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By Mahendra Mallya | 16 Oct 2015 | PUNE

Trainer P Shroff leading Angelic Aria (P Trevor Up), winner of The Fourth Estate Trophy

Favourites tumbled through the eight-race card on Friday with only Brahmachari justifying the punters’ faith. He too had to pull up all he had to wrest back the initiative he seemed to have lost, until a final heave lunged him to nose the wire just in time. That was perhaps ‘terrific Trevor’ at his best, or was it!

Trevor has been flying high all through the season and Friday was yet another day when he flaunted his skill in the saddle and accounted for at least two sensational rides to victory. Which one was better, is a debatable point.

He partnered the second-in-demand Apache to start his day’s engagements on a successful note beating top fancy Rule Downunder convincingly and staying well ahead of runner-up Melinda passing the winning post.

Domingo set the tone on settling down with Apache(Ad Valorem – Chateau Beach, Hazara Stud) in chase, Rule Downunder and Melinda followed the two in front by a couple of lengths until the turn. Apache went into the lead soon after and on half throttle. The Shroff trained gelding galloped sweetly and in fine rhythm. Rule Downunder was all out but just could not raise his game.  Melinda played the role of the challenger and tried to put forth some sort of a challenge but got nowhere. Apache won easing up and with a lot left in the saddle.

The Pegasus Trophy culminated to an electric finish with Trevor, needless to say, coming on top yet again. Brahmachari (Chevalier – Avec Plaisir, Ruia Stud) took charge soon on turning for home getting past leader Few Dollars More. An Jolie started to emerge from behind to put up a stiff challenge. The pair fought on through the final furlong and Yash seemed to have got the measure of Brahmachari as he headed the favourite with the winning post just split-seconds away. Trevor showing his side of never-say-die attitude got Brahmachari to bring out that extra bit to bounce back and nail his challenger on the post. The heroic welcome he received through the aisle displayed the crowd’s affection for him in no small manner.

As if the dramatic finish was not enough to make him the crowd favorite, Trevor pulled off a sensational victory in the very next race with debutante Angelic Aria (Multidimensional – Averoff, Usha Stud). The debutante took her time to get down to business and languished way behind in the second bunch as prime fancy Judicious had the box seat at the turn. She had Baryshnikov, Pearl Secret and Wajood close behind and Swaraj making up for the front bunch. The rest followed at least 6-8 lengths behind.

Judicious packed up at the turn as Pearl Secret and Wajood surged ahead together. Wajood had a slight upper hand but Pearl Secret was not letting it go. Perl Secret was clawing back in and regained the lead with Baryshnikov staying up close with the pair. Swaraj started to light up and arrived with a strong run. As the bunch of four were battling it out Trevor, used his whip hand ‘judiciously’ and sprang from nowhere to launch a steaming final run that left the four in full flow stranded! Angelic Aria glided in and swopped upon them all to win even sparing a length and a half to stun one and all!

Angelic Aria’s scintillating finish earned her universal kudos and that she would do better and better over the longer distances was obvious from her brilliant debut performance. The room for improvement surely looks bright and she has a great future under the watchful eyes of her trainer Pesi Shroff.

Just By Chance (Placerville – Age of Fable, Poonawalla Astonish Stud) upset the applecart of favourite Verbier to clinch the Pune Racing Journalists Trophy with surprising ease. He had shown a good forward run in his last start, however, Verbier with her quick recovery from a slow start on her debut had the clear support in the ring.

Roxelana got to the front with Simona in chase, Just By Chance was third ahead of Nigella, Verbier, Chef D’Oeuvre and Sir Song were not too far behind. The early leader marched on into the straight staying in contention even as Simona pressed in on the outside. Roxelana wilted when Just By Chance moved up with apprentice Ajinkya get his mount going at top speed. Verbier arrived, but could only beat the rest. Just By Chance galloped on resolutely to draw away from Verbier in a comfortable manner. Verbier is still learning and she didn’t do too badly, she may take her time but looks good to shine on her day.

Another young apprentice SJ Sunil enjoyed a double guiding Glorious Opinion (Glory of Dancer – Ippodamia, Nanoli Stud) – a long shot. His Highness commanded most of the support and let down his followers coming out second best yet again. Savage Beauty looked the part when they rounded the bend when she arrived threatening to snatch the lead and go away. Glorious Opinion quickened extremely well and surged forward snuffing out the challenge from Savage Beauty. He was well ahead in the final furlong and even a late dash from His Highness and The Soprano proved ineffective on the winner.

SJ Sunil later partnered trainer Rehanullah Khan’s Dazzling Dancer (Kingda Ka – Intimacy, Manju Meadows Stud) to etch out a narrow win close home.  Zafirah led them into the straight and battled on until the distance post. Kickboxer then started to accelerate and looked in command coming into the last 150. Caribbean Legend was out there but not making much impression on the leader. Dazzling Dancer arrived with a burst and timed his run to perfection to peg back Kickboxer on the last stride.

Flying Show (Varenar – Queen Victoria, Equus Stud) earned a hard fought win to bring up her second success this season. Favourite Abigail seemed out of sorts early in the race and never looked like making it. It was Arizona Sun who looked good coming into the straight as he galloped on gamely making them all run. Enthralling gathered momentum to come up with a serious challenge in the final furlong. Flying Show then quickened and made her run between the two in front to pick up speed in the last fifty and crane her neck ahead to hand Enthralling her first defeat this season. Arizona Sun ran a good race ending third ahead of Abigail. Star ended a quiet fifth.

Spear of Trium (Diffident – Queen of Hearts, Yeravada Stud) won his third race this season and Dashrath Singh rode out the Narendra Lagad ward with vigor. Clouds of Glory seemed well on course when he entered the straight with a handy lead. He accelerated even further and shaped well for the final assault. However, Spear of Trium started to bridge the gap and was covering ground briskly. Dashrath caught the leader in front of the stands and notched up a half-length victory.

For the professionals, trainer Pesi Shroff saddled a double, while Trevor was seen at his brilliant best scoring a treble. Apprentice SJ Sunil chipped in with a double.