- india's first & foremost horse racing portal


By mahendra mallya | 16 Oct 2016 | PUNE

Mr Zeyn Mirza leading Accolade (P Trevor Up), winner of The Kingfisher Ultra Pune Derby (Gr.1)

The Kingfisher ULTRA Pune Derby (Gr1) 2016 had all the ingredients for a thrilling race. Accolade, the prime favourite for the race emerged victorious but not without a tinge of drama. Accolade put paid to the apprehensions of his gate manners and this time entered the starting stalls without fuss and the crowd heaved a sigh of relief. He was out quickly too and led for a brief while before letting Vulcan take over the running.

The field of 11 runners went about the journey smoothly in a closely huddled bunch with Unforgettable You at the tail end of the field.

Accolade (Burden of Proof – Alnasreya, Kunigal Stud) made his move soon on turning for home and easily got alongside Vulcan and looked clearly superior to the leader as he started to surge past Vulcan. However, in doing so, there was slight bit of skirmish and Vulcan unfortunately stumbled, dislodging his jockey Kavraj Singh. Unforgettable You, who was seen progressing smoothly along the rails, had to check her flow while avoiding the fallen jockey and had to abort her flowing gallop. Germanicus and Namid were on the outside and they finished on close together, Germanicus beating Namid for the runner-up slot.

A Stewards enquiry was called for and after viewing the race several times and after due deliberations, the stewards decided to let the judge’s placing remain unchanged.

Accolade was the pre-race favourite to win the Kingfisher ULTRA Pune Derby and he lived up to the expectations with a fine display of speed and stamina. He literally outclassed the opposition to win the most prestigious race of the season. The manner of Accolade’s victory does suggest that he will be right in the reckoning in the Indian Classics to follow during the forthcoming Mumbai season.

Gold Bag (Sedgefield – Blue Jay, Jai Govind Stud) who had lined up a streak of six victories on the trot, four of which had come on the Pune track last season, pulled off an upset win to stay unbeaten on her favourite Pune track. She was up against some real big names from the ‘sprint community’ but she handled the pressure and the challenge commendably to hold her own to win from the ever imposing threat from Dancing Prances.  

Gold Bag led soon on settling down with Dancing Prances, Adam, Congressional and Critic’s Choice galloping after the leader. Adam didn’t quiet settled down in the early part and was seen fighting for his head a tad too long. It was Gold Bag however, who galloped on gamely right through with jockey Dashrath Singh also gritty and right up to the task. Dancing Prances was looming large and got alongside to challenge Gold Bag in the final furlong, but the Adhirajsingh Jodha trained filly would never give up and she smothered Dancing Prances to carve out a narrow win.

Yanna Rascala (Alfred Nobel – Lunar Love) worked hard to earn his maiden win and had to dig deep to down favourite Cyclone for the honours. Cyclone shaped well coming into the straight with a handy lead, Yanna Rascala improved positions to be in striking second on straightening up, but still had to cover some ground to get to Cyclone. Jockey Trevor had to use all his skill to get Yanna Rascala produce his best and the Shroff ward picked up speed in the final furlong to break the resistance of Cyclone and surge forward to win the Division I of the Jimmy Umrigar Trophy.

Furious N Fast (Top Class – Hava Nagila) won the lower division of the race with jockey YS Srinath showing plenty of patience and skill to surface at the right time to go for the kill at the business end. Thunder Down Under brought them into the straight with Trevelyan in chase; Firenze was up next while Furious N Fast slipped in from the inner rails. Thunder Down Under shook off Trevelyan but had Furious N Fast coming at him from the inside. The pair battled out the homestretch and in the final finish, Nirad Kranjawalla trained Furious N Fast stretched away to score a decisive victory.

Hidden soul (Phoenix Tower – Sail By Roos, Manjri Stud) trained by veteran trainer SS Shah had the final say in a closely fought finish to clinch the Sir Sultan Chinoy Trophy, a class II affair over 1000m. Don Corleone had dashed ahead to build a handy lead coming into the straight with Shivalik Shine forcing the issue in the early half of the straight. Hidden Soul started to inch closer to the fighting pair in front after switching lanes and gained considerable ground in the final furlong. Jockey A Sandesh got the best out of Hidden Soul when it mattered most and arrived with a strong and timely finish to pip Shivalik Shine on the post.

Merabella (Desert Style – Darayka, Hazara Stud) from trainer Faisal Abbas’ yard has been consistent and had figured on the frame in all her previous six starts. She notched up her second career win with a fine effort this time to clinch the Pune Police Commissioner’s Trophy warding off a stiff challenge from the late finishing Silver Beauty.

Seacrets led them into the straight and soon Merabella picked up momentum to surge into the lead. Silver Beauty came at Merabella in the final 100 m but jockey A Sandesh was up to the task and rode out Merabella all the way to thwart the challenge posed by Silver Beauty to head the wire in time.

Palatial (Pivotal – Pink Palace, Bhaktawar Stud) pocketed the IGCC Trophy with a terrific stretch-run without encountering any resistance. He moved up from the mid bunch to be in striking position at the turn. Long time leader Imitation Game faded out after guiding them into the straight and before June could take off for the lead, Palatial arrived with a booming gallop to stride past them all and streak away from the bunch. Palatial with Neeraj Rawal in the saddle, strode out fluently to draw away from his opponents with every stride compiling an impressive victory the second of his career, his first on the Pune track. Savage Beauty ran on to take the second spot ahead of June.

Dancing Prince (Ace – Dancing Greens, Poonawalla Stud) showed a lot og grip and gumption to down Carralisa in a close finish and win the lower division of the Vinayak Trophy. Speedo led them into the straight with Dancing Prince and Carralisa coming at Speedo from either side. Speedo offered brave resistance all the way, however, Dancing Prince, trained by M Narredu and ridden by Suraj got stronger at the finish to win from Carralisa and Speedo.

The upper division of the above race was a real humdinger! Quixotic shot out of the gates to led the field homewards. Quixotic galloped on but had Minstrel Heights (Rebuttal – Maripasoula, Hazara Stud) gaining ground. The pair was stuck together through the final furlong and the bob of the head decided the issue in Minstrel height’s favour. The Karthik trainee was well-ridden by PS Chouhan who rode out the gelding and wore down the runner up.

For the professionals, trainer Pesi Shroff saddled a double, while jockeys A Sandesh and P Trevor scored a double each.