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Yana Breaks Course Record

By North-End | 24 Aug 2008 | PUNE


Trainer Vinayak celebrated his birthday with a grand double saddling Ikaria and Cyclades to thumping victories on Sunday at Pune. Ikaria (Juniper–Symphony), owned by the Dhunjibhoys, shared the bookmaker ring dominance with Raghuvansh. However, Raghuvansh's presence was restricted only till the turn. The last start impressive winner faded out alarmingly in the straight and ended a shocking last. This run is best ignored as the colt certainly must have felt some discomfiture else he wouldn't have fared so badly. Ikaria, true to form, galloped resolutely to open his account in Pune and won with a lot to spare. Absolute Reality led them all with Raghuvansh close behind, and Ikaria, not the quickest out, was in the mid-bunch till about 800 metres. Rajendra gradually improved position and was right up in front as the heads turned for home. Once in the straight, Ikaria produced a brilliant turn of foot and darted away from the rest. Pine Crest, who was racing in the rear bunch, and Party Celebration who was even further down the field finished on powerfully to take the second and third respectively. Fantasy Lake completed the frame. Party Celebration was the pick of the beaten horses. Vinayak's double was hatched when Cylades (Indictment–Serious Trouble) attracted loads of betting in the last race. Cyclades was alert at the start, took a good jump and settled right behind the leader Pamle Dor. Addiction and Global Spirit followed close behind and the rest never made an impression on the front bunch. In the straight, Cyclades stormed ahead, Palme Dor tried to offer resistance but the Dhunjibhoy filly was too good for the poor field. Yana (Razeen–Zaya) won the feature event of the day, The Ape' Truk Eve Champion Trophy (Gr 3) in a fashionable manner. That the Jaydev Modi filly has loads of class was amply displayed as Yana not only won convincingly but also re-wrote the course record for the best timing over the ten-furlong trip, stopping the clock at 2 :01.45. Nitrous set the initial pace and Yana quickly got behind the leader. Personified followed close behind; then came Gobelin and Aquilo was in the rear. Goblin struggled as they crossed the half-way mark and looked beat. Aquilo improved position but didn't look threatening. Personified was the only one who looked capable of making a fight for it. However, Yana was too keen and broke free as they wheeled round the corner, and dominated all through the homestretch. Personified could only move to the runner up slot and couldn't match strides with the menacing gallop of Yana. Jockey KPG Appu was the beneficiary of jockey Kamlesh's reporting sick and made full use of this opportunity of partnering Yana in the record-breaking triumph. Czar Alexander (Swain-Carla Wyller), gave the Dhunjibhoys the first of their three winners in the day. Tackling the small field of four was no big deal for this Shroff trainee ridden by Neeraj Rawal. Hawk Bay set the pace with Czar Alexander in tow, closely followed by Hugo Boss and Nanjing ran detached about 4 lengths away. Czar Alexander took charge just before the turn and a tremendously confident Neeraj simply nursed Czar to an emphatic victory without exerting much out of the gelding. He didn't once need to go for the whip was obvious, but not even vigorous pushing was something surprising. If there was ever an 'armchair ride’ to victory, this was it! Czar Alexander literally toyed with the small opposition what with Neeraj looking over his shoulder repeatedly as if mocking at the rest. Czar Alexander is peaking and will be a live force from here onwards. That it would be a day of favourites was probably signalled by Secret Glory (Diffident–Star Role) in the day's very first race itself. Secret Glory had seen much better company in Mumbai and even with Oza on top the filly was offered at a miserly 50/100. Oza seized the opportunity and was well up to the task, unperturbed by the status of his mount – a rarity in his career. In the race, Ghanshyam Oza settled Secret Glory behind the leader Blue Jay with Zen in close attendance. Secret Glory got to serious business on entering the homestretch and whizzed past Blue Jay with ease. Oza, however, took no chances and egged on the Ramaswamy filly with about half a dozen cracks all the way, but just couldn't resist the temptation of looking back once in firm control of the race. The rest of the order was more or less undisturbed. Star Always surprisingly drifted in the overnight odds – from 85/100 to 2½ at race time. Schnell, who cornered a lot of betting too drifted to 2½ from the opening quote of 5/4 in the ring. To the horror of his supporters, Schnell jumped out with the jockey Prashant hanging his legs loose out of the stirrups, setting tongues wagging that all was not right in the race. Schnell lost all his chances by this faux pas on the part of the rider and an enquiry has been set up to investigate the matter. If proved guilty of intentional malpractice, the lad could go on a long holiday. It will take some explaining for the jockey to do as the ever drifting odds on Schnell too indicated that there could be something amiss, but then, the odds drifted equally on Star Always as well. Star Always (Senure–Lone Star) looked her best in the paddock. On the track, she blazed to glory clocking just 0:02 secs off the record timing for the five-furlong sprint. She jumped out of the gates in a flash and hit the front. Siroco was slow and Generalissimo was sluggish at the start. Appu astride Star Always maintained a little over a length over Algo Mas, Legendary and the awkward-looking Prashant on Schnell who managed to save himself from a nasty fall early on. The Rising was in fifth leading the tightly packed back bunch. The race was over as they turned for home as Star Always cruised ahead and had jockey Appu been aware of how close he was to creating a new record, he wouldn't have eased the filly in the final few strides. The Rising was a good second improving in the straight and pegging back Legendary who will improve after this run as well. Star Always should repeat and sprint is her forte. The Rising and Legendary too should do well. Generalissimo also needs a mention for his late finish to grab a place in the frame. He would be best over an extra furlong. Flashing Flame (Warrshan–Peperoni) made good use of the two preparatory runs he had this season especially his last outing where he covered a lot off ground to finish one off the frame over the mile. The extra distance suited him perfectly and he stunned the trio of Elusive Trust, Star of the Season and Star Crusader who garnered the maximum betting in the ring between them. Rage of Angels was slowly off and that seems to be his trademark. Julpha hit the front with Elusive Trust in second Star of the Season improved to be close behind with Flashing Flame for company and Rage Of Angels improved to settle ahead of Star Crusader. At the turn, Elusive Trust retired and Star Of The Season surged ahead but his short lead was soon gobbled by Flashing Flame who bounded forward and kicked on under the whip to last the trip out. Star Crusader improved notches in the straight and Julpha who had fallen back to last at the bend came on with renewed zest to finish alongside the runner up. That was a good effort from Julpha and note worthy. The Dhunjibhoys had a great day leading in three winners. Trainer Vinayak saddled two of them and jockey Appu just missed breaking two records in a single day, guiding Yana and Star Always to emphatic victories.