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By | 01 Jan 1970 | PUNE

Trainer Irfan Ghatala leading Watchmyscript (A Sandesh Up), winner of The Threptin Fillies' & Mares' Stakes (Gr.3)

Watchmyscript (Whatsthescript – Yas Marina, Nanoli Stud) created a flutter when she rose to top level to put it across popular fancy Lady In Lace to win the Threptin Fillies’ & Mares’ Stakes (Gr3) to add another feather to her cap making a successful conquest on the Pune turf on her first appearance. The Irfan Ghatala trained filly arrived from Bangalore with a decent record. She was beaten by Lady In Lace convincingly the last time they faced off in the Karnataka Mile championship Cup, hence didn’t seem to pose a grave threat to the wonder filly. Lady In Lace had given her seven kilos while beating her by over two lengths. However, this was a different occasion and in sport, especially horseracing, nothing can be taken for granted.  

As they jumped out of the gates, Zanara hit the front as expected, with Winter Renaissance chasing the leader, Auburn was next and jockey Sandesh kept his mount Watchmyscript right next to Lady In Lace, while Turning Point was slow off and at the tail end.

Auburn led briefly as they turned for home and Sandesh produced Watchmyscript from the outside and made the first move. He didn’t let Lady In Lace unleash her known gallop and sped past Auburn and Lady In Lace working up good momentum. The near ten kilo advantage she had came in handy as Watchmyscript bounced away past the distance post, and Lady In Lace just couldn’t gather the momentum. She caved in tamely barely managing to save her further blushes finishing runner-up by a nose to Auburn.

Watchmyscript was at her brilliant best and this would be one of the landmark races of her career. It is not common for a horse visiting the tough Pune course and winning on the first time here. Watchmyscript did just that and for Irfan Ghatala, it was another moment of pride and joy.

Valegro (Canford Cliffs – Choice House, Nanoli Stud) kept his date with victory pulling off a clinical win to bag the Pune Cantonment Board Trophy for maiden three year olds. Valegro had shown promise while finishing second in her previous run and in this weak looking set, she was the firm on-money favourite. She settled in the mid-bunch in fifth or sixth until the turn. Night Hunt, Pulverize and Rouge One were in front and Pulverize slipped along the rails to skip ahead and build a handy lead. While Rouge One was beaten, Valegro progressed well to set her chase in the straight. Just one crack saw her bridge the gap and join Pulverize and the second one there had her drawing away from them all. She won by close to four lengths and without toil. Pulverize did well to take the runner up spot, while Rouge One ended third.

Jockey PS Chouhan began with a bang winning the first two races of the day. He partnered hot favourite Joplin (Stern Opinion – Chiquelle, Pratap Racecitement) to a facile victory in the opener of the day. Chouhan kept Joplin in check in the fourth position as Whitewalker led the field with Julio Cesaro and Highland Empress following the leader. Whitewalker led them into the straight and was going all out to stay in contention. Julio Cesaro fell back while Highland Empress was fighting her way forward. Joplin cruised past the duo and galloped away to score an easy victory with a margin of five lengths. Highland Empress ran on to take the second spot ahead of Whitewalker.  

  In the very next race, Chouhan piloted Mansoor shah’s Triple Threat (Noverre – Thorns of Life, Bhaktawar Stud) to a fine victory over Flag Flying and other good set of sprinters. Flag Flying pushed to go into the lead and soon Triple Threat settled on the tail of the leader.

Flag flying had a slender lead on straightening up and soon Triple Threat arrived with a big gallop to zip ahead past the distance post. Once in the lead, Triple Threat looked good enough to stay ahead all the way. None from behind seemed any threat as Triple Threat kicked on gamely to win convincingly and by a good margin to win the Kejriwal  Trophy in style. Flag Flying ended second ahead of Frieze and Wise Child.

Jockey CS Jodha too had a good day with a double to his name. he first rode trainer MK Jadhav’s Aquarius (Burden of Proof – Bountiful Heights, Kunigal Stud) to a fine victory in the Capriole Plate. Jodha kept Aquarius up in front behind leader and Deccan King and made steady progress to be second at the turn. He didn’t wait too long and got past the leader to storm into the lead and then showed clean acceleration to look the winner long way from home. He drew away from them all with ever stride and was all by himself in the final 100 meters to bring about a very comfortable victory, with a margin of over six lengths. Smoky Haze improved well towards the end to finish second ahead of Deccan King.

Jodha then guided favourite Kilkarry Bridge (Strong Suit – Sail By Roos, Manjri Stud) to a well fought victory edging out Timeless Deeds by a neck. It seemed all smooth sailing as Kilkarry Bridge led them into the straight and marched on ahead leaving those close behind struggling. Timeless Deeds was in fifth, turning for home and he posed a threat in the final furlong. Kilkarry Bridge had a good lead but when Timeless Deeds started accelerating, there was reason for anxiety for those who had backed the favourite. Timeless Deeds was eating up ground at a good clip and bridging the gap briskly. Kilkarry Bridge however, galloped on with jockey CS Jodha recognising the threat brewing and riding out vigorously to stay ahead at the wire and carve out victory with a narrow margin. Queens Best did well to finish in the money.

Aurora Australis (Ace – Bering south, Poonawalla Stud) added to her maiden win last fortnight with another fine victory to achieve a back-to-back double in two weeks. Jockey Amyn Merchant had the Hosidar Daji trained mare close to the front bunch in fourth at the turn. Kalian got past Navigator to take charge early in the straight and skipped away approaching the distance post to post a handy lead. Aurora Australis had to find her way for a clear run and had a considerable leeway to cover as Kalian was still well ahead. Aurora Australis devoured ground once she got a clear run and Kalina looked vulnerable despite being a couple of lengths ahead. When Aurora Australiz quickened, she covered ground at a fast clip to zip past Kalina with ease and register another fine victory. Kalina found one better, but will live to fight another day. Bhaktawar ended in the money without making any impact on the top two.

For the professionals, jockeys CS Jodha and PS Chouhan scored a double each.