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By Mahendra Mallya | 25 Oct 2015 | PUNE

Mr. Kishore M. Dingra & trainer C D Katrak leading Shivalik Showers (P Kamlesh Up), winner of The Irish Thoroughbred Marketing & Goffs R.W.I.T.C. Ltd Gold Cup (Gr.2)

The Pune Season 2015 concluded on a sizzling note with the last race going down to the wire as did the race before – a fitting end to an exciting season. It The feature race of the last day – The Irish Thoroughbred Marketing & Goffs RWITC Ltd Gold Cup looked an open race, however, the consistent Shivalik Showers, owned by Mls G Shewakramani, Vikram Singh and Kishore Dingra, won start-to-finish and with a measure of comfort.

Jockey Kamlesh guided the Katrak trained gelding smoothly into the lead soon on start and set a true pace for the mile and quarter race. Staristocratic quickly moved to second with Booker Jones, Shivalik Storm and Agostini close behind. Trance Snowing and Remember Me were in the rear, but not too far away. They galloped in the same order all the way into the straight.

Shivalik Showers (Dancing Forever – Sun Shower, Hazara Stud) upped the ante on turning for home and Kamlesh only just opened the throttle. Shivalik Showers responded instantly and accelerated instantly to increase the lead. Booker Jones improved to second and started covering ground briskly. At one point Booker Jones did look a serious threat, however, Shivalik Showers maintained a steady gallop right through to win sparing a length at the finish. Booker Jones ended a good second, while Snowing, who has shown remarkable improvement this season, took the third place ahead of Agostini in an impressive finish.

Pesi Shroff trainee Costa Del Sol (Phoenix Tower – Shining Glory, Manjri Stud) dished out another impressive win to claim the General Rajendrasinghji Trophy with minimum effort. Trevor jumped out of the gates and sat last, well off the pace. Daytona did all the early running before fading away at the turn.

Charging Tigress showed aggression early as jockey J Chinoy made his move early and tried to run away soon on entering the straight. Costa Del Sol travelled beautifully all the way and once into the straight, he always looked assured. He devoured ground at a good clip, without being extended and collard the Tigress in the final furlong. It was all smooth sailing for Costa Del Sol and he notched up his fourth career win from six starts. His manner of victory was most impressive and he is shaping up well for the bigger races to come in Mumbai.

Jockey P Trevor had earlier achieved a record 50th win for the season astride Alectar (Ace – Pleasure Hunt, Poona Stud). He settled Alectar in the fifth position as Ice Affair tried the run-away tactics on entering the straight. Ice Affair had a handy lead approaching the distance post. Polar Zone was all out and Seven Seas too was not making much impression. Alectar, with a crack or two, responded to the call and shifted gears to produce a scorching run. He picked up speed instantly and in split-seconds he was zipping past Ice Affair to win trouncing the opposition. Seven Seas improved to snatch the second spot from Ice Affair.

Trevor was awarded a silver whip for his achieving his 50th win in a single season, a first occasion for a jockey scoring half-century on the Pune turf. “I am extremely overjoyed and thank all who have contributed in my success,” said Trevor. “I fall short of words and this means a lot to me,” he said at the presentation podium after Chairman Mr Zavaray Poonawalla presented him with the silver whip.

“It is a wonderful achievement for a young lad,” said ZSP who also praised the efforts of Shamu Chavan and recalled the late champion jockey’s achievements on the turf. Shamu Chavan’s daughter did the presentation honours. Trevor later said to indiarace – “I dedicate my victory to Shamu sir. I have heard so much about him and I felt privileged to win the trophy instituted in his memory. It has been a great season for me and It feels delightful to set a record. I went past Malesh Narredu sir’s 49 wins for a season, and he too is one of the jockeys I admire. I have enjoyed the crowd cheering me each time I won and this is what makes it even more rewarding,” said Trevor.

The RWITC, led by Chairman Mr Zavaray Poonawalla also presented a memento to honour Dr MAM Ramaswamy’s awesome achievement of winning 600 Classics. “On behalf of the RWITC and the racing fraternity I congratulate Dr MAM Ramaswamy for his super success and wish him well.  Personally I share a very cordial relationship with Dr Ramaswamy and in his list of Classics winners there has been a large chunk from the produce of the Poonawalla Stud Farm,’ said Mr ZS Poonawalla. The memento was received by Dr MAM’s trainer Karthik G.

Apprentice jockey Yash Narredu scored a double as well. He first guided Ice Cube Baby (Noverre – Star Decoration, Sohna Stud) to a grand victory by a long margin. Sharing the lead with Wajood until the straight, Ice Cube Baby marched on ahead soon on turning for home. Yash pushed the Malesh Narredu ward ahead and Ice Cube Baby quickened well showing a thundering turn of foot to win by whopping seven and half lengths.

Yash the rode his heart out to down Replica on the post after covering lot of ground to catch up. Replica had stolen a march after leading them all into the straight. With main challenger B Fifty Two and Moneywise not picking up momentum, Yash got Sea Lagoon (Phoenix Tower – North Sea, Manjri Stud) going all out in chase. They had a lot of deficit to cover and Replica was showing no signs of tiring. Sea Lagoon started inching closer in the final 100 and Yash’s all out effort was rewarded as he caught Replica on the post, timing his finish to perfection.

Solange (Teofilo-Shadow Roll, Nanoli Stud) who was on her second career start was installed as the favourite in the lower division of the Democraticus Plate. Pesi Shroff trainee jumped out smartly from the outermost draw and moved around the field to get to the front. Once in the lead the filly reached out for the fence and dictated terms all the way till the winning post. Silvano, Magnolia and Midnight Run filled the frame in that order.

Alderley Edge (Oath – X Factor, Pratap Stud) had a large following and the Waheed trainee lived up to expectations. Niobrara and Wind Craft were matching strides until the turn with You’re The Boss right behind as they turned for home. Alderley Edge was still a few positions behind making his rum along the rails.

Into the straight, Niobrara kicked on gamely. Fast Lady was not quickening and was struggling to stay in contention. Phoenix Cat had made good progress and was coming into contention. Alderley Edge arrived with a big run to join the fight. However, once he surfaced, there was no fight whatsoever and Alderley Edge simply shot away from Niobrara to clinch the race a few strides before the winning post. Trainer Waheed had tuned his ward to perfection and Alderley Edge scored his second victory this season even more stylishly.

 Magansingh P Jodha’s grey gelding Mt Tianmen (Sedgefield-Totally Stormin, Jai Govind Stud) held on well to win the first race of the day, the Assessed Plate. The race favourite Pezzonovante was at the helm within the first 100 metres and Mt Tianmen settled nicely on its haunches. Moving alongside on the home stretch Mt Tianmen forged ahead inside the last 200 metres and held on gamely from Make It Shine who came with a late thrust. Pezzonovante finished third ahead of True Heir.

The biggest upset of the concluding day came through Invincible (Mr Mellon-Strike It Right, Ruia Stud) in the division I of the Smt. Shantidevi Goyal Memorial Trophy. Faisal A Abbas trained Invincible had won last exactly two years ago and the 5 year old was sent off at 20-1 among the dozen runners for the sprint. Invincible was quickly in the lead at start and brought the pack into the straight. The lead started to diminish at a rapid pace with Golden Belle gaining ground but the winning post came to the rescue of Invincible who scraped through by a whisker. Stormy Princess and Lucky Pineapple finished third and fourth respectively in a close finish.

 Nirad Karanjawalla sent out Sindbaad (Burden of Proof – Chiliandrina, Kunigal Stud) and in the hands of jockey Zervan, Sindbaad put in a clinical show to get past Plan B in the final furlong. Rock the Turf refused to jump out of the gates and let down a large following. Plan B moved up nicely once in the straight and looked on course to carry on. Sindbaad then started the chase and was closing in with each stride. He caught up with the leader in front of the stands and in a final push, surged ahead to score a facile victory. Staying Alive improved considerably to finish in the money. Favourite Palace Girl made no impact and ended off the frame.

The Season’s Champions were awarded their trophies in the paddock by MR ZS Poonawalla.

Leading Onwers – Jimmy Sarbh, Ms Vandana Desai, Akshay Chudasama & Ashish Kapadia

Leading Trainer – Narendra Lagad

Leading Jockey – P Trevor

Leading Allowance Claiming Jockey – S J Sunil

Leading Apprentice – Yash Narredu

Leading Stud Farm – Nanoli Stud

Leading Bookmaker (Pune) – Latif Associates

Leading Bookmaker (Mumbai) – Banarasidas

Trainer Narendra Lagad who has an aura of invincibility in Pune recorded his seventh Championship title. “Pune has been kind to me and it is a great joy to receive the honour. The competition is thick with several colleagues in the fray and it always feels satisfying to finish on top of such a talented list of trainers. The effort of each of the stable staff has contributed majorly and it is a collective success for the entire team,” said Narendra Lagad.