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By Mahendra Mallya | 27 Aug 2017 | PUNE

Rochester (CS Jodha Up), winner of FD Wadia Trophy (Gr3)

Trainer SK Sunderji schooled Rochester (Phoenix Tower – Krasnaya, Manjri Stud) go to his best to notch up his maiden victory while winning the prestigious FD Wadia Trophy (Gr3) a seven-furlong affair for three-year-olds. Rochester had been consistent through his budding career and this run undoubtedly has been his best so far.  

Kramer and Glyndebourne rolled them into the straight travelling at a good clip. Glyndebourne eased into the lead soon after but had Summer Rays and Rochester ready with their challenge. Rochester, piloted by jockey CS Jodha produced a powerful thrust to knock them down and his sizzling finish was too good for the rest. Rochester stretched away with ease and won by a decent margin, Jodha even easing the colt up in the last couple of strides. Summer Rays edged out Glyndebourne for the runner-up berth.

The other feature of the day, the Panchshil Million was a well-fought finish between New England and Bottega Louie. Pink Panther, Judicious and Vision of romance were up in front with Bottega Louie close behind them. New England had settled well not too far away but made good progress at the curve to be in striking position for the final assault.

Bottega Louie shot through between horses to go into the lead early in the straight. New England arrived with a big gallop from the outside to challenge the new leader. The duo fought through the final furlong with Trevor-ridden New England looking the better of the two all through. New England eventually finished on with that extra thrust in the final 50 or so and pulled away from Bottega Louie to pocket the Panchshil Million in style. This was New England’s third win on the trot having signed off with back-to-back wins at Mumbai.  Eternalinspiration ran on to end in the place money, while Texas Gold, who was at the rear at the turn did well to figure in the judge’s frame.

Mygrator (Excellent Art – Haunting Memories, Exhilaration Stud) provided an encore, this time with a lot more power over a shorter scurry. My Blessings was all charged up and unleashed a fiery gallop to lead them into the straight. Mygrator had to improve positions and jockey PS Chouhan eased the M Narredu ward into the straight steering clear of the bunch.

My Blessings was still going strong when Chouhan opened throttle on Mygrator. Within a couple of strides Mygrator caught up with My Blessing, encountered a game challenge from the latter and then surged ahead to win impressively. Rock In Rio who had been one of the front runners, held on to place money. Crystal Ball finished on well for a spot in the frame.

Shamwari (Excellent Art – Rosalind, Astonish Stud) was another to claim a second win this season. Sitting in fourth position behind leader Philadelphia, Ame and Alyaties until the turn, Shamwari showed a clean pair of heels in the straight. Philadelphia and Ame were involved in a tussle for the lead when Shamwari, ridden confidently by apprentice jockey Zeeshan, started to warm up. The Vishal Gaikwad ward soon picked up speed and sailed past them all to score a runaway win, looking good for yet another win going by the impressive manner of her victory. Ame edged out Philadelphia for the second slot.   

Comic Timing (Dancing Forever – Tamoshanta, Hazara Stud) produced a sooth fluent gallop to win the day’s opener leading from the start all the way to the wire, without encountering any threat. She had the favourite Star of Harmony on her haunches as they turned for home, however, when jockey Neeraj Rawal urged her on, she accelerated nicely to stay well ahead to compile a second win for the season displaying far superior fitness than she did on her last start win. Star of Harmony pulled every trick in the bag, yet could only emerge second best, finishing just ahead of Brabourne.

Aspen (Royal Gladiator – Quiet Fancy, Pratap Stud) trained by Zadmal Singh, proved fittest in the field as she languished in the rear for most of the 2400m journey to wake up in the straight and blow the field away.

Art O War set a decent pace from the start and built a huge lead early on with Othello surprisingly opting to chase the winner carrying the top weight. Respect was a good seven lengths behind in third with Aspen at the tail end of the field.

Othello kept pushing closer to the tiring leader with about 800 still to go which perhaps had him spent at the business end. Ritz gathered momentum and made a dash for it, then arrived Aspen with a flourish to zip past them and score a very impressive victory in the hands of jockey Bhawani Singh. Koal put up a good run as well to beat Ritz for the second.

Ladislaus (Varenar – Govette, Equus Stud) improved on his last start showing a lot of speed initially and then capitalising on his all round good effort from the start. He kept a good momentum going and that was too hot for his rivals to handle. He looked in command in the homestretch and even though Governor General did look potent at one stage, Ladislaus never looked in any danger. Jockey A Imran Khan, who has struck good form this season, carried on all the way to snuff out possible threats and romp home in style. Turf Dancer ended a good second ahead of Governor General.

Bunting (Intense Focus – Misteireach, Nanoli Stud) carved out her maiden victory with a relentless effort and scampered home to win by a narrow margin. She took charge early in the straight and Sandesh got her going to speed away from the rest. Favourite Take Five was never in a good position from the start and jockey Yash Narredu was desperately looking for gaps even as they entered the straight.

Bunting had a sizable leeway in the straight and when Take Five got the clear run it was a tad too late. Take Five however arrived with a scorching run and covered considerable ground at a good clip only to fall narrowly in the end.

Trainer AM Jadhav’s Samurai (Black Cash – Pinotage, Equus Stud) showed a lot of spunk n grit to shake off his challengers and hold his ground over the mile trip. He entered the straight with a handy lead and galloped persistently to hold on to the advantage. Harmony was ridden all out to try and collar Samurai. Divine Angel too was shaping up well, however, Samurai, with apprentice Jai Kumar in the saddle, showed great determination to stay ahead and score a gritty victory.

For the professionals, trainer SK Sunderji saddled a double.