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By Mahendra Mallya | 27 Oct 2018 | PUNE

Trainer Imtiaz A Sait leading Truly Epic (Akshay Kumar Up), winner of The General Rajendrasinhji Million

Hyderabad’s champion jockey Akshay Kumar made his mark on the Pune turf while guiding Imtiaz Sait trained Truly Epic (Mull of Kintyre – Sun Control, Sohna Stud) to a narrow win and bag the General Rajendrasinghji Million, the feature event of the day.

The six-horse field galloped in a close bunch with Excellent Sorrento at the helm until the turn, while Truly Epic and Hammersmith raced alongside at the rear end. Favourite Intense Stylist cruised into the lead soon on turning form just when Truly Epic was skirting around horses taking the turn wide. Intense Stylist shaped well approaching the distance post; however, once Truly Epic warmed up, he began to get closer to Intense Stylist at a quick rate.  Soon Truly Epic was all over the favourite and sped ahead in front of the stands to win by just under a length. Intense Stylist had been floored ending second best.   

Pesi Shroff trained Roberta (Multidimensional – Moonlight Romance, Usha Stud) who soared her reputation on her impressive last start victory, did justice to the cramped odds offered on her alright. However, since much was expected of her, her victory didn’t look as fashionable as it was last time despite clocking a slightly better timing. Jockey Trevor got her to improve positions coming into the straight and once she took charge, she was definitely skipping away unchallenged. She won by just under two lengths from Gloriosus, while her fans expected her to have won by a bigger margin. Roberta may not have played to the galleries, nevertheless, she didn’t work a sweat either while compiling her second consecutive win.

The Shroff-Trevor combine struck again with Arrowfield (Phoenix Tower – Dramatikos, Manjri Stud) in the very next race. Daughterofthesun hit the front and led right from the start with Arrowfield not too far behind. Once they turned for home, Daughterofthesun galloped on but Arrowfield soon started to wear the leader down. Arrowfield stretched away nicely in the final furlong to win convincingly by a good margin. Daughterofthesun ran on to finish second. Cristo Boss improved well to save the place money.

Hormuz Antia’s Flag Flying (Whatsthescript – Shockwave, Nanoli Stud) pulled off a near-start to finish win. Arabian Storm led briefly before Flag Flying rushed past to take charge. Flag Flying led them into the straight and quickened nicely to bounce away and build a handy lead. He kicked on to stay well ahead in the final furlong and the cushion of that lead held him in good stead as both Timeless Deeds and Carbonara came with sustained gallop to finish close behind Flag Flying. Carbonara especially was the fastest in the last 100 meters.  

Aquarius (Burden of Proof – Bountiful Heights San Craintes Stud) galloped to a neat start to finish win sustaining all the way despite a strong challenge from Gold Medalist in the run to the finish. The MK Jadhav ward led all the way into the straight and then galloped on gamely right through. Gold Medalist drew closer approaching the distance post and then moved alongside which is when the battle started.  Sandesh atop Aquarius rode all out to ensure he stayed ahead all the way successfully warding off the challenger in a thrilling finish. Cray Cray ended a faraway third.

Julio Cesaro (Diffident – Bayberry, Yerawada Stud) picked up his first win on ninth start with a fine finishing effort. Clark Kent led them into the straight and looked good to last. However, Julio Cesaro started to bridge the gap briskly and the pair fought out the final furlong, with Julio Cesaro getting better at the finish. The Narendra Lagad ward won by just over a length beating Clark Kent Squarely while highland Empress came with a late bid, ending on the haunches of Clark Kent to take the place stakes.

Emotionless (China Visit – Ooh Aah Camara, Usha Stud) took a while but finally galloped to a maiden win on her ninth start. She settled a handy third behind Whoopsidaisy and His Master’s Vice until the turn. Emotionless sped ahead soon on entering the straight and galloped on strongly to go clear of the rest. Solo Mission put in a good effort, but failed to make any impact on the leader as Emotionless bounded forward to stay well ahead at the winning post. Solo Mission finished runner-up ahead of Dazzling Eyes and Wizard of Odds.

Grand Tenton (Kingda Ka – Snow Cannon, Nanoli Stud) won the concluding event of the day and would have heaved a sigh of relief passing the winning post. Jockey Akshay settled Grand Tenton in second behind Flower Dust until into the straight. Grand Tenton soon got past the leader and build up a handy lead coming into the final furlong. Aurora Australis started to move up and soon Eyes For You also started gaining ground. Grand Tenton just about managed to stave off the duo and carve out a narrow win. Aurora Australis held on from Eyes For You to snatch the runner up berth.

For the professionals, trainer Pesi Shroff and jockey P Trevor scored a double each.