- india's first & foremost horse racing portal

Malesh Celebrates B'day eve with Record Smashing Win

By North-End | 07 Sep 2008 | PUNE


Jockey Malesh Narredu, who turns 37 on the 8th of September, helped himself with a lavish birthday gift – The Southern Command Gold Trophy (Gr3). Malesh rode a peach of a race, nursed Diego to settle beautifully soon on start. Our Excellencee, Beyond Belief and Cotswold Arms were in front setting a scorching early pace. Diego, unperturbed, settled behind the troika and was keeping up with them about 3L away, only he was effortlessly cruising on a tight rein all the time. Hotstepper joined Diego approaching the half way stage, followed by The Hurricane, Rueben Star, Czar Alexander and Hugo. Nearing the turn, Our Excellencee was feeling her legs and weakened as did Beyond Belief. Cotswold Arms was sustaining the cracking pace well when Diego, still on tight rein joined alongside. Once into the straight, Malesh simply niggled the son of Diffident and Rahy's Serenade who responded with a fluent gallop and accelerated with tremendous speed. Considering the starry field in contention, Diego Rivera hammered the opposition with shocking ease. To cap it all, Diego Rivera smashed the course record clocking an impressive 1:36.82 for the mile race. Hugo, who raced well off the pace was the quickest of the rest and came up with splendid finishing effort to end a good second pegging back Cotswold Arms. Rueben Star was a decent fourth and considering he managed to stay ahead of The Hurricane, he surely has done well. The Hurricane found the pace too hot, his last record-breaking victory not withstanding, and never looked like being in serious contention even for the minor placing. Hotstepper was struggling for the most part of the latter half and clearly did not come to terms with neither the distance nor the fast pace of the race. Hotstepper would be better off racing over extended trips and anything over 9 furlongs would be right up his alley. Our Excellencee looked in trouble after playing a crucial role in setting up the pace and buckled even before the turn. The jockey was seen glancing down repeated at her legs and obviously must have not felt comfortable with her strides. It was Diego all the way who delighted his supporters with his astounding performance and would have beaten anyone in this murderous form. Considering that the gelding is not the soundest horse on the course, trainer Pesi Shroff can take a bow for keeping the 5 year old in such fine fettle. He looked perfectly fine tuned in the paddock and one look at him and a glance at the bookmakers' odds (7/1), any impulsive punter would dig into his purse and run to the ring. The Field Marshall Sam Maneckshaw Memorial Trophy in honour of the late Indian hero was a touching gesture on the part of the RWITC. At the presentation the most courageous soldier's daughter was present and the Chairman Dr. Cyrus Poonawalla in his address recalled how the great Sam Maneckshaw was a horse lover and a regular at the Ooty race course. The Chairman also urged the future Committees to take this race forward and make it one of the feature events in the western India racing calendar. Such brave, intelligent and dedicated army men are a rarity and to commemorate such heroes is indeed a grand gesture. Back to the track, Athena was the overwhelming choice and not without reason. Her last start second to Juventus was an unforgettable one and fresh in memory. However, Athena was under pressure all through and her lack of initial acceleration might have been her undoing. Athena has one of the most sizzling finishes, but her starts have never complimented her finishing style. Here again she faltered early on and was never prominent till the turn. She was wide off all the time and was forced to take a long circle into the straight. By then, Beau Monde had improved from the mid bunch and was ready to strike. Sunny Chinoy astride Beau Monde (Warrshan – Momentous) surged ahead finding pathway between horses and took charge early in the straight and kicked on powerfully to clinch the issue long way from home. Radiating was a fighting second, Generalissimo came up with a nice run to peg back Nimble Feet who clearly needed this run. Keep an eye on Generalissimo. The September handicap was the other important race of the day and the centre of attraction was Phenomenale. The filly with the highest 'price tag' ever, had disappointed in her only outing in Mumbai after which she was packed off by the trainer. Her recent track movements were encouraging but her defeat over the 6 furlong sprint in Mumbai lingered in the minds of many. On the day however, Phenomenale relished the mile to the boot. Striding freely in third soon after the start, Phenomenale took over from Cresendo and Shanghai Gal as they turned fpor home. The straight belonged to the Shroff ward and she bounded away with leaping strides to win unchallenged. She did display a lot of class as well and is the one to wager on till she is beaten, if at all! Phenomenale has a lot of potential and in the charge of a shrewd trainer she is bound to flourish. Got To Go beat the rest easily while Galactica came from a long way back to end just a neck behind Insite Soul who went all out. Madamme Bijoux and Secret Aganda were the joint favorites and both were from the yard of trainer Narendra Lagad. Madamme Bijoux hit the front and Secret Agenda followed in close second along with Discover. Into the straight, Madamme Bijoux was still going well, Secret Agenda was not gaining ground. Discover the oldest horse in the bunch (11 year old) was under pressure but not letting go. The rest were completely out of contention. Just when Madamme Bijoux looked like pulling it off, Discover (Don't Forget Me – Fast N Tricky) came up with a final burst that left his much younger rival stunned! Vikram Walker's persistence paid off handsomely and a successful coup was pulled off in style. The Madamme has now three seconds in as many starts but she could be luckier the next time out over the five furlong sprint with a stronger jockey. If you thought a four horse race would not generate a lot of excitement, think again. The AJ Wadia plate had just 4 contenders and the drama and excitement was on till the wire. It may well spill over too, as an inquiry has been initiated at the behest of the stipes into the running and riding of True Elegance. Star Crusader was the first favorite and True Elegance next in demand. Most thought that this was a safe "jodi" as Flashing Flame was carrying a heavy impost and Memorable Day was not exactly in top form. Until the turn there was nothing out of the ordinary, but once they shifted to top gear, what followed was simply sizzling. Star Crusader was going all out. Flashing Flame put in a strong challenge and Memorable day was also not giving up. This left True Elegance awkwardly stuck on the rails in a small field and that can be embarrassing for a jockey of Fargeat's caliber. On hindsight, he should have gone on the outside of Flashing Flame when they were passing the 800m. However, in a split second decision, and considering the 9 furlong trip, you can but sympathize with the hapless jockey who paid a heavy price for his decision. He stuck to the rails and got his opening a wee bit too late. Once he say daylight, True Elegance shot into prominence but the winning post had come a stride too early. Flashing Flame was the one who profited from the error on Fargeat's part. In Fargeat's defense, he did what seemed the natural thing to do under the circumstances and paid for what he had not reckoned – getting pocketed in a four horse field! Star Adventure (Alnasr Alwasheek – Seychelles) was the piping hot favorite and obliged like one. Chasing Nuncio right from start, Star Adventure shot into the lead early in the straight and won lengthening her strides. Young Offender fought briefly with Adams Law for the runner up berth and prevailed decisively in the closing stages. Nuncio had a good educative run and kept his place in the frame, and is the one to note over a shorter sprint. Star Adventure was impressive and will do well in the higher class as well. Golden Symbol was another facile winner at unbackable odds giving The MAM camp a double for the day. However, golden Symbol was a bit too sluggish at the start for the comfort of his connections. The fear if there was at all, was quickly put paid as the gelding responding to the early reminders of his rider quickly focused on the task and perched himself right behind the leaders, Very Bonafide and Mubarras. As they turned for home, Golden Symbol loomed large and whizzed past the front runners and drew away. Very Bonafide got checked between Mubarras and the favorite and lost a bit of ground. Aptiana came well from behind to peg back Mubarras for the runner up berth. Aptiana and Very Bonafide can run forward races next time out and Golden Symbol definitely will do well in his next outing as well. Tromos, Rising Hero and Chevron dominated the market trends. Supreme Falcon nearly pulled off a surprise and ended a fighting second. Hitting the front early Supreme Falcon traveled beautifully over the 2000m trip and looked comfortable going into the straight. Tromos, Hisham and Rising Hero the ones closest to the leader were all off the bridle much before the bend. Supreme Falcon easily warded off the early challenge from Tromos and Hisham on the rails but had no answer when Rising Hero arrived on the scene full of running despite a minor check early in the straight. Rising Hero (Storm Trooper – Naval Guardian) came with a late brilliance and collared all three in front of him to register an impressive victory. This run should see him do well again. Supreme Falcon will live to fight another day. Tromos, though third, did not justify the support and never raised hopes. Chevron was the biggest disappointment. He was much below his last start second and just could not raise a gallop. The day's honours were shared by trainers P Shroff, Karthik Ganapathy and Narendra Lagad who saddled a brace each and jockeys YS Srinath and Sunny Chinoy who scored a double each as well.