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By Mahendra Mallya | 15 Aug 2016 | PUNE

Mr Vazhaparmbil J Joseph & trainer B Prakash leading Sentosa Cove (S Zervan Up), winner of The PRA Independence Million

Sentosa Cove (Teofilo – Future Flight, Nanoli Stud) trained by B Prakash, was tactically well-ridden by Zervan to pull off an exciting victory and pocket the PRA Independence Million keeping his rivals at bay. Settled nice and quickly in the third spot just behind pace-setter Vitesse and Jeena, Zervan surged forward with Sentosa Cove soon on turning for home. On a shorter Pune straight, this ploy paid off as Sentosa Cove responded with a good burst to build up a handy lead in the straight.

While Vitesse and Jeena faded away, Atalya gathered momentum and set about in chase. Joss was in the picture too but didn’t not quicken. He may have broken a stride at a crucial moment and that could have faltered his rhythm to an extent. While Sentosa kicked on towards the winning post, Palatial arrived with a big gallop, but was a tad too late. He was the fastest at the finish and was unlucky to have been in a hopeless position all through the race. He was last in the big field and it is to the credit of the jockey Amyn Merchant that he weaved his way through the big bunch for his final assault. On hindsight, Palatial may have done better had he been better positioned past the half way mark at least.

Santosa Cove galloped gallantly and sustained his speed all the way to return triumphant with both Atalya and Palatial breathing down his neck. ON the run of the race, Palatial was the pick of the lot even though he only finished third.

Commodore (Danehill Dancer – Antioquia, Manjri Stud) picked up his winning ways in Pune as well and scored a fashionable victory to claim the Rajaram Chhatrapati Trophy unchallenged.

Cha Cha Cha made all the early running with Fearless Nadia in chase, Commodore and Helping Hand raced together until the turn.

Cha Cha Cha galloped on while Fearless Nadia lagged behind. Commodore started to open throttle soon on straightening up for home. He shot ahead with 300 to go and stayed well clear of the rest and romped home for an easy victory. Severus improved to end runner up ahead of Cha Cha Cha. Helping Hand did not finish as she stopped galloping right across the stands and was in distress.

Jockey Yash Narredu reaped a rich haul winning three races in the day. His first winner was the well-backed Shivalik Shine (Rebuttal – Sweeping Story, Hazara Stud) the filly’s second win in her two starts this season.

The only three-year-old amidst seasoned horses was backed confidently in the ring and she left no scope for any anxiety, as she set off at a good clip right from the word go. She had her main threat Final Encounter tagging alongside right through until the homestretch. However, as the duo turned for home, Shivalik Shine accelerated smoothly and gained good speed to cart away from her challenger. Within strides Shivalik Shine established a big lead and looked the winner coming into the homestretch. Final Encounter was well and truly beaten and as Yash eased his mount, Charging Tigress warmed up to cut the margin briskly. Charging Tigress ran a close second beating Final Encounter for the second spot. With this spotless win, Shivalik Shine will be in the reckoning in her next outing as well.

Champagne (Arazan – Chantale, Poonawalla Stud) proved a cake walk and this one too Yash got off to a nippy start and sailed ahead in a splendid fashion. Clouds of Glory was up next with Rosella not far behind. Champagne stared flowing smoothly away once in the straight and was all by herself coming into the final furlong. Yash once again did just enough and eased up the Rehanullah Khan filly allowing Rosella to bridge the gap and reduce the margin of victory. Eternal Royalty improved slightly to take the minor berths in the frame.

Yash signed off the day with another win with trainer Waheed’s My Freedom (Ikhtyar – Matinee, Equus Stud) who was at nourishing odds. My Freedom chased Padmakosa until the turn and shot ahead soon on turning for home. Favourite Dazzling Dancer was in third but as she moved to progress, My Freedom had skipped away and out of reach of them all. My Freedom galloped on gamely to put the issue beyond his rivals and won with a widening margin. In My Life did well to beat Dazzling Dancer for the runner up berth, yet was a faraway second.

Jockey J Chinoy has been consistent of late and looks sharp in the saddle. He guided the lesser fancied Zanzibaar (Chevalier – Delta Port, Ruia Stud) to a thunderous victory beating a better fancied lot with a measure of comfort.

Eiger’s Tiger made al the running and led comfortably all the way into the straight and then petered out as quickly. Zanzibaar raced in second with Star Scholar on his outside, On Fleek was next with the fancied Book Thief languishing in the rear.

ON entering the straight, Eiger’s Tiger bowed out and with a couple of cracks and some strong urging, jockey J Chinoy drove Zanzibaar to the front. Zanzibaar, trained by Nirad Karanjawalla showed plenty of fitness as he raced to the front showing tremendous acceleration. IN no time he had darted well ahead of the rest and sealed the issue even with a furlong to go. On Fleek ran on to take the second spot while Book Thief labored to take the place money, barely managing to keep Tromborne away.

Chinoy later showed good presence of mind and handled the pressure well as he partnered hot favourite Pristina who was a tad tardily out from the gates.  Chinoy, without using up the filly too much made rapid progress to settle in fourth as Royal Concert went into the lead. Zion was in second and he moved up at the turn to lead them into the straight. By then Zanzibaar had progressed past Royal Concert and set about in chase of Zion. He collared Zion approaching the distance post and then galloped on strongly to score an emphatic victory. Majestic Honey improved well towards the end to run a notable third.

Zadmal Singh trained Adeline (Chevalier – Avec Plasir, Ruia Stud) showed good fighting qualities to score her maiden victory and justified the huge support she received. Showgun had led them into the straight and was galloping at a good clip, while Adeline had to cover ground from third to challenge the leader. The duo battled hard in the straight and Showgun too held Adeline stubbornly all the way into the final furlong. Jockey PS Chouhan had to dig deep to get past Showgun and he managed to do that in the closing stages to win by half a length. Showgun was gallant in defeat and stretched the winner.

The first race of the day saw the hot favorite Caielin behave restless at the gates. The on-money favourite never got going thereafter and ran a listless race. Flight of Phoenix showed good early speed to lead them well into the straight. Once in, El Tycoon, who was not too far behind, improved nicely to shoot past the leader. Once ahead, El Tycoon finished on stronger and drew away from them all. Milwalkee ended second while Golden Eclipse improved considerably to finish in the money.

For the professionals, Yash Narredu scored a treble, while jockeys S Zervan and J Chinoy scored a double each.