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By Mahendra Mallya | 28 Aug 2016 | PUNE

Mr Berjis Minoo Desai & Mr S M Ruia leading Temerity (Neeraj Rawal Up), winner of The F. D. Wadia Trophy (Gr.3)

The two graded races slated for the day saw contrasting victories. While Temerity put in a determined effort and fought her way to a close three-way-finish, Colombiana hampered his opponents to emerge a clear winner, without encountering any challenge.

Temerity (Intense Force – Narmina, Capricorn Stud) was second in demand after In My Dream was installed the first favorite.  Good Thing made all the early running with Temerity in second who had Snow Crystal tagging alongside, In My Dream and Eternal Sunshine kept each other company in the rear.

The race picked up momentum soon after they turned for home. Temerity got past Good Thing and soon had Eternal Sunshine challenging her from the inside. In My Dream started to join these two and with a furlong to go, the three were abreast and the race looked anybody’s for the taking.

Eternal Sunshine seemed to have a slender advantage as she headed Temerity briefly. In My Dream also was making a strong bid and had gotten abreast with her two rivals. However, jockey Neeraj Rawal got that little extra bit out of the Shroff trainee and surged between the two challengers to win the FD Wadia (Gr3) by half a length. Eternal Sunshine fought bravely to pip In My Dream for the runner up berth. Temerity won well in the end, Eternal Sunshine and In My Dream fought hard and both have scope to do better in the near future.

Colombiana (Noverre – Wonder Smile, Sohna Stud) was expected to win the Armed Forces Trophy (Gr3) and he did so with aplomb. The Malesh Narredu trained colt settled down nicely as Kandinsky shot ahead passing Zachary to lead the field of eight runners. Persian Prince raced up with the front bunch with Apache among the top three. Colombiana was next with Jefferson, Melinda and slow started Jack Frost behind him.

Persian Prince fell back alarmingly as did Zachary. When Colombiana arrived with yash in the addle, there was no resistance from any quarter. He just strode out majestically and scored one of his esiest win ever. He romped home in style with complete authority and landed the Air Force Trophy in a commendable fashion. Jefferson improved to end a far away second.

The Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw Memorial Trophy Div I saw prime fancy Critics Choice put up a smooth show and post a facile victory her longish layoff notwithstanding. She obviously has some niggle going by her solitary appearance each season and many were apprehensive about waging on the Hosidar Daji trainee. Perhaps that was the reason the odds went up at race time but those who persisted with the filly reaped rich rewards.

Critics Choice seemed a picture of fitness as she ambled off the gates and gradually improved positions to be in striking position at the turn. Stardom Calling led them all the way into the straight and hurriedly charged further ahead. But before he could even toy with an idea of victory, Critics Choice arrived with a fluent gallop and simply strode past Stardom Calling to register her third straight win a rare hat-trick spread over three different seasons. Stardom Calling found one better but his effort was a good one. Squash who had finished off the Mumbai season rattling off three wins on the trot, ended in the money.

The lower division of the race was claimed by lesser fancied Hidden Soul (Phoenix Tower – Sail By Roos, Manjri Stud) with ease. Favourite Sparkling Eyes started off well, and even led them into the straight. However she failed to quicken and fell back disappointingly. Frankest put in a spirited run and he was the first to down Sparkling Eyes. But as he made a bold bid to capitalize his good gallop further, Hidden Soul arrived with a big run to get past Frankest and score a convincing victory.

The Col Kaikhushroo Maneckji Bharucha Memorial Trophy was professed as a two-way battle between Art Deco and Greek Godess, both emerging fluent winners in their previous runs. However, Greek Goddess had the edge not only with a better timing but also having the services of a five-kilo claimer Zeeshan on board. Greek Goddess drove home the advantage to the hilt.

Both Art Deco and Greek Goddess jumped out smartly showing good early speed, with Espada also putting up a spirited run. At the turn, Espada sped ahead and Art Deco started to feel the burden of the heavy weight he was carrying. Greek Goddess moved up for her final effort but found Espada resisting longer than expected. The inevitable finally dawned in the final 100 meters and Greek Goddess bounded ahead to score an impressive victory. Art Deco’s run is best ignored as it is learnt, that his saddle slipped and Joy Chinoy could ride out. Vishal Gaikwad trained Greek Goddess once again clocked quick timing and she sure is blessed with dazzling speed.

Vishal Gaikwad had struck in the previous race with Imitation Game (Whatsthescript – Edessya, Nanoli Stud) and enjoyed a back-to-back double.  Imitation Game was sent on a brave start to finish mission and she relished the trip showing no signs of finding the 2400 m distance tough to handle. She galloped merrily out in front maintaining a healthy lead right from the start. Once into the straight, jockey NS Parmar only guided the filly who galloped on like a machine without tiring out. She in fact bounded forward and won with something in the saddle and steered clear of the rest. June ran a good second well ahead of the late finishing Sanam.

Bounty Queen (Bahamian Bounty – Evening Tale, Jai Govind Stud) showed considerable improvement while galloping to her maiden victory on her first essay at Pune. She was up with leader Gregorian Chants with the rest following in a packed bunch. Tchibouela was off slowly and that hampered her chances badly.

Bounty Queen surged ahed early in the straight and galloped on gamely. Favourite Devine Magic lost the plot early on, finding himself in the second last position. He made gradual progress and also gained ground in the straight, but had to too much to do in the straight, ending a notable second. Tomahawk kicked on well to take the place money.

Artistic (Mull of Kintyre – Shanely, Sohna Stud) sprung a surprise as she easily warded off the late bid from favourite Angel Girl. Sitting second behind leader Aragon, Artistic shot ahead in the homestretch and showing a lot of speed and stayed at the helm all the way to the winning post. Angel Girl was caought wide at the turn and although Trevor rode out the filly, he could only cut the margin of victory as Artistic held on to win the first race of the day.

Dibaba (Ravel – Benfica, Chhatari Stud) was backed with conviction at race time and she did not let her followers down. Sitting in third behind leader Wildhorn and Samurai, Dibaba warmed up entering the straight and soon took charge. Samurai fought bravely and stuck by Dibaba for a few strides but eventually, Dibaba raced ahead to score with a measure of comfort. Sir Song did extremely well to cover a lot of ground late and improve positions to run a good second, beating Samurai to third.

For the professionals, trainer Vishal Gaiwad was the lone trainer to saddle a double; jockeys  A Sandesh and Yash Narredu scored a double each.