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By Mahendra Mallya | 22 Aug 2015 | PUNE

Begum Shaherbanoo Husain Lagad & trainer Narendra Lagad leading Snowing (Trevor Patel Up), winner of The Rajaram Chhatrapati Trophy

Last start winner, Snowing picked up her second straight win this season with a powerful finish in the hands of ‘Terrific Trevor’ the jockey who has been in the form of his life! Snowing (Indian Haven – Cuix One, Pratap Stud) was fourth in demand in the betting ring despite coming off a well-fought victory in her last outing, and over a more preferred distance this time. Fortune Favours was the popular fancy with Zazou surprisingly garnering good support ahead of Simply Sweet and Snowing.

The rank outsider Manakel ran away to amass a big lead through the back stretch with Zazuo, Simply Sweet and Fortune Favours following in single file, Snowing bringing up the rear. This order of running remained unchanged until the turn.

The race came to a boil when Simply Sweet made swift headway to lead them into the final 300 meters. Zazou did not have much to offer and fell tamely back. Fortune Favours and Snowing surged up to challenge Simply Sweet. Fortune Favours poked between the two horses on either side and led briefly, however, Trevor had just begun to set alight Snowing. The Narendra Lagad trained mare responded with a blazing finish and shot ahead showing good acceleration to stretch away from Fortune Favours to win the Rajaram Chhatrapati Trophy in an impressive fashion.

Trevor, who is blazing in the saddle, had, earlier in the day, scored two other wins, thus compiling a fine treble. This is the third consecutive race day that Trevor has ridden three or more winners in a day. The Independence weekend saw him score five and four winners over the two days of racing.

He started from where he had left off and in the day’s first race, guided the hot favourite Governor General (Phoenix Tower – Dancing Highness, Amanali Stud) to an emphatic win. The MK Jadhav ward, who had missed out narrowly on both his previous starts, made ample amends as expected, to enjoy his first career success.

Trevor settled Governor General close behind the front-runners, headed by Serene, Red Bug and Helix were close behind with Governor General next. The rest, including the well supported Pink Panther were close huddled behind Governor General.

Governor General took charge soon on entering the straight and got into a fluent rhythm. Although Judicious and Koal were going all out, neither looked too dangerous to threaten the winner and Governor General dictated the terms all the way through. Judicious and Koal followed him home with Red Bug staying put to deny Pink Panther a slot in the frame.

While Governor General was the clear favourite, Pink Panther was taken to offer a fight. That did not happen. Pink Panther seemed still a wee bit raw and was not too sharp at the start. Even during the race, he was not getting into any kind of rhythm and at the business end, failed to show much spark. He looked reasonably well prepared when he walked in the paddock, but surely has some way to go before her asserts himself.

Trevor then guided on-money favourite Annie (Placerville – Lindsey, Poonawalla Astonish Stud) to pick up the Mayor’s Trophy. It seemed to be going all too well for Annie until the filly started to drift out under pressure. Trevor had a task on hand as Annie was costing towards the outer fence and Atomic came in with a good burst of speed. Annie galloped on and did not let the drift slow her down. In the end, she managed to stay clearly ahead and win by ¾ lengths. While Annie won as expected, Atomic showed a positive step up in form while running Annie close.

The Unicorn (Verglas – Fourpenny Lane, Sohna Stud) made heavy weather of winning his assignment more due to the alarming drift in the straight, which nearly cost him the race in the stewards room. All seemed well when The Unicorn hit the front from the start and stayed well ahead of he res until about the 800m. Attraction joined him thereabouts and even headed The Unicorn briefly at the turn.

The Unicorn assumed command soon on straightening up and seemed well on his way to another resolute victory when he started to shift out. Square Moon was travelling well too and soon came to challenge The Unicorn. The duo battled hard and was locked together at the wire, finishing very close to outer fence. The Unicorn had managed to ward off Square Moon by a head.

Sure enough, Suraj Narredu lodged an objection for ‘bumping and boring’ but the replays revealed no conclusive evidence of any such contact between the two. After interviewing the jockeys and relying on their own observations, the objection was overruled.

The highly fancied Shivalik Story came a cropper when she found debutante Nascar (Phoenix Tower – Starlet Princess, Manjri Stud) hard to down. Shivalik Story jumped out smartly and was right up there when Nascar came along to get past and settle to lead the field. Shivalik Story did not seem to mind chasing the leader and the rest were close behind. Apprentice lad Rahguveer seemed to be focused on the task at hand and drove Nascar spiritedly with a single-minded goal. Shivalik Story was slowly edging closer, but never looked like sailing smoothly ahead. The large number of supports of Shivalik Story waited for the moment when Zervan would surge ahead, but that never happened. Raghuveer kept pushing Nascar relentlessly and reaped rich rewards. Nascar scored a debut victory at a stunning 99/1 odds at the bookmakers ring. After this determined showing, Nascar can be expected to achieve more successes. Shivalik Story will live to fight another day as she did most things right. Daytona ended a far away third.

After the pleasant surprise of Nascar’s debut win, trainer Imtiaz Sait enjoyed immediate success with another debutante in Airco (Arabian gulf – Sandslash, Manjri Stud). This one was well-fancied and went at cramped odds. Jockey Suraj Narredu did just the right things as he settled the debutante with the front bunch, kept him out of the traffic and on entering the straight, got Airco to accelerate and push ahead. Warpath, the main threat, moved between horses and came alongside Airco from the rail side. However, Airco proved too good for Warpath as Suraj got Airco going in the final furlong and soon stretched out fluently to leave Warpath way behind. Airco, like his stable-mate Nascar scored an impressive debut win and should do well in future. For trainer Imtiaz Sait, the start of his wards couldn’t have been better.

Umarkot (Hymn – Battery, Jai Govind Stud) showed return to form with a striking victory after a gap of nearly one year. He looked in good nick as he stuck by the speedy El Wonder early on and once they entered the straight, apprentice jockey AS Amit rode out vigorously to storm ahead and he kept the momentum going. Wish Upon a Star and Basic Life provided and duel challenge and were snapping at Umarkot’s tail all the way. Magan Singh trained Umarkot however, galloped on gamely to ward off both challengers and etch out a third career win.

Amit struck again in the very next race with M Narredu’s charge Juliana (Mr Mellon – Marquisa, Ruia Stud) He took off smoothly from draw four and soon eased Juliana into the lead. There was no looking back thereafter. Favourite Light the Sky chased the winner from the start and ended doing so. Even Trevor could not manage to get past Juliana, the filly showing a clean pair of heels to the very end. Light the Sky found one better, but beat the rest convincingly and should be given another chance.

The concluding race of the day saw the Manjri camp enjoy their fourth success in the day. Abbey (Phoenix Tower – Attune, Manjri Stud) produced her best run to date to taste maiden success on her Pune debut. She had had just two starts in Mumbai and her preparations seemed spot on for her to deliver. Abbey with Suraj on board got off to a flying start and capitalized on it to the hilt. Magnum Opus was in chase all the way and just could not match up to Abbey’s sustained speed. Abbey looked in complete command coming into the homestretch and then she marched on ahead, drawing away in the final fifty meters. Manum Opus ended chasing the winner second time this season and could prove a third time lucky. Abbey is in for another success as she won flawlessly. Undisputed sounded that he could fare better, while finishing a good third.

For the professionals, trainers Pesi Shroff and Imtiaz Sait saddled a double each. Trevor yet again impressed with a treble, Suraj Narredu whipped out a double, while young apprentice jockey SA Amit powered his way to a first career double, early in his budding career. Apprentice Raghuveer Singh too had a memorable day logging in his first career victory.