine was sent on start to finish more to exercise a lung opener and she galloped freely until the turn. Soon Silver Streak, who was stalking the leader all the way, assumed command and shot into the lead. Approaching the distance post, Silver Streak though leading in front, looked suspect when Trance came alongside. However, Trance although al out was just not able to pass the leader. Trevor then provided strong finishing efforts to hold no to the lead and win in a close finish.  

Zahrazan (Arazan – Zarandja, Villoo’s Greenfield Stud) with Zervan astride, although drawn badly pinged out of the gates to lead the big field of fourteen and despite favourite Harvey essaying a serious challenge she managed to ward him off and win with a measure of comfort. More success seems to be in store for her. Harvey was unlucky to have found Zahrazan in this galloping mood, but will live to fight another day. 

Jockey Dashrath Singh too began the season well scoring a double. Wish Upon A Star (Noverre – Noble Excellency, Sohna Stud) had him go all out right through the homestretch. Favorite Beau Royale got past early leader Pretty in Patpong at the turn but fizzled out just as quickly. Wish Upon A Star then surged ahead getting past the favourite with ease. Song of Africa came about with a lively challenge and the duo fought out the final furlong. Dashrath rode out powerfully to stay ahead and quell the challenger to score a well-fought victory.      

Dashrath’s persistent urging and a fine sense of judgment saw him upset the applecart of hot favourite Polished Chrome in the final moments of the race. Sitting in a close fourth position until the turn, Incentio (Diffident – Orient Dance, Poona Stud) started to improve after switching out from the rails. Polished Chrome by the, had slipped into the lead and looked to gallop on. Incentio caught up with the favourite in the last 100 meters and stormed past to win by a narrow margin. Polished Chrome could not speed off once she hit the front and will need to improve much above her current showing.

Dashrath could have grabbed a third win for the day but for a remarkable effort from apprentice Ajinkya whose good effort helped favourite Hudson Hawk down Dashrath ridden Valentino in the last couple of strides. What made Ajinkya’s effort even more praiseworthy is the fact that Hudson Hawk jumped out awkwardly falling to almost the last position. He lad didn’t panic but had to work his way up constantly urging his mount stay in contention in the early half of the race, yet not take a lot out of the horse in doing so.

Into the straight, Valentino took charge smoothly and shaped up well to go for the kill. Hudson Hawk had to be switched out and mount his challenge. He devoured ground at a considerably fast rate to hand it out to Valentino a stride or two from the winning post. Flanker ended a tame third.

Sindbaad (Burden of Proof – Chiliandrina, Kunigal Stud) set off the trend, winning the opening race of the season at longer odds. Favorite Zafirah hit the front early and led until into the straight. Zafirah was off the bridle even before the turn and Sindbaad had no difficulty in getting past and taking charge soon after the turn. Jockey Dharmendar, who also hogged the limelight while guiding Mighty Splendour to victory in the inaugural race under the lights, cracked his mount a couple of times and Sindbaad strode away to post a comfortable win.

Plan B (Rock of Gibraltar – Speckled Band, Bhaktawar Stud) landed a coup for his connections and pulled off a smooth start to finish essay, providing rookie Zeeshan his first career victory. The lad looked focused as he urged to gain the early upper hand and then maintained a steady gallop well into the straight. He looked good while pushing for victory and held his nerve to stay clearly ahead, not letting Fajr do any damage. Plan B galloped on to score easily with Fajr and Grand March following him home.

For the professionals, trainer Dallas Todywalla saddled a double, while Jockey P Trevor and Dashrath Singh scored a treble and double respectively.