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No Rain, but 'Naren' Sends Punters Running for Cover

By North-End | 16 Aug 2008 | PUNE


The rain Gods spared the Pune races on Saturday but punters had no escape from the 'Naren thunderbolts'. Trainer Narendra Lagad scored a lucrative treble at nourishing odds that sent some heavily backed horses packing. Passion in the Park was the first casualty in the very first race itself. The 5/4 favourite from trainer Bezan's yard who led the field all the way till the turn, broke a blood vessel and packed up at the turn. Oriental Jewel soon took over but had Brezhnev breathing down her neck as they turned for home. Brezhnev (Cruachan – Gentle Nun) finished full of running and darted past the leader and it was all over. Jockey Anil Baandal simply stormed ahead to clinch the issue a long way from home. Oriental Jewel ended a good second the rest were comprehensively beaten. The biggest upset came aptly in the 'Beyond Expectation' plate. Exotic Star was at best, being offered at 33/100 in the betting ring. Onus Probandi followed the now famous "Take jump, hit front" instructions to the hilt and looked elusive no sooner than they turned for home. Exotic Star who chased her right from the start, ended doing so. Only, she lagged further back at the finish. Again there was no third horse worth any mention. Onus Probandi (Burden of Proof – Secret Star), confidently ridden by Sunny Chinoy won in a convincing fashion implying that she will run a prominent race next time out as well. Naren's third salvo was fired in the last race of the day. Amberogio (Case Law – Arabian Shuffle) too was out on a start to finish mission and the filly really stood up to a challenging final furlong. As the heads turned for home, Amberogio enjoyed a slender lead and was seriously challenged by Expensive Affair first and at the distance post Thundering Tan too began to apply pressure on the fighting duo. Naren's most experienced jockey, SN Chavan got the best out of Amberogio and held on till the very end. Expensive Affair ended a good second and Thundering Tan was seen closing on. I would be tempted to persist with Thundering Tan at least once again. Cairndhu and Patek Philippe won their respective races with surprising ease. Cairndhu was taking on a really tough bunch. The 11/10 odds offered by the bookies may have only been due to the reputation of some of the other runners or so it seemed when the Bezan Trainee accomplished his assignment the way he did. Hitting the front soon on start, the son of China Visit out of Nairn set a scorching pace with Red Indian, Avec Plaisir, Enaksi and Pepe Junior in close attendance. The others too followed close behind – Dancing Diva, Lago Medio, Shyboy and Englehart in that order. Englehart’s effort in the closing stages got him into place money and it was a brilliant effort indeed taking into account the speedy bunch and his last position. Into the straight, Caindhu was poetry in motion, gigantic strides, fluent rhythm at all The Jaydev Modi owned gelding delighted his backers and connections no end as he strode further away to post an impressive victory clocking split seconds over1 minute and 10. Pepe Junior got past the rest to end a good second although close to 4 lengths behind the winner. Cairndhu proved his prowess and should score an encore in this sublime form. Patek Philippe (Black Cash – Musical Pepper) redeemed his reputation in no small measure and put his earlier failures behind him, dishing out a truly remarkable victory. Racing fifth in the seven horse field, Fargeat improved to third at the turn. Spirited Star, who reportedly broke a blood vessel, was busy warding off MAM's Star Adventure when Patek Philippe struck them with lightning speed. The Ruias' owned colt left the fighting duo stranded as he bolted ahead, adding turf with every stride, making the rest look pedestrian. This was simply an astonishing run and augurs very well for a bright future. Patek Philippe has shown tremendous potential and should win again. Spirited Star finished runner up keeping a listless Star Adventure at bay. Jockey Amyn astride Solskjaer dropped his whip at the crucial turn and there ended his chances. In his urgency to move out of traffic congestion, while taking out his whip Amyn's whip, I reckon, touched Alexa who was on his outside resulting in the folly. Gengis Khan came in first into the straight with Mustang Sally heating up the challenge, Fiery Future was moving up inch by inch. This trio were safely ahead of the rest as Solskjaer was not making any impression. Gengis Khan was all out trying to desperately to hold on to his fast diminishing leading. With strides to go, the fiery assault of the Magan Singh ward was proving too hot and Gengis Khan failed to sustain. Fiery Fortune settled the issue just before the winning post. Mustang Sally finished alongside the two to end a close third. Saltoro (Warrshan – Leit Motif) proved too strong to his rivals in the homestretch. Calypso Dancer led them homeward with Star Luxurious in tow. Blue Mountain switched to the outside soon on turn. Black Sapphire took the turn slightly wider and Saltoro was blessed with the opening on the inside. The moment he saw daylight, Saltoro tore through the pack and sailed clear - past the distance post. Blue Mountain fought hard and beat both Star Luxurious and Calypso Dancer for the next best position. Black Sapphire may have ended one off the frame but merits consideration in his next outing. Ruby Rocket seemed to be defused as the odds drifted alarmingly in the ringfrom 2 1/2 to 6/1. True to the indication, the Mansoor Shah trained mare only managed to stay ahead of Sail Away. Balthazaar led the field in the early stages but bowed out in the straight. Here Comes The Don took it up in the straight, but found it hard to answer the challenge of Call to Arms (Major Impact - Image Conscious). Baria who was biding his time in the fifth or sixth until nearing the turn, alerted the Sunderji ward who responded ably to surge ahead and put the contest beyond the rest. World War Three who was languishing in the last position for the most part put in a game gallop to edge out the Don for the runner up spot. Desert Dust without making his presence felt managed to figure in the frame. The day definitely belonged to Narendra Lagad who saddled a fine treble. Jockey Samuel Fargeat compiled a good double.