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By Mahendra Mallya | 27 Jul 2018 | PUNE

Trainer Deepesh Narredu leading Awesome One (Yash Narredu Up), winner of The Scarlet Emperor Plate

It was a memorable day for young trainer Deepesh Narredu – the new kid on the block. After doing extremely well in the mandatory written test while applying for his trainer’s licence, Deepesh was granted the same last week and on Friday led-in his first winner on his debut. While this in itself is a moment of glory for any professional, what makes it unique is the fact that the winner was ridden by his younger sibling jockey Yash Narredu! It is indeed a rare occurrence. Talking about brothers combining to win, it may be interesting to recall that Deepesh and Yash’s father Malesh Narredu and brother Satish Narredu were also involved in a rarest of rare feat way back in 1995. Both were top jockeys then. They were involved in a unique dead-heat which probably is the only occasion when two siblings dead-heated. Malesh was astride Great Spectacle and Satish was atop Forest Fantasy. What made it even more awesome one (pardon the pun) was that both horses were owned by the same owner - the late Dr MAM Ramaswamy, trained by the same trainer - JH Fowley, and bred at the same farm - the Poonawalla Stud Farm! Horseracing too can create such one-off incidents.

Awesome One (Dean’s Kitten – Aim To Achieve, Sohna Stud) looked well-tuned to give his young master success on first attempt. He looked a picture in the paddock, attracting a lot of support in the betting ring, backed down to on-money at race time.

Jockey Yash Narredu looked confident as he gradually improved positions to be a handy fourth approaching the final turn. Lethal Steps led them in with Red Carnation in second, Awesome One improved at the turn to be on the tail of the pair in front.

Lethal Steps surrendered meekly when Awesome One came along; Red Carnation was not finding much either. Awesome one shot ahead approaching the distance post and then accelerated fluently to win drawing away posting his maiden win in the process by a healthy four and half lengths.

“I am immensely pleased with Awesome One’s fine victory and personally it’s a moment to remember for me,” said Deepesh Narredu. “It is a dream come true and I thank the owners especially Mr Arun Nanda for their encouragement and confidence in me. I am also grateful to my family for their support and guidance and the crowds too for giving me such a wonderful reception. The cheering is still ringing in my ears and I shall cherish this moment all my life,” concluded a gleeful Deepesh Narredu.

Trainer Adhirajsingh Jodha continued his good form rattling off another double on the day. His charge Mount Mckinley (Champs Elysees – Lady High Havens, Nanoli Stud) produced a good finishing effort to collar Orion’s Belt close home.

Orion’s Belt hit the front soon on start and held sway for most of the 1400m journey. Favourite Strong Storm stalked the leader right through but faltered when it mattered. Orion’s Belt drifted out in the straight, which proved to be his undoing. Strong Storm was right there but could not accelerate well enough. Hudson was prominent on the outside but he too did not show that killer instinct. Mount Mckinley got a dream run along the rails and seized the opportunity that presented itself taking full advantage of the clear passage to make it count in the end. Apprentice DS Daman rode out hard and pressed home the advantage to peg back Orion’s Belt by half a length. Heavily fancied Strong Storm looked a tad gross in the paddock and it showed on her performance. She certainly needed the run to get fitter.

Sporto (Sedgefield – Moon Flower, Jai Govind Stud) faced no difficulties in pulling off victory over several more fancied runners. The 12 to 1 shot was in the lead quickly on start and had Might Warrior on his haunches along with Gloriana and Art Deco. However, once they turned for home, Sporto took off with renewed vigour to devour ground quickly and left the others panting for breath. Sporto, with SA Amit in the saddle, won unchallenged and by a big margin. Safdar did well not only to improve considerably in the straight, but also get past Gloriana and claim the second slot. Golden Horde was another one to catch the eye finishing from way behind the front bunch at the turn to manage a slot on the judge’s frame, very close behind the pair that finished second and third.

Star of Thea (Excellent Art – Lady Angharad, Villoo’s Greenfield Farm) after picking up three wins in Mumbai and ending that season on a winning note, added another won, his first in Pune. The Narendra Lagad trained gelding has been consistent right through his career while warding off a last ditch effort from Take Five. Star of Thea was quick to take the lead early on and galloped at a good pace. On entering the straight, Star of Thea kicked on gamely leaving others to chase her down. Take Five the nearest rival was a couple of lengths adrift coming into the final furlong, quickened well, but just failed to collar the winner, to run a commendable second. Nembe Greek ended third.

Aloha (Varenar – Gruezi, Equus Stud) with jockey CS Jodha atop, pulled off a very impressive win, perhaps the easiest of the day. Jodha settled the Sunderji ward in the mid bunch as Hermosa took a runaway lead brushing up far too quickly in the early stages. Hermosa entered the straight with a sizable lead but squandered it away as she ran out of gas when it mattered.  

Aloha made good progress around the turn and just as Huzzah’s Phoenix was gearing up to quicken, Aloha unleashed a powerful burst to leave the field cold. Aloha outclassed the opposition and compiled an emphatic victory winning by more than five lengths. Star Ace covered considerable ground to finish a clear second ahead of Huzzah’s Phoenix. Shivalik Skies also improved remarkably well to beat Hermosa to the frame.

Angels Touch (Excellent Art – Lady Moura, Poonawalla Stud) was another one to impress with a fine showing to achieve her maiden success at the start of the season on her 11th outing. The Karthik ward settled in second behind Golden Weaver until the turn and once into the straight, Angels Touch grew stronger and faster to beat them all convincingly. Sandalphon ran on hard to get the runner-up berth while Eiger’s Tiger managed to pip Golden Weaver for the third.

I Am The Way (Oiseau de Fue – Pillar of Gold, Samra Stud) from trainer Vinesh’s yard spoiled the party for favourite Brave’s supporters. Brave had it all going fine even as they turned for home. Brave, on a start to finish mission, had a handy lead coming into the straight and was galloping at a good clip too. He shaped well in the final furlong as well, which was when I Am The Way, under some strong riding from apprentice K Nazil, came swooping down the leader. It still looked a tough ask for I am the Way with meters to go, but Nazil seemed to have timed his run to perfection as he got Brave right on the wire!

For the professionals, Adhirajsingh Jodha was the lone pro to chalk out a double.