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By Mahendra Mallya | 26 Sep 2015 | PUNE

Shivalik Storm (Neeraj Rawal Up), winner of The Nirmal Ruia Gold Trophy

Shivalik Storm (Dancing Forever – Badraan, Hazara Stud) compiled a clinical start-to-finish victory while claiming the Nirmal Ruia Gold Trophy, the feature event of the day. Ridden by Neeraj Rawal, Shivalik Showers led the field comfortably with Silver Streak, Knight of Ke in chase, followed by Adam, who had Trance and Nuray close behind.

Shivalik Showers entered the homestretch with Silver Streak trying hard to keep up. Knight of Ke too was not up to it and made little impact. Adam moved up to start his chase, while Trance yet again disappointed. Adam started to inch closer, however, Shivalik Storm fought on grittily to hold on to his lead ll the way, warding off Adam by length at the wire. Trevor did his best, but Adam was kept safely at bay, Shivalik Storm doing extremely well and held on firmly to the early advantage. 

Jockey Dashrath Singh has struck top form as he followed his four wins last Sunday with five on Saturday. He had a great start guiding the well-backed favourite Traherne (Phoenix Tower – Caborig, Manjri Stud) to a comfortable victory in the opening race of the day.

Dashrath settled Traherne in the fourth spot as Ukulele led them all the way into the straight. Charging Tigress and Multinational were just ahead of Traherne as they turned for home.

Ukulele failed to build on his lead and soon made way for Charging Tigress. However, Traherne arrived with a good burst of speed to soon take over and draw away and post his second successive win.

The very next race saw a thrilling finish despite a small field, as all the four runners finished on close to one another. Eduardo tried to make it start to finish but was reluctant to take off at a fast clip. He slowed down the pace initially with Rule Downunder, Wentworth and Simply Sweet content to follow the leader.

The pace picked up past the 800m and soon Rule Downunder arrived to challenge the leader. Wentworth too started to draw closer when Simply Sweet poked through in between to make the final dash.  It looked anybody’s race even in the final 100, but Simply Sweet went for the kill, jockey Dashrath timing his run to perfection, edging out Rule Downunder by half a length, all four contenders finishing within just over a length.

Sabiq (Kingda Ka – Elementto Angel, Manju Meadows Stud) put in an aggressive gallop at the business end to earn her first winning bracket and this was her eighth start. Allegiance led them all the way into the straight and kicked on to stay in front inside the homestretch. Yodha Shakti tired to make a fight of it, but failed to sustain. Dashrath got Sabiq to fire and the C Rajendra ward arrived with a steamy gallop. Sabiq shot past them all to go clear in the final 100 and score a very comfortable victory. Move in Time improved in the straight to take the second spot, beating Allegiance to third.

Dashrath’s winning streak of the first three races was halted by Trevor who partnered hot favourite Lord Jim (Iffraaj – Irish Lover, Capricorn Stud) to a fashionable win. Trevor kept the top weight in fourth but never too far away from the action. Pappillon was slowly off but brushed up quickly to go into the lead in quick time. Dramarama took his time settling down and was seen fighting for his head in the early stages. Lord Jim galloped smoothly and Trevor worked his way to second position as they entered the straight. Pappillon went all out but Lord Jim was simply too good. Lord Jim was in great touch as he sailed past the leader and marched on ahead for a bloodless win. Pappillon was rewarded with place money for his all out effort. Moussaeif improved that little bit to finish a tame third.

Dashrath was back in business in the next race and guided the consistent Magnum Opus (Diffident – Winged Light, Yerawada Stud) to a maiden success in his ninth start. Magnum Opus, who has been knocking on the door for some while now, finally got it right, downing on money favourite Sans Peur with ease.

Magnum Opus took over the running soon on entering the straight and Dashrath had him going at a good clip. Debutante Sans Peur looked in fine rhythm as they turned for home. He set about in chase of Magnum Opus, and was in the hunt until the distance post. Sans Peur did not quicken as required and ended up chasing the winner. This run should bring him on and Sans Peur ought to be given another chance.

Another debutante Miss USA was a rousing favourite but she failed to live up to expectations. She was prominent until the turn then fell back poorly. The one who travelled well was Frankest, who did everything but win. He settled beautifully in second behind Serene and took charge readily soon on turning for home. Just when it looked like he had it going for him, Star One (Stern Opinion – Moselle, Hazara Stud) in the hands of jockey CS Jodha, warmed up nicely to nail the leader convincingly. Sensex improved to beat Ice Cube Baby for the place money.

Strategic Move (Dancing Forever – Springbrakemistake, Hazara Stud) scored his third win this season and this was as good a victory as any of his previous ones. He was quick to be up close with the front running pair of You’re The Boss and El Wonder and once they entered the straight, Strategic Moev with Neeraj Rawal in the saddle stormed ahead without really being ridden out. He soon was well ahead and won easing up.  Desert Rage and Fast Lady improved positions to take the minor slots.

Dashrath mopped up the last race in a last stride thriller, coming from behind to shock the well-backed Hypothesis. Hypothesis had assumed command early in the straight and looked on course to oblige his large number of supporters. However, he did not accelerate with the kind of alacrity and squandered a handy lead. Sail Past (Tariq – Dancing Colors, Equus Stud) however, made all the right moves and aved his best for the finish. He covered considerable ground and with the kind of form Dashrath has been in, they simply couldn’t fail. Sail Past got Hypothesis on the post but he always looked like making it once he quickened in the final furlong.

For the professionals, jockey Dashrath was the star of the day returning with five solid wins. Trainer Narendra Lagad was the lone trainer to saddle a double. Jockey Neeraj Rawal could have had three had he not fallen short with Hypothesis and he ended with a good double.