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By Mahendra Mallya | 22 Oct 2016 | PUNE

Mr Sarosh Modi & trainer P Shroff leading Costa Del Sol (Suraj Narredu Up), winner of The Aquaguard Championship R.W.I.T.C. Ltd Gold Cup (Gr.2)

Costa Del Sol did it for his master Pesi Shroff by not only winning the last day’s feature the Aquaguard Championship RWITC Ltd Gold Cup (Gr2), but also handing Shroff the ‘Champion Trainer’ title for Pune 2016.

Costa Del Sol (Phoenix Tower – Shinning Glory, Manjri Stud) has always been a tough competitor and this time too he bang on target, jostling his way out of trouble when it matter most. The Unicorn sailed into the lead, free-wheeling lengths ahead as he has done so often and led until into the straight.

 B Fifty Two stepped up the pace and soon got alongside the leader. Azzurro and Costa Del Sol were right up next with Costa Del Sol finding himself right behind the pair in front. Jockey Suraj Narredu sort of created a tiny passage and squeezed into the gap jostling with Azzurro in the process. Once he wriggled through, Costa Del Sol put in a strong finish to get past the fighting duo in front and take charge. Azzurro came at him at a fast clip but by then Costa Del Sol had taken firm command and let the momentum see him through past the winning post. Azzurro ended a close second ahead of B Fifty Two. A mention of the fast finishing Jack Frost is not out of turn and he did well to finish in the judge’s frame and not too far from the winner.

The above race was presided by the Tattersalls Million for two-year-olds. SK Sunderji trained Elysee (Phoenix Tower – Java Bleue, Manjri Stud) moved like a well-oiled machine to create a flutter, upsetting hot favourite Sweet Music.

Setting off nicely from the gates, Elysee with Neeraj Rawal in the saddle, set about in chase of God’s Own until into the straight. Sweet Music was right up next and when they turned for home, Sweet Music had to wait a while as he found himself tangled between God’s Own and Elysee and that perhaps did him in. Elysee seized the chance and shot ahead with a furlong to go and even when Sweet Music came through, Elysee galloped away to score on debut.

Harvey (Arazan – Only for Gold, Villoo’s Greenfield Farm) dished out a clinical run to bag the Delhi Race Club Trophy for top class horses. At the start, Deep Diver rushed ahead to lead them with Nascar and Supreme Regime in tow, Harvey settled in third alongside Merchantofvenice, followed by Renee and Mountbatten.  

Deep Diver surged ahead in the straight but was soon collared by Harvey. The pair fought a few strides before Harvey sprang forward to account for Deep Diver. Renee left it a shade too late and even was seen drifting out, and when she finally focused on the task, she covered considerable ground. Harvey, by then, had it all sewn up and held on to win by a length.

MK Jadhav trained Star One (Stern Opinion – Moselle, Hazara Stud) took advantage of the inside draw to carve out a neat start-to-finish victory. Jockey Sandesh rode her out confidently with Power Shadow, Ladilaus, Cold Play close behind, Country Music and Hedwig were a couple of lengths further behind as they turned for home.

Star One continued his good work on turning for home and increased the momentum and built a handy lead. Power Shadow tried hard to catch up but was going nowhere; neither was Ladislaus making an impact. Country Music accelerated and arrived on the outside, but they were all in futile chase as Sandesh rode Star One out all the way past the post and clinched the Shamu Chavan Trophy Div I with a measure of comfort.   

Mt Tianmen (Sedgefield – Totally Stormin, Jai Govind Stud) showed commendable alacrity to storm ahead coming into the straight. Hot favourite Honey Dew and Mt Tianmen were matching strides from the gates and both were clear of the rest.

On turning for home, Honey Dew faded out and offered no resistance as Mt Tianmen darted to open up a huge lead. Mt Tianmen, trained by Magan Singh Jodha, was all alone in front coming into the final furlong. Apprentice Prabat Singh kept pushing, however, Mt Tianmen was shortening his strides closer to the finish which allowed Time of My Life and Isinit to cut down the margin of victory to just about a length.

Rising Brave (Ace – Palazzio, Exhilaration Stud) rose to the occasion and earned his maiden victory showing plenty of fighting quality along with speed to match. He got past Firebolt to lead the field and soon had Sherlock on his tail at the turn.

Into the straight, Rising Brave, trained by Rehanullah Khan stepped up the pace and was a couple of lengths in front of Sherlock. House of Commons moved to third but just did not quicken. Rising Brave felt the heat in the final furlong when Sherlock started to warm up and drew closer with each stride. Jockey S Mosin aboard Rising Brave gave his all to ensure there was no last stride disappointment and held his ground to carve out a narrow win from the fast finishing Sherlock. House of Commons failed for the second time, but he was not too far away. Golden Eclipse did well to improve from the rear and take a spot in the frame. The Mumbai straight would suit her better.

Brabourne (Phoenix Tower – Balimaya, Manjri Stud) scored her maiden win showing good improvement over his debut run. She settled nicely in third as Be Bold led the field with Lippe in second. Brabourne made rapid progress along the home turn and went past Be Bold with a stead gallop. Jockey Suraj Narredu propelled the Imtiaz Sait filly ahead and edged further ahead to shape up well for the finish. Meanwhile, His Master’s Vice started to bridge the gap rapidly but did not have enough ground to topple Brabourne. He finished well and ended on Brabourne’s tail to finish a good second. Domination raced far too back al through and ended a tame third.   

Victorio (Alnasr Alwasheek – Wow the Critics, Capricorn Stud) proved that his last win was no fluke as he galloped gamely from the gates to stay ahead of them all the way home. At the turn, Victorio was slightly ahead with Free Speech, Vision of Romance and Charging Tigress all within proximity. However, Victorio raced ahead on straightening up and kept galloping steadily. While Vision of Romance fell back, Charging Tigress was making progress. She stepped it up a shade too late as she finished on fastest giving a scare to Victorio. The winning post came to the rescue of the winner as a stride more would have seen a different result. Free Speech did well to finish in the money.

Undisputed (Varenar – Gold Bar, Equus Stud) spoilt the party for Abbey who until beaten looked the winner. Abbey led them into the straight with Undisputed and Art Deco close behind. Abbey galloped on well to be in firm command approaching the distance post. Undisputed started to warm up and was gaining on the leader. With Abbey not giving up, a fight ensued with the pair going all out, stride for stride. Undisputed brought out that extra bit to down Abbey in the last couple of strides to win by a neck. Art Deco ended a far away third.

Diablo (KIngda Ka – Phoenix Rising, Nanoli Stud) won the first race of the afternoon with ease. Sitting well up in second behind Avakraz, Diablo, with Zervan in the saddle, moved up confidently past the 800 m marker to take charge early. He stole a march soon and was all alone in front coming into the straight. The Hosidar Daji trainee galloped on relentlessly to shut the door on his rivals long way from home. He march on to win handsomely letting the others fight for the minor placing. Windhoek wrested the second slot from Morag.

Mr Vivek Jain and Mr Gulam Vahanvaty Chairmen of the RWITC and the Stewards of the Club respectively, did the presentation honours to the Season’s Champions.

Champion Owners - Dr Vijay Mallya’s United Breeders & Bloodstock Ltd

Champion Trainer – Pesi Shroff

Champion Jockey – A Sandesh

Champion Apprentice Jockey – SA Amit

Champion Jockey claiming Allowance – DS Daman

Champion Stud Farm – Nanoli Stud Farm

Champion Bookmaker Mumbai – Banarasidas

Champion Bookmaker Pune – Latif Associates