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By Mahendra Mallya | 28 Dec 2017 | MUMBAI

Trainer P Shroff leading Yanna Rascala (P Trevor Up), winner of The Edgar DeSylva Trophy

Trainer Pesi Shroff had a fruitful day at office as he reaped a rich harvest of three winners all of them backed with confidence. He began the day with a bang with Lord of the Sea (Dean’s Kitten – Enamoured, Bhaktawar Stud) surfacing from behind to gallop resolutely in the final stages to peg back Flying Dragon on the post.

Flying Dragon raced to the front soon on start with moonshine tagging close behind, Lord of the Sea caught up soon with the duo. Gloriosus settled along the rails with Firenze tailing the field.

Flying Dragon was challenged by Moonshine soon on entering the homestretch and Lord of the Sea made his move from the outside. Gloriosus was looking for room and slipped in through the rails the moment he got the opening. Moonshine failed to quicken while Flying Dragon found that bit more to keep his chances alive. Gloriosus squandered a good chance as he had everything going for him but just could not accelerate and further his cause. Just when it looked like Flying Dragon would sew it up, Lord of the Sea with Neeraj Rawal astride made a quick surge forward picking up momentum and delivering the killer blow on the post to snatch victory on the last stride.

Carnival (Mull of Kintyer – Change Tack, Bhaktawar Stud) held her ground in a closely-fought three-way finish, this despite not looking her best in the paddock. She looked a tad under-done and a touch gross but it is to her credit to have shown the gumption to battle all the way to thwart the game challenge mounted by Reds Revenge and the late bid from Sumaaq.

Carnival, partnered by jockey S Zervan stayed calm in the third position even as Bhaktawar charged ahead to pile up a huge lead all the way into the homestretch. Jeena, who was in second, faded away meekly as they turned for home. Carnival moved up quickly to grab the lead as Bhaktawar shortened his strides and weakened.

Once in the lead, Carnival kicked on but was slightly wayward, drifting out and then back in again as jockey Zervan did his bit in correcting her erratic ways at a crucial stage. With a furlong to go, Carnival still had a lot to do as Reds Revenge began to inch closer. Zervan was persistent with his urging and used the whip astutely to keep the Shroff ward going. Carnival only let the challengers come to her haunches holding them off determinedly to achieve her maiden success in her sixth start. Sumaaq ended a notable second, Reds Revenge gave it his all and just lost the runner-up spot to the faster finishing Sumaaq.

Pesi next led in Yanna Rascala (Alfred Nobel – Lunar Love, Bhaktawar Stud) to a fluent victory to claim the Vallabdas Adwalia Trophy. He had some catching up to do though, as Star Councillor had a runaway lead midway up the straight. Bateleur who was right there in third, could not get going and caved in surprisingly early, not even showing any will to fight. Yanna Rascalla simply dismissed Bateleur as he got past with ease and then caught up quickly with Star Councillor, bridging the gap in a trice and then storming ahead to post a comfortable win. Bateleur disappointed, but over a longer distance he should revive his sagging form.

Octavius (Burden of Proof – Strictly, Kunigal Stud) made his mark on debut winning the duel with favourite Hope and Glory. Bluebell was tardy at the gates and lost a couple of lengths. Hope and Glory darted to the front and led the field until into the straight.

Hope and Glory was under pressure soon on turning for home with Octavius looming large and hot on his tail. Octavius, ridden by Imran Khan, got the measure of Hope And Glory approaching the distance post and got past with a furlong to go. Bluebell improved positions but was not yet making any headway to collar the two in front.  She ended a tame third but is bound to improve with this educative run. Hope and Glory fought back hard, but Octavius had it covered and held on comfortably to achieve an ideal start to his career. Hope and Glory would rue the fact that he had the early run, but failed to accelerate and capitalize on a good start.

Ame (Diffident – Premier Connection, Yerawada Stud) won a hard-fought race with Sudarshan Chakra providing pep to the finish. Ame, who was in fourth when Simona led them into the straight, moved up steadily to go for the lead. Once in front, jockey Trevor ensured that he galloped all the way relentlessly to keep ahead all the way to the winning post. Sudarshan Chakra made a bold bid covering a lot of ground, but went down narrowly to get the runner-up slot for his good effort. Lilac Time was the one who did not have the luck of the race. She did not find a clear passage and was bumped at least once just when trying to make a forward surge and then had to wait a bit before getting to make a clear run. Yet she made good progress to end third, close behind the top two. Lilac Time is the one to note.

Hidden Soul (Phoenix Tower – Sail By Roos, Manjri Stud) came up with a powerful thrust at the business end of the race to carve out a comfortable victory. Apprentice jockey Raghuveer Singh had settled the SS Shah ward in the mid-field and made steady progress round the turn to be prominent in the straight. Locarno had led them in and he galloped on stubbornly to hold the early advantage through the early half of the long Mahalaxmi straight. An Jolie then began to draw closer when Hidden soul appeared on the scene. Raghuveer Singh then got Hidden soul going and they finished on strongly to surge ahead and win with a decent margin. An Jolie ran on to finish ahead of Locarno, the latter also doing well to end in the money. Sawgrass also improved positions in the straight and did extremely well to find a slot in the judge’s frame.

Nembe Greek (Surfrider – Anodyne, Ruia Stud) had been steadily prepared for her maiden success and was fancied last time out as well. However, she came good on the day to notch up her memorable first win.

Malavika led them into the straight and did just that. Chaplin soon took over and shaped well. Hot favourite Goshawk then arrived with his bid but did not quicken as required. Chaplin stuck by his side and as they were battling, Nembe Greek found his rhythm and joined the pair in front. After encountering a brief resistance, Nembe Greek forged ahead and away from his rivals and kicked away to score comfortably with three lengths to spare. Chaplin added to Goshawk’s woes wresting the runner-up slot on the last stride.

For the professionals, trainer Pesi Shroff was the star performer of the day saddling a fine treble. Jockey P Trevor picked up a double.