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By Mahendra Mallya | 21 Aug 2016 | PUNE

Magnificence (Neeraj Rawal Up), winner of The Panchshil Million

Top weight Magnificence (Arazan – Burning Fire, Exhilaration Stud) scored a stylish win to clinch the feature event, the Panchshil Million and made it look dramatic as he was off slowly from the gates.

Out in front, Magical Memory and Arakawa were in the lead, with Pink Panther close behind on the fence. Queen Credible was also slowly off but made rapid progress to be a close fourth approaching the turn.

Entering the straight, Magical Memory shook off Arakawa with ease and when she had just taken charge, Magnificence arrived with a thundering gallop that completely floored the leader. Magnificence strode out majestically and looked the winner the moment he arrived on the scene. The SK Sunderji trainee never looked in danger as jockey Neeraj Rawal rode out confidently to reap rich rewards for an extraordinary effort. Exodus produced a late flourish and came very close to the winner in the dying moments of the race, his late effort failed to nail the winner, but was enough to gain him the second spot ahead of Pink Panther who was in with the chance all through the straight.

Trainer Pesi Shroff secured a popular double with both his horses being on-money favourites. Costa Smeralda (Uncle Mo – Karakorum Splendor, Manjri Stud), who had finished runner up on both her debut and her subsequent run in Mumbai, secured her maiden victory with a classy effort. She settled back nicely in second after Volantis chose to get past her and dictate the pace. Covert Action progressed to be second at the turn but then faded away as quickly. Eiger’s Tiger moved up and started stepping on it while taking the final bend.

Costa Smeralda coasted into the lead past Volantis with Eiger’s Tiger getting closer to Volantis and not Costa Smeralda. The Shroff ward galloped on gamely to draw away leaving the other two to fight for the second slot. Costa Smeralda, ridden by jockey Suraj Narredu, won without being extended and should progress well from here. Volantis fought Eiger’s Tiger off to wrest the second spot.

Arlene (Multidimensional – Allaire, Usha Stud) proved too good for her rivals as she scored a thumping six-lengths victory. The only point of concern was that she drifted out alarmingly in the straight and finished brushing the outer railings. Take that out of the equation and Arlene’s maiden success was a beauty!

Never far from the front, Arlene easily cut the lead set by Shivalik Princess approaching the turn and then jockey PS Chouhan eased her into the lead. Arlene went wide as she took the turn and ended up close to the outside railings, yet had a safe distance bank against her rivals. She won easily way ahead of Mekong Delta and Flying Dragon. Miracle of Love improved well towards the end to take the fourth spot.

Nascar (Phoenix Tower – Starlit Princess, Manjri Stud) showed electric speed and booted home the weight advantage she enjoyed to the hilt. Setting off at a brisk pace, Nascar looked solid coming into the straight as even Rider on the Storm was found struggling to keep up. Merchant of Venice who was a close third, stumbled nearing the turn, the jockey Ajinkya did well to stay in the saddle thereby averting a potential disaster showing appreciable presence of mind.

Nascar got stronger in the straight and sped away from the rest to score an emphatic victory and surely looked good to add another soon. Harvey improved but ended a tame second.

Grey Flannel let down a large following while Eternalinspiration (Whtasthescript – Enaksi, Nanoli Stud) showed what a run benefit could do. The Imtiaz trained filly held the joint lead with Grey Flannel but tore away from the favourite soon on turning for home. Eternalinspiration showed excellent acceleration and piled up a huge lead to win long way from home. Grey Flannel was racing after a long layoff and may have needed the run.

Mind of Madness (Mathematician – Perfect Rhythm, Sans Craintes Stud) pulled off a steady gamble for her connections showing supreme fitness and speed to match.  She zipped out in front soon on start and played catch-me-if-you-can all the way. Marcus Aurelius tired hard to catch up but Mind of Madness was swift in her finish and she sped way ahead to find herself in any discomfiture at any stage. She won well and promises an encore as well.

Veteran trainer SS Shah saddled Hope Springs (Alnsr Alwasheek – Flying Home, Capricorn Stud) with Mosin in the saddle, booted home the advantage of a quick start and galloped aggressively throughout the race to win handsomely if you ignore his drifting outward in the straight. He was off in a flash and stretched clear of his rivals showing his intent right from the start. Although Rich N Rare was chasing him all the way and put in much harder efforts in the straight, Hope Springs remained out of reach and Rich N Rare had to be content with the runner-up slot. Blaze the Track showed some energy at the finish to peg back Amazon Cat for the third place.

For the professionals, trainers Imtiaz Sait and Pesi Shroff scored a double each.