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By Mahendra Mallya | 08 Oct 2016 | PUNE

Trainer B Prakash leading Merchantofvenice (A Sandesh Up), winner of The Fourth Estate Trophy

The glorious uncertainties of racing came to the fore at Saturday’s  ten-race card as fancied horses barring a few fell by the side and followers of favourites took body-blows one too many. The biggest upset came in the Fourth Estate Trophy when Trevor ridden on-money favourite Intelligence shaped up well coming into the straight only to be floored by a late charge from least fancied Merchantofvenice, the winner scoring his first win over the seven furlong distance.

Coming from a fashionable victory, Intelligence settled in second as Zandar dashed off to the front. Even a jockey of Sandesh’s calibre could not control the outward drift as Zandar started veering out passing the 1000 m marker and blew away his chances. Intelligence shot ahead at the turn and with both his main challengers not looking threatening, Intelligence was being prematurely hailed by the supportive crowd. Merchantofvenice covered a lot of deficit and was speeding past Staristocrat and Remember Me with a furlong still to go.  Trevor normally considered safe once in command, just could not add the finishing touches and Intelligence suffered a shock defeat as Merchantofvenice propelled by Kishore Kadam got the measure of the favourite and celebrated his conquest as he zipped past the winning post, beating Intelligence by ¾ L. B Prakash trained Merchantofvenice (Glory of Dancer – Maquillage, Nanoli Stud) has been consistent in his last couple of runs, nevertheless, his victory over 1400 m came as a surprise to the followers of form.

Trevor had a mixed day as he failed to collar another long-shot in Lucas (Phoenix Tower – Trinity Joy, Manjri Stud) a race earlier. Lucas shot into the lead with Frisky Whiskey in tow, but Honey Due quickly moved up to sit on the tail of the leader. Odessa was caught wide with, Brothersofthewind,  Sporto and Tomahawk alongside.

Into the straight, Lucas kicked on gamely and while Honey Dew did manage to get alongside Lucas, she did not accelerate well enough to provide the final thrust. Lucas pulled away in the final 100 to win comfortably. Odessa too failed to quicken and finished a tame third, well ahead of Sporto.

Trevor finished the day on a higher note scoring off two in the latter half of the card. He partnered Espada (Noverre – Ashka, Sohna Stud) to a facile victory to win back the crowd’s cheering. Carralisa got past Espada to lead the field with Caielin, Flashy Wings and Pristina crowding close behind.

Carralisa led them into the straight and soon Espada arrived with a big gallop. The Mansoor Shah ward charged ahead and sped away from the rest to score emphatically. It was all over from the moment Trevor unleashed Espada, who lived up to the promise he had shown in his last start. Trainer Mansoor Shah yet again showed that his strong nominations come off without anxiety and with commendable consistency. Carralisa ran on to finish second and Pristina did well to nose out Caielin for place money.

The Mansoor-Trevor pair combined to win the last race of the day with Cicitalia (Noverre – Strange Destiny, Sohna Stud) at nourishing odds. Trevor did well to come off the wide draw and sit second behind Speed of Sound, Ladislaus was right up with them with Queen Credible moving along the rails.

Speed of Sound led them in but soon Cicitalia charged in with a fluent gallop to surge ahead. Queen Credible tried to forge through the gap between horses but did not quicken. Cicitalia stormed ahead leaving the others to chase him down. Clearly no one did or could, however, a jockey of Sandesh’s reputation as one of the best jockeys currently, could have been more forceful to fight on until the finish. Lord Arazan finished on crisply as did Piece Arrow to snatch the place money, both managing to peg back Queen Credible in a close finish for the minor placing.  

Jeannine (Rebuttal – Ridawana, Hazara Stud) showed a clean pair of heels and scored a very convincing and pleasing victory to bag the Pegasus Trophy in style. The Faisal Abbas ward settled in second behind Ceasars Star all the way into the straight. She then shifted gears and stormed ahead to open up a good lead and galloped on to finish the task at hand in a fashionable manner. Traherne ran on to finish second without threatening the winner. Few Dollars More improved position to finish third.

London (Phoenix Tower – Fair Always, Manjri Stud) put in a forceful run at the finish to secure his second win in two outings and keep a clean slate. He showed no sign of rustiness on his layoff and settled well in the front bunch led by Pink Panther, along with Safdar and Stand And Dance.

Into the straight, Pink Panther was quickly accounted for as Stand And Dance sped past him to grab the lead. London moved up nicely between horses and soon started to inch closer to the leader. Jockey Suraj Narredu went all out after Stand And Dance and London quickened in the final furlong. He moved in with a flash to dash past Stand And Dance, but also veered inwards there by bumping Stand And Dance before speeding off to win by just under a length. Kavraj Singh, the jockey of Stand And Dance lodged an objection but the Stewards were not convinced that the tackle close home would in any way have affected his chances as London was clearly the fastest moving horse. The objection was rightly overruled and the placing remained unchanged.

Irises (China Visit – Artwork, Usha Stud) pulled off a neat start-to-finish victory to make it a memorable debut. The Adhirajsingh trained filly, jumped out quickly to lead a closely knitted pack with Crystal Ball, Synchronicity, Normandy and Star Comrade close behind. Drogo was next but some lengths away.

On turning for home, Irises stepped up her pace and although Star Comrade came at her at one point she did not budge and kicked on to even draw away in the final few strides and score a comfortable victory. Star Comrade ended second while Drogo improved considerably to snatch the place money pushing back Normandy to fourth. Rousseau improved considerably to finish one off the frame after being tailed off last until the homestretch.

Sanam (Ace- Shalaya, Poona Stud) raised her game to finally go for the kill after going close in her last couple of runs. She jumped out well this time and strode ahead once into the homestretch. She galloped on gamely to add distance between herself and her opponents and looked the winner long way from home. Diablo finished a far away second, while Argonautica managed to pip Ritz and Aeolus Maximus for the third place.

Isinit lost her chances owing to a rough start as she was pushed around by Rachel at the jump. She travelled wide all through and that did not help her cause either. Rachel put in a spirited run in the straight and held the edge until Narendra Lagad’s Rising Concert (Mr Mellon – Cats Concert, Ruia Stud) slipped in and stole the race close home. Objections were lodged against Rachel, however, after long deliberations the stewards overruled the same and the judge’s placing were unchanged.

Padmakosa (Mr Mellon – Cape Vaticano, Ruia Stud) pulled off a clinical victory under the capable hands of TS Jodha. The Subhag Singh ward was fluent in his finish and won drawing away. Generous Lady did raise a hope when she headed Padmakosa briefly, but then petered out to cave in under pressure. Seacaucus improved to take the runner up berth.

For the professionals, trainers Mansoor Shah and B Prakash saddled a double each, while jockey P Trevor scored a double.