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By Mahendra Mallya | 15 Oct 2016 | PUNE

Mr Vijay B Shirke, Mr K N Dhunjibhoy & trainer B Prakash leading Severus (A Sandesh Up), winner of The Suresh Mahindra Trophy

The Suresh Mahindra Trophy, the longest race in the country over 3200m, is a gruelling test of stamina and Severus (Cockney Rebel – Love Emerald, Nanoli Stud) put up a terrific show not only to win, but also chip off split seconds to create his own record for the best timing of 3:33:14.

Jigsaw led for most of the journey and surrendered the lead to Square Moon at the turn. Severus, trained by B Prakash, had traced well off the pace in the last position. Jockey Sandesh gradually improved positions and once into the straight, he did take long to produce the prime fancy alongside Square Moon. Severus showed that he had oodles of stamina by surging past Square Moon zestfully to account for Square Moon and Rodeo the latter too doing well in cutting down the margin. Although the winning margin was not too great, Severus looked the stand out in the final furlong.

Sandesh had a good day as he had earlier scored twice, finishing off the day with a treble. He first partnered M Narredu trained Frivolous (Misremembered – Christmas Fever, Hazara Stud) to a hard-fought victory with the other top fancy Mrs Patmore. Brazos took early charge with Mrs Patmore in second, Frivolous was further behind until the turn.

On turning for home, Mrs Patmore sailed smoothly in the lead but was soon joined by Frivolous. The two debutantes matched strides and were battling out the final furlong. With both runners enjoying equal support the excitement rose to feverish pitch. Frivolous looked stronger in the final few strides to score a memorable debut win by a long neck in a gripping finish.

Sandesh also piloted Rehanullah Khan’s Champagne (Arazan – Chantale, Poonawalla Stud) to a surprisingly easy win beating favourite Sparkling Eyes convincingly. Poised in a striking position right through, Champagne moved up from the third spot to take charge soon on turning for home. The filly sailed ahead early in the straight and drew away to snuff out the opposition. Sparkling Eyes kicked on to take the runner up spot ahead of Vision of Romance who had led all the way from the start.

Magnificence (Arazan – Burning Fire, Exhilaration Stud) kept a clean slate this season returning victorious in all three starts. Bullrun tried the runaway tactics shooting off ahead at the turn. He had a handy lead once into the straight, but just could not capitalise on it. Magnificence, ridden by Neeraj Rawal, strode aggressively in the final furlong to win with a good measure of comfort.

Rainbow Dash did all the good work but faltered in her finish and caved in under the final assault coming from Country Music in the closing stages. S Mangalore trained Country Music (Roi Maudit – Essence, Country Stud) obviously had sharpened up after his ‘rough’ debut run, where he had been knocked badly at the start. He rose to the occasion with a fiery gallop at the business end to record his maiden win in good style.

Rainbow Dash grabbed the lead and was galloping well coming into the straight and even shaped like a winner midway in the straight. Country Music made his bid from the outside and started to warm up approaching the distance post. He accelerated powerfully in the last 100 meters and surged ahead past the stands to peg back Rainbow Dash and win by a long neck. Royal Eclair too did well to finish in the money.

Shape the Scape (Ontario – Spirit of Chester, Sohna Stud) came good this time after losing out narrowly in his last run. Entrusted to apprentice SA Amit, Shape the Scape bided her time and Amit chose the right moment to push her between horses and take the lead soon on entering the homestretch.

Shape the Scape galloped away to build a handy lead and looked good to keep her rivals at bay. The Mansoor Shah ward was backed to win and she thrilled her supporters to emerge victorious by over two lengths. Samurai, who has been running frequently, kicked on to take the second spot, while Majestic Honey, who had a sluggish start, recovered well to take the place money.

Anvill Star (Rebuttal – Kabubina, Hazara Stud) had the most number of backers and the odds dwindled with every passing minute. The Altamash Ahmed trainee duly obliged and won handsomely with a forceful finish under the charge of jockey YS Srinath.

Shaoquing led them into the straight and then bowed out. It was later announced that she bled. Adeline surged ahead to take the lead while Anvill Star switched lanes for clear passage and made his bid from the wider outside. Anvill Star caught up with Adeline past the distance post and after a brief tussle for the upper hand, Anvill Star zipped ahead to beat Adeline to second. Kodiac Queen ended in the money.

Glorious Hymn stayed in the lead right from the start and went agonisingly close to score a much needed win, only to give it away in the last couple of strides. Coley was the one who surfaced from the third spot to put in a strong finish and spoil the party for the runner up. Coley (Ace – Rhama, Poona Stud) ridden out by apprentice R Ajinkya, inched closer to Glorious Hymn in the final furlong and timed his run perfectly to get to the front and win close home. Sir Song did well to finish third ahead of Secret Flame.

For the professionals, jockey A Sandesh was he lone pro to sign off with a fine treble.