- india's first & foremost horse racing portal

Angel's Glory, Highland Conquest Win Impressively

By North-End | 24 Jul 2008 | PUNE


The Pune Racing Season of 2008 took off on an exciting note and people thronged the race course with enthusiasm. The 'Hill Station' weather was a perfect gift from the heavens making it an ideal afternoon to be outdoors. The stands wore a well refurbished look and the authorities had even taken care to pave the entrance area outside the main gates which were earlier a path of pebbles. The number of entrants was encouraging considering the season took off on weekday. Those in, were treated to some exceptional display of speed by two promising youngsters - Angel's Glory and Highland Conquest. Both ruthlessly decimated their respective rivals and won making a mockery of the competition. Both were raging public fancies and the punters were thrilled to see them win without any anxiety. The track looked refreshingly green and if the lack of rains had in any way hampered the preparations, it simply did not show. MAM Ramaswamy owned Angel's Glory (Warrshan–Pas De L'argent) continued her winning ways and stretched her number of victories to three in three starts (she won both her starts in Mumbai last). This time round, however, she seemed a lot more mature and her manner of victory was simply clinical. Jockey Srinath had little to do once he guided her to the front soon on start. The Karthik ward settled beautifully and once into the straight unleashed a fiery gallop widening the distance and won easing up. Blue Blaze who initially chased the winner faded away to finish off the frame. Almarina put in a good run but had to be content with the runner-up berth. Daffodils worked her way up along the rails to end up with the place money ahead of the 'finishing on' Fire God. Angel's Glory sure has more glory in store and is worth following over the 5-furlong sprint. Almarina too should have her day soon during the season. Highland Conquest (Ontario–Reconquista) owned by Mr Rakesh Wadhawan was the hot favourite to win the Etna Trophy (Div 2). The chestnut gelding from Cooji's yard dictated the terms right from the word 'go' and remained elusive to his rivals even as they turned for home. Once in the straight, the only anxiety, if there was any, remained over the minor placing and Centerofattention who was always behind the winner held on to end so. Golden Symbol improved to finish third but it was Calypso Dancer who really improved notches especially in the last furlong to figure in the frame. The Sunderji trainee was not in the picture at the bend and did well to finish on board. Aegina was a big disappointment. The Vinayak trainee was fighting for her head and never settled down for far too long. Although she was the third to enter the straight, Aegina did not accelerate at all and finished in the rut. However, the race truly belonged to Highland Conquest and an encore just can't be ruled out. Combustion, after winning both his starts in Mumbai, was fancied to tackle the small field of seven and was the piping hot favourite. Settling well just behind the leader Medtias Pride, Combustion failed to produce any power and went down tamely. Here Comes The Don (Diffident–Indulgence), who was improving from the rear all through the initial 800 m, shifted to top gear well before the bend and entered the straight passing the front bunch with ease. In the straight, Akash pressed home the advantage and 'The Don' kicked on to land the spoils. Hitz also rose from the rear and with some hard riding from jockey K. Prasad, landed the place money. Gatravat managed to beat the listless Combustion. Combustion's poor show is puzzling and can't entirely be attributed to the 'uncertainties' of the sport. Tsesebe (Indictment–Estonia) showed that she relishes longer trips and won the mile race in a convincing fashion. As the field of ten were dispatched, Upnorth just wouldn't budge and stayed put in the gates. Sudden Impact called the shots early followed by Mubarras, Onus Probandi and Alectrona. Malesh was patient and confident and nursed Tsesebe a good three lengths behind in fifth. Between the 800 and 600 m, Tsesebe began to bridge the gap rapidly without much effort. Once into the straight, Sudden Impact faded away. Mubarras kept on but Tsesebe pounced on the leader and breezed past at the distance post to register a fluent victory. Hi Dolly caught the eye while covering good ground and despite the fact that she was left to make her turn the widest of them all, the bay filly put in a good effort to finish runner-up. Mubarras held on to be third. Encouragement (Tirol–Riza) was in the front and had Secret Admirer and Flaming Arrow for company for the most part of the initial journey. Into the straight, Secret Admirer dropped out and Flaming Arrow posed the only threat. However, the SS Shah charge kicked on regardless and Flaming Arrow couldn't come up with that little extra surge resulting in Encouragement winning with a little to spare. Polar Glow managed to get into place money forging ahead of Tullamore whose rider dropped the whip in the closing stages of the race. Cresendo (Diffident–LawnOrder) was gritty towards the finish and managed to keep the hot competition at bay. Akash Agarwal had a decisive part to play in her fortunes. The young rider worked hard for his 'double' on the day and rode out with power and zest. Always in front, Cresendo had Lady Trooper and King Of The Ring breathing down her neck and the push came to shove nearing the distance post. However, Akash egged Cresendo on and the filly was right up to the task and wore down her challengers with stubborn grit. The front bunch managed to stay ahead and Lady Trooper won a photo call for the second spot - very little separating her from King Of The Ring. The winner's stablemate, Secret Agenda also attracted attention but only when all was over. Keep an eye on this filly. The Commoner Trophy was of great interest for those who were keen to watch Cairndhu's performance. The Bezan ward did his reputation no harm and shook off his earlier failures during the Mumbai Season. That he relishes the Pune track was evident as he won impressively accounting for what seemed a tough bunch. Cairndhu (China Visit–Naim) hit the front soon on start and although the front-runners were tightly packed, Cairndhu pulled away in the straight. Such was his authority that Kamlesh never once went for the whalebone and drove the bay hands and heels. See The Truth took the turn wide and in turn Livorno suffered on his outside. However, at best Livorno could have only gone closer to Native Strategy as Cairndhu put in a unbeatable performance. Liverpool disappointed a large following. Hitting the front early, Liverpool's challenge ended even before the turn. Wild Torronado (Juniper–Crystial Girl) led into the straight with Hymns To Freedom and Mysterious Heights in close attendance. The trio fought all the way up the straight and Wild Torronado with ample assistance from jockey Wayne Smith surged further close home to register his maiden victory. Top Action (Placerville–Azzilfi) stormed ahead from a close sixth position in the straight and held on from a fighting Romantic Impact. Vikram Walker handled the top weight brilliantly to stump the joint favourites - Romantic Impact and Babeinthewoods. While Romantic Impact ran a good race and put up a stiff fight, Babeinthewoods warmed up far too late but covered good ground and did well to edge out Vijayi Bhava for the third. Babeinthewoods will definitely improve and one would discount her only at one's own peril. The Imtiaz trained filly needs to be persisted with and should have her day before long. Among the professionals, trainer Narendra Lagad and jockey Akash Agarwal scored a brace each. Owner Vijay Shirke also had a successful and lucrative double.