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By Mahendra Mallya | 01 Aug 2015 | PUNE

Mr Champaklal Zaveri & Trainer Nirad Karanjawala leading Benezeer (C S Jodha Up), winner of The Hawke Bay Trophy Div-2

After some upsets of the opening week, punters had a fairly reasonable day with form horses scoring through the day, although a couple of top favourites failed to oblige. The day’s biggest upset was when on-money favourite ran a listless third, as two long shots – Snowing and Pappillon fought for honours leaving Phenomenal Memories far behind in the straight.

Hunt For Heads made all the running with Phenomenal Memory galloping right up with the pace until the turn. Helping Hand, who had received reasonable support, disappointed her backers as she lost a distance at the start and was never in the hunt. Phenomenal Memory took charge coming into the straight, but failed to quicken. Soon Pappillon came around to surge into the lead and he easily sailed past the favourite. Just when it looked that Pappillon would stick on to the lead, Snowing warmed up and set off in chase. Jockey Bhawani Singh got Snowing (Indian Haven – Cuix One, Pratap Stud) to finish at a good clip and the Narendra Lagad ward responded ably to down Pappillon in front of the stands to score a decisive victory. Phenomenal Memory fell to a more experienced campaigner and didn’t appear too sharp when they turned for the final run. He may have needed this run and one can’t write him off just yet.

The day, however, was a profitable one for those who picked Hosidar Daji’s horses that were in the betting. Two of his wards won in contrasting fashion at nourishing odds. Few Dollars More (Chinese Whisper – Sea Spray, Tohana Stud) was one the more impressive winners in the day. With Regal attracting strong support, the odds on the Daji ward went up to 5/1.

Few Dollars More was battle ready and was quick to take the lead at the jump. Regal followed him close behind and they seemed headed for a close confrontation until the turn. As the supporters of the two prime market fancies rose to egg on their horse, the Daji camp were thrilled to see Few Dollars More surging further ahead from Regal. The Akshay ridden filly displayed scorching speed in her finish as she won drawing away by a widening margin. Regal found one too good and ended a decent second despite being overwhelmed by the winner. Secret Oath ran on well to pick up place money, beating Shades of Silver and Ocean Sparkle on the post.

Flying Show (Varenar – Queen Victoria, Equus Stud) had to go through a trial-by-fire to pick her maiden success. First she had to sweat it out to hold on to her lead at the business end of the race and then had to await the stewards’ decision after Trevor partnering favourite Governor General lodged an objection.

Flying Show was right alongside Governor General and the pair followed the front-running Hirohama and Cannonball Run.   At the turn, Trevor in trying to find room shifted slightly to skirt around the front runners. Zervan was too quick in realizing this and made a swift tactical surge forward denying that gap for Governor General to poke through. There was contact made at that point alright, but the stewards saw no unfair play on Zervan’s part and overruled the objection. Flying Show timed her run to perfection and soon built a handy lead. Trevor had to make a recharge and he came with a strong finish. However, Flying Show kicked on and won in a close finish. Sea Horse arrived with a good finishing effort to end a close third.

Trevor’s disappointment did not last long as he managed to pull off an exciting victory in the very next race. Sugar Bay (Admiralofthefleet – Sugarbird, Kunigal Stud) obliged a large following and Trevor could not have made a more dramatic dash in the final moments. Beau Royale led them into the straight, with Sugar bay in fourth behind Born to Win and Niobrara.

Once into the straight, Born to Win galloped at a fast clip and was clearly ahead. Sugar Bay started to improve position and was about two lengths shy of Born to Win at the distance post. Trevor rode his heart out and started to inch closer. IN the final 100, Sugar Bay got stronger and eventually got the measure of Born to Win to stick his neck ahead at the wire. Sugar Bay was solid in his finish and also timed his final assault perfectly. Born to Win was a gallant runner up and can be expected to score before long. Remember the Time ran a fairly decent race to finish in the money.

Benezeer (Noverre – Ridiyza, Sohna Stud) was perhaps the most impressive winner of the day. The Nirad Karanjawala ward had put on 17 kilos from his last start at Mumbai but looked a picture of fitness in the paddock. She shared the market trends with Spring Loaded and went out a 2/1.

Benezeer shot into the lead soon on settling down and jockey CS Jodha took no chances as he had her accelerating even as they turned for home. Benezeer responded with a game gallop and streaked into the lead, bounding forward at a good clip.  Stand and Dance was hard at work, but made little impact on the winner. Rookie Denali had a good lung opener and is bound to improve on this run. Benezeer though, was on a class of her own as she notched up a highly impressive victory and promising to add more along the way in the future as well.   

Karthik Ganapathy trained Iridescence (Arch-Entendu, Poona Stud) earned its maiden wins in the Bud Royale Plate. Winless from nine starts, Iridescence was sent off the favourite at 19-10 among the 14 runners which was reduced to 13 with the withdrawal of Arsenal. Tracking Hugs And Kisses from the start, Iridescence forged to the lead even before rounding for the home bend. Jockey Sandesh kept riding out the filly and she responded well to move away from the rest and win by 3 1/2 lengths. Atalya finished second ahead of Sail Past and Casino Jack.

The grey gelding, The Unicorn (Verglas-Fourpenny Lane, Sohna Stud) justified the short price with an effortless win in the Music Man Plate, the opener of the day. Top Cat set the pace over the 1800 metres trip followed by Gunga Din, Danse Debonaire and The Unicorn settling nicely at the rear. Entering the home stretch The Unicorn sailed ahead to take over and won impressively. Top Cat finished second with the other two finishing way behind.