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Avec Plaisir Wins with Surprising Ease

By North-End | 25 Jul 2008 | PUNE


Avec Plaisir (Tirol – Symphony), the most fancied runner in the Rose Royal Trophy, justified the overwhelming support and obliged in style. It was a tough bunch and a close finish was most likely as the horses lined up for the start. Avec Plaisir hit the front and was soon joined by Agha on the rails. Escravos, Oyster Cove and Mountain Bear were right behind and the rest were close on the heels. Lego Medio was a trifle slow off the blocks and in such fiery pack this blemish can be fatal. As the heads turned for home, Alec Plaisir darted ahead and Akash Agarwal, who has hit good form right from day one, was spot on as he got Avec Plaisir to accelerate well towards the winning post. He made full use of the whip hand and took no chances till he reached the winning post. Oyster Cove and Mountain Bear fought for the 2nd spot with the former getting the nod right. Mountain Bear is getting ready and is the one to be noted over an extended trip. Just a race earlier, Il Divo and Algorithms were engaged in a prolonged battle that sent the stands to raptures. Two good youngsters guided by two top jockeys – Malesh and Rajendra were in their elements for all of the final stretch. Il Divo was the one enjoying the lead and on turning for home Algorithms was right on the leaders tail. Just moments before the turn, Algorithms was in fourth behind Swet Away and Star Attraction. Malesh saw an opening between the pair and poked through at just the right juncture as Star Attraction was about to move in and close the gap. Had Malesh waited even a wee bit more, he would probably have to skirt around the duo. Thinking back, this proved to be a master move considering the hard fought close finish was a ding dong battle. Full marks to Malesh for this splendid ride. Rajendra and Il Divo were gallant in defeat. Black Sapphire ended third. Rest made little impression. Fair Tactics (Placerville – Native Tactics) was another impressive winner for the day. Owned by the high profile Chairman of RWITC Dr. Cyrus Poonawalla, the bay filly was backed heavily even at the cramped odds offered on her. The filly duly obliged in a scintillating fashion and won readily showing a terrific turn of foot. Fair Tactics who last raced in December '08, showed no sign of rustiness and even overcame a slight check at the crucial bend caused by Smith astride Radiating. Fair Tactics took over soon in the straight and looked the winner a long way from home. An encore is very much on the cards. The other runner to impress was Prince Lochinva, who covered a lot of ground to out race the front running Radiating with something to spare. Prince Lochinva has now had a good lung opener and is for the notebook. Desert Blue was the surprise favorite in the first. Shaktiman (Cocordial – Golden Wish) gave SS Baria the proverbial 'armchair' ride to victory. Hitting the front on start Shaktiman like his human namesake, showed extraordinary galloping prowess to win as he liked. Sare Jahan beat one home for the second spot and that was Stubbs. Desert Blue just was never in the hunt and finished way down, thus endorsing that he had no business to be the favorite. The second race saw an interesting three pronged finish. Madamme Bijoux was in command for most part of the race. Free Spirit (Tomba – Polistatic) closed in midway up the straight and the pair fought stride for stride. In the last 100m Mustang Sally warmed up and began to eat up ground rapidly and was literally flying. At the winning post Kishore Kadam's hard work was amply rewarded and Madamme Biloux can count herself unlucky. However, Mustan Sally's effort was commendable. Baria had to switch out from the rails and make his run on the wide outside. The winning post came a stride too soon else Dr. Anil Kumar would have lead in back to back winners. Dr. Anil Kumar has done exceptionally well with both Shaktiman and Mustang Sally. While the former had it easy the latter is sure to pick up one before long. Artistical (Ontario – Henovera) gave the Nandas a lot to cheer about and won the first of the two races that the Nandas pocketed in the day. Hitting the front soon on start, Artistical kicked on gamely to design a fashionable victory. Star Adventure who was racing close to the favorite Fire Within got the better of the two and ended bagging the runner up slot. Fire Within disappointed but may have needed the run. He ran in patches, was never fluent but could be a different proposition the next time with this race behind him. Covenant (Exploit – Laurie Begone) produced a brilliant finsh to shock the pair of Beyond Therapy - the long time leader and the challenger Star Always. Riyaz Shaieh showed sharp reflexes and saved himself from a nasty fall near the 800m. Then he was unbalanced trying to get his footing right which may have had a bearing on the close finish of the race. However, there no taking anything away from Covenant and Malesh's efforts. Malesh nursed the Dhunjibhoy owned gelding in the 6th position at the top of the straight, and timed his finish to perfection. Beyond Therapy too ran a good race and was fighting till the finish. He should fit stripper after this one and is likely to fare better this season. Star Always is the one to watch next time out over a sprint. Secret Pilgrim (Alnasr Alwasheek) carried his Mumbai form to Pune to the delight of his connections. What was most pleasing was the manner of victory. Settling beautifully in 5th but not too far from the leader, Secret Pilgrim just cruised past the front bunch near the 600m mark. At the top of the straight, the Imtiaz trained gelding got into a fine rhythm and all the late effort of Go Guzzi Go and Rising Hero became futile. Such was her clasp on the race that Nirmal Jodha never even thought about using the whip. The bay gelding owned by the Jhagianis is sure to dish out a repeat performance over the distance or even a furlong more for that matter. Go Guzzi Go and Rising Hero found the winner too good and both need to bide their time. Patek Phileppe is still to get into the groove and if he is entered in a 7 furlong race, keep an eye. In the last race Notable Runner and Expensive Affair cornered most of the betting and the 'jodi' was touted to be safe. Ring Bearer (Metal Preceieux –Tiddly Widdly) had other ideas and as the pair, who were the lead pair till the straight, tried to fight for superiority, Ring Bearer unleashed his best which was good enough to get past Notable Runner quickly and then account for Expensive Affair closer home. In Expensive Affair's defense, suffice to say that the mare put up a good resistance and just lost by a narrow margin. It was good to see two veterans – Imtiaz A. Sait and M. Narredu at their best and both scored a double each. Mr. D.A.Nanda had a fruitful day leading in two winners at lucrative odds. Algorithms' victory, I reckon, will remain in the stylish owner's mind for quite some time. His jubilant celebration at Artistical's victory – I won't forget for some time either!