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By Mahendra Mallya | 30 Aug 2015 | PUNE

Mr. & Mrs. Vijay B. Shirke & Mr. K. N. Dhunjibhoy leading Aquamarine (D K Ashish Up), winner of The Threptin Fillies' & Mares' Stakes (Grade 3)

Shroff trained Aquamarine (Mastercraftsman – Pilgrim’s Way, Nanoli Stud) bounced back to winning ways scoring an impressive victory to bag the Threptin Fillies & Mares Stakes (Gr3) on Sunday. The even-money favourite needed just one run obviously, to get into the groove and she was back her own self when she made easy meat of her supposedly tough set of rivals while winning the feature event with consummate ease.

Schiavone essayed the runaway tactics as she took a good jump and then surged ahead of Aquamarine to set a steady pace for the nine furlong journey. Aquamarine settled in second with the rest following in close order. Snowing was off to a slow start but covered ground briskly to be just a couple of lengths behind the bunch.

Schiavone led all the way into the straight and Aquamarine was content to follow her closely in second. Jockey DK Ashish made his move soon on turning for home and Aquamarine was quick to set off for the finish. She accelerated powerfully and easily sailed past Schiavone to draw away and post a comfortable win without really needing to extend herself. Schiavone did well to stay ahead of the rest to claim the second spot. Snowing did well for herself taking the third spot despite the slack at the start. Trance who had put on weight considerable weight despite a recent run, disappointed as well as the others to make no impact at any stage.

Trainer Rehanullah Khan sent out Hedwig (Dark Angel – Watch, Sans Craintes Stud) with confidence and grey filly was only making her debut in Pune after one outing in Mumbai. The filly received solid support at race time which the odds come down sharply from the fives to 3/1 at starting time. Sentimental, though, remained the prime fancy.

Peppercorn guided the field with Pezzonovante, Hedwig and Sentimental in close attendance, Jorell, Wajood and Flynn not too far away. Hedwig got quickly down to business once they turned for home and took charge as she galloped past the leaders. Sentimental came up to challenge and made her bid from the outside.  The battle was confined between this pair and it did not last too long. Hedwig ridden by the consistent apprentice SJ Sunil shook off the challenger in the final moments to post a comfortable victory. Sentimental had to be content with the runner up berth, as she could not match the brilliance of Hedwig. For Rehanullah Khan this was a commendable success as he had tuned the rookie filly to perfection to claim the second division of the Dr PK Sardeshmukh Maharaj Trophy.  Flynn too showed some spark ending a good third.

Remember Me (Ikhtyar – Enaksi, Nanoli Stud) drove the weight advantage he enjoyed over Maximus to the hilt as he made an early move and then stuck on to ward off a rapidly gaining Maximus. At the start, Mykonos tried the runaway tactics and galloped to establish a huge lead approaching the turn. But his bluff was soon called as the others, headed by Silver Streak, closed in on him soon after the turn. Jockey Zervan easily shot past both Mykonos and Silver Streak and took Remember Me ahead and galloping in full flow. Maximus raced past the others and came at Remember Me with a furlong to go. The duo battled hard in the final furlong, but the Imtiaz ward stayed ahead to clinch the Mystic Memory Double Stakes by a narrow half-length margin. Maximus did well to get as close and is looking in good shape.

Two hot on-money favourites returned triumphant with ease. SK Sunderji trained Jefferson (Ravel – Crystal Slipper, Chhatari Stud) with Trevor in the saddle, had an easy outing while winning the Capriole Plate. He settled in third behind leader Imperial Empress and Turf Dancer until the turn. Trevor happily took the opening along the rails when Imperial shifted slightly outward taking the bend. Once in the lead, Trevor rode out hands and heels, which was all that was needed and won easing up. Saker caught the eye too while improving from a detached last position to cover considerable ground, ending second ahead of last start winner Turf Dancer.

Dallas Todywalla trained Victoria Harbour (Phoenix Tower – Alcmene, Manjri Sud) too won her race clean as a whistle. Sitting up with the pace, Victoria Harbour sailed smoothly ahead of Lucky Pineapple, the latter had improved from fourth to slip through the rails and grab the lead. Victoria Harbour galloped fluently with Suraj Narredu having to do precious little. The dark bay filly accelerated well and won drawing away. Lucky Pineapple stayed in second keeping the improving Desert Rage at bay.

Trainer Nirad Karanjawalla reaped a double on the day, his first candidate making up for the late withdrawal of more fancied stablemate Schiehaillon. Roman Flame’s odds was cut by half after the withdrawal was announced and she ran at 6/10.

All seemed well in the straight when Roman Flame took charge with just a furlong and half to go. Roman Flame was a couple of lengths ahead and looked on her way. However, she failed to step up her finish and faltered when Mystic Romance (Placerville – Mysic Dancer, Exhilaration Stud) came with a sustained bid. Roman Flame offered little resistance as the S Sunil ridden Mystic Romance galloped past to score comfortably.  Ceasarina came from way behind with a scorching finish to end a good second, pushing Roman Flame to third.

Nirad Karanjawalla struck again in the last race of the day. He was confident about his ward Absolute Jewel (Lucifer Sam – Lyocel, Sans Craintes Stud) returning victorious as was jockey Trevor. Absolute Jewel settled in third behind Rachel and Desert Lily early in the race. Desert Lily soon took over and had a handy lead on turning for home. Trevor had to coax Absolute Jewel to gather momentum and a crack or two with some hard pushing did the trick. Absolute Jewel picked up with about 300 to go and swopped upon Desert Lily half way into the straight and bounded forward to score impressively.

Adhirajsingh Jodha trained Savage Beauty finally came good after numerous promising starts to score her maiden win in the day’s first race. Atalya led through most of the journey but when Savage Beauty arrived, she had nothing more to offer. Savage Beauty came full of steam to storm past Atalya midway in the straight to score a thumping victory. Fancied Gaabrrio whipped around near the 2000 meters and was out of the race.

For the professionals, trainer Nirad Karanjawala was the lone trainer to saddle a double, while jockeys P Trevor and Suraj Narredu scored a double each.