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By Mahendra Mallya | 24 Sep 2017 | PUNE

Mr Mehernosh H Deboo leading Mathaiyus (Y S Srinath Up), winner of The Indian St. Leger (Gr.1)

Jockey YS Srinath is one of the shrewdest jockeys and Pesi Shroff arguably the most astute horseman the country has produced; when this combination is put together, success is inevitable. Strategies play a big part in most sporting events and horse racing is no different. For a race as big as the Indian St Leger discussions and ploys would have been thought out carefully by each and every participating connections. The 2800 m trip is always tricky and the plans have to be spot on. Srinath and Pesi had one such plan for Mathaiyus and they pulled it off to a nicety.

They were out of the gates and with just half a dozen in the fray, positioning was not as important as being with the pace. Srinath cleverly allowed Vulcan to go to the front and chided with Whomakestherules on his inside. They were followed by Winter Renaissance, Temerity and Captain Morgan for most part of the journey.

Srinath in a brisk move, made rapid headway with Mathaiyus and shot past Vulcan to build a huge lead of over ten lengths coming into the backstretch. The others watched him go and perhaps didn’t have a firm briefing or Plan B in place for this very occurrence. With Mathaiyus known for his immense stamina, it was more-or-less certain that he would tire in the end. True to that belief, Mathaiyus after thoughtfully been given a breather past the 1000m mark, gather momentum in the straight and romped home without dropping sweat. Winter Renaissance did herself proud by taking the runner up berth convincingly from Whomakestherules. Temerity ran inexplicably way down the field. She was sweating in the paddock but all that is after-talk.

Mathaiyus (Multidimensional – Yana, Usha Stud) proved his class and staying ability beyond doubt and the ease with which he won and breaking the track record, leaves one to speculate that he would have won any which way eventually. He was just too dominating and too strong for his rivals on the day.

New England (Arazan – Autumnal, Villoo’s Greenfield Stud) made it four in a row between Mumbai and Pune and has matured into a top class thoroughbred in a short span of time. Attempting the mile trip for the first time, he was taking on Themis among others who too had performed very well in Mumbai. Themis was the first favourite but New England too enjoyed strong support. The race panned out to be a two horse race. Bold March led into the straight but Themis soon got the better of him and just when Themis was accelerating towards the winning post, Srinath got New England going with a terrific run to surge ahead of Themis and win by just over a length. Srinath enjoyed a successful day at Pune winning both his mounts and the not-so-young jockey is winning races at various centers with commendable regularity with an appreciable strike rate.

Mygrator (Excellent Art – Haunting Memories, Poonawalla Exhilaration Stud) was another one who lined up a fine hat-trick this season. He had fought well while finishing second to the impressive Prevalent Force. He has subsequently built on that learning experience and has never looked back after securing his maiden victory in Pune.

Mygrator was taking on a bigger field this time and was packed along the rails until the turn. However, once he shook the others off and made his own passage, Mygrator bounded ahead forcefully to stretch away from the rest with ease. Arakawah ended a good second and Hedwig covered a lot of ground to finish an eye-catching third.

Elysee (Phoenix Tower – Java Bleue, Manjri Stud) was at her brilliant best and put in a scorching gallop in the homestretch to make it a no-contest once she arrived with her flourish. Touch Me Not was again out in front with her her start to finish tactics and she was looking good coming into the straight as well. However, her fight ended when Elysee arrived with a powerful run to sai past her and stretch away to win comfortably. Ridgewood Star finished on well to take the second spot.

Princess P (Phoenix Tower – Torque, Manjri Stud) opened her account in Pune with a fluent victory third time out here. She took a nice clean jump and showed tremendous intial speed to charge ahead of Name of the Game. Gold Field too set off at a nice pace tagging close behind Princess P until the turn. However, he was a tad rusty and couldn’t make a fine start count just yet. Princess P was superior to the rest and she galloped away to glory without having to dig deep. Excellent Heart had a good forward outing and did well to finish second. Name of the Game did not let another horse get past him to finish a very close third.

Imperial Heritage (Ace – Priceless Memories, Poonawalla Stud) rose from the rear and won well in the hands of young and upcoming apprentice jockey SA Amit. Ridden well off the pace, Imperial Heritage was at the tail end of the field most of the way and made quick progress past the 800m marker to improve steadily all the way around the turn. Eiger’s Tiger had led them into the straight, but once Imperial Heritage came alongside, he looked in complete command. He shot ahead away from the rest and won easing up. King of Killen ran on to finish second ahead of Eiger’s Tiger.

Narendra Lagad’s Anniversary Girl (Chevalier – Allhuda, Ruia Stud) showed good improvement of her last couple of runs to score a clinical start to finish victory and notch up her maiden win piloted by Dashrath Singh. Setting off at a good clip Anniversary Girl led them into the straight and kept the momentum going all the way home. Rincon gave it his all but just could quicken well enough to topple the winner. Man of Word could not improve and stayed in third to save place money. Astral Flare needed this outing and was seen finishing on and did well to figure in the frame.

Its A Deal (Kingda Ka – Marche Conclu, Nanoli Stud) free-wheeled in the straight to carve out a splendid victory over 2000m outclassing the opposition in no small measure. He bid his time and came forth in the straight with gigantic strides. Carefree who had led all the way, fought hard for a brief while, but just could not match up to the winner. It’s a Deal was galloping at a good clip and had a lot of steam while winning it by more than six lengths. Happy Birthday also improved in the straight and snatched away the runner-up berth from Carefree.

For the professionals, jockey YS Srinath was the only won to score a double