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Smith Makes 'em All Chase in 'Wayne'

By North-End | 03 Aug 2008 | PUNE


Wayne Smith cornered all the glory on Sunday's races at Pune, booting home a fantastic hat-trick – Nora, Nitrous and Sparta in successive races. While all the three races were keenly contested, Nora's victory stands out as his best for the day. It was a decent bunch of eight (Spitz was withdrawn) that faced the starter and Nora wasn't exactly in the box seat as they settled down. Sentinel (Rajendra) moved in soon after they jumped out, thereby causing a check to Nora who dropped to the second last position. Exotic Star led the field followed by Sentinel, Lone Sentinel and Ikaria, Got To Go and Alohamora were next, and then came Nora and Tromos. Past the 800 m, one noticed Smith working overtime to keep Nora going and gave her a sharp reminder too, even before the turn. On straightening up, Exotic Star was fighting for survival as Ikaria mounted her challenge. It looked like Ikaria would pull it off until Smith set Nora alight. Nora came up with a rattle and devastated the opposition in a trice. This was the best of Smith yet, and he can claim an equal share in Nora's honours. Nora (Placerville–Free Radical) indicated enough that there is more success in store for her, even if she is assigned to race over an extended trip. Smith's next duty was astride Nitrous (Major Impact–Cinnamon Fern) who is a good type and has always been consistent. Smith did not have any trouble easing Nitrous into the lead soon on start. He had Sail Away for company, Balthazar and Czar Alexander followed close behind. Nitrous came in home first with Czar Alexander in hot pursuit; the rest were squarely beaten. Midway in the straight, Czar Alexander came alongside and even put his nose in front briefly but that is all he could manage. Smith had a lot more in reserve and shifted Nitrous to top gear to surprise the Czar. Nitrous bounded forward towards the finish leaving Czar Alexander a length and something behind. Nitrous is a sound stayer and will do better over longer distances. Czar Alexander has done well too, considering the fact that he is coming out of a set back. He is racing fit now and will have his day before long. A hat-trick for Smith was not expected to come by easily. Sparta was not the overwhelming choice. Thundering Tan and Ptolemy were! Settling well behind Sepia Tone and Thundering Tan, Sparta (Senure–Riaza) was pressed for room in the final two furlongs. For a mild natured gentleman, Smith showed surprising aggression while tearing through the small opening he got just nearing the distance post. That was it! Smith drove Sparta past Thundering Tan in full flight and had the race all sewn up once he went into the lead. Premier Queen, who also indicated that she was right up there, could not match the brilliance which confounded Thundering Tan as well. Ptolemy came under some hard stuff from Malesh to pip Premier Queen for the third spot. There were no surprises from the rear as Sepia Tone ended one off the frame. Yana (Razeen–Zaya) in the last race was in the spotlight as she was making her appearance on the race track after a long break. However, the field that she was pitted against was not the toughest she has encountered in the past and she posted a facile victory as was expected of her. After following Absolute Reality till the home turn, Yana cruised into the lead and then there was simply no contest. Yana was all by herself passing the winning post lengths ahead of the rest. Star Of The Season was a determined runner-up, while Montalvo indicated that he needed more distance. The runner-up did well to beat the rest and can place again, if not win, depending on the field he will get to encounter the next time. Yana showed that she is back in the reckoning and is here to tackle the best. Highland Bounty (Royal Kingdom–Viviene) made a smashing appearance on the Pune track when he pulverized the opposition with absolute disdain. The Sunderji-trained colt flew out of the gates. He then settled well behind the leader until the straight. There on, Highland Bounty accelerated tremendously and shut the others out of contention. He showed plenty of speed and quality and should fare well through the rest of the season. Recardo found the winner too good but wasn't too backward himself. He is sure to mature after this run. Illusionist disappointed and was never in serious contention. To be honest, it is too early to make any comment on the youngsters and another contest will make the picture clearer. The first two races were of the lowest class and the favourites in both races obliged. Arabian Speed (Diffident–Thunderous), in the first race, jumped out level much to the relief of his backers and was a prominent third till much after the turn. Thundering Hero was the one who was slowly off. Te Quiero hit the front and was chased by Latest News. Entering the homestretch, Te Quiero was soon passed by the gritty Latest News and the old timer looked like creating a flutter. It was not to be, however, as Arabian Speed switched on the outside past the distance post and was travelling better in the final furlong to get past Latest News closer home. King's Troop (Storm Trooper-Royal Bornoch) had it relatively easy while accounting for a poor set. Sitting well in hand in the second behind Sparrow Hawk, King's Troop began his all conquering gallop soon on turn and marched ahead to post an unopposed victory. Zuetina improved one slot to rend a tame second and with no other runner in contention, Sparrow Hawk was rewarded the third spot for making all of the early running. Starlite Express did everything wrong but still managed to figure in the frame. This was certainly a very poor ride and Akash Agarwal, after some really good work this season, disappointed to say the least. After getting a decent start, he fell back to the last position. He then unnecessarily moved to the outside without maintaining any control resulting in the charge drifting out and taking the turn miles wide. To make it worse, he dropped the whip and failed to maintain a straight course throughout the straight. It is hoped that this was just one bad day at the office and the lad learns quickly and keeps up his good form. The day certainly belonged to Wayne Smith who scored an impressive treble. Dallas Todywalla was the only other professional to score a double.