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It Is a Thunderous Thousand for Imtiaz

By Mahendra Mallya | 24 Dec 2009 | MUMBAI


Trainer Imtiaz A Sait carved a niche for himself in the annals of Indian racing when his ward Belligerent thundered home to win the last race of the day. It could have been just another winner for Imtiaz; however, Belligerent happened to provide a landmark, a major one at that for Imtiaz. It was the thousandth victory for the master trainer on the Mahalaxmi turf alone. Overall Imtiaz has sent out 1,665 winners to date. Kindly await an exclusive on this from Imtiaz as indiarace is on the verge of doing an in-depth research on the achievement of one of the most successful trainers on the Indian racing circuit. Belligerent (Glory of Dancer – Buona Sera) was very well-supported in the betting ring. Settling into the mid-bunch, Belligerent was content biding his time. Always led the field in and soon Solid Rock began to take charge. Blades of Glory and Paper King were on full throttle. Belligerent made his move on the outside and came steaming in at the front-runners. Past the distance post, Belligerent gathered terrific momentum and sailed past them all to post a powerful victory. Blades of Glory nosed out Solid Rock for the runner up berth. Imtiaz had earlier started the day on an auspicious note sending out Silver Sands (Ontario – Extreme Contact) on a successful start-to-finish mission. Rajendra eased Silver Sands into the lead soon on start, and the Ontario filly travelled comfortably right through. Favourite Prince of Troy was right up behind the winner when they straightened for home, but Silver Sands, confidently ridden by Rajendra, never gave him a hope once into the final 400. Silver Sands stretched away and looked the winner long way off. Sea Value (China Visit – Allosaki) won the 999th race for Imtiaz on the Mumbai track and the Imtiaz filly won in a breathtaking fashion. At the start, Sea value got awkwardly sandwiched between her neighbours on either side, Sepia Tone and Suraj, in the process could not find a vantage position. Jockey Imran Chisty kept his cool, and stuck to the rails all the way into the straight. By then, Wild Torronaado was making his presence felt and looking in control with a handy lead and inside the final furlong. Sea Value then wove his way through horses and stormed on to the scene with a terrific burst passing Wild Torronaado in full flight. Hazel Morgan ran on to a laboured third just a neck ahead of Suraj. Trainer Narendra Lagad too had a good day despite an ominous start with favourite Prince of Troy. Naren made ample amends in the very next race with Silver Screen (Diffident – Silver Academy). Favourite Magical Mantra broke a blood vessel and finished in the rut. Silver Screen, who was running close to front-runner Sunburst quickly passed him to grab the initiative early in the straight. Approaching the distance post, jockey Nicholls was egging Silver Screen on with timely reminders keeping her going. The Right Man put up a spirited challenge but failed to sustain. Try your Luck came from a long way back to collar Tehrani for the third spot in a close finish. Red Cloud (Placerville – Million Girl) was a typical Naren bombshell. Tailing the field for the most part of the seven-furlong race, Red Cloud chose to run on the wide outside, producing a dazzling gallop to surge past Siuoox Chief. Siuoox Chief had just about raced past the leaders and shaped as if he would pull it off until Red Cloud arrived on the scene with jockey DK Ashish timing his run to perfection. Forever Amber ended a tame third without raising any hope whatsoever. If Red Cloud had shocked the punters, Naren’s next winner completely floored them. Midsummer Knight (Tirol – Midsummer Romance) was firstly taking on Sheikha who was touted as the day’s certainty despite her absence from the racetrack for a considerable time. Next, he did not get to a clean start as he should have for a six-furlong sprint and was languishing in the rear with only Tapitsfly (who was more slowly off) behind him. Finfoot entered the straight and none close behind could match his strides. Finfoot had Sheikha about two lengths behind, but the latter just wouldn’t quicken. Sheikha faltered badly and ended one off the frame. With under a furlong to go, Finfoot still had a handy lead when suddenly Midsummer Knight charged ahead full of steam. Within a couple of strides, Midsummer Knight blazed past Finfoot to grab victory from Finfoot with a dazzling finishing effort. A race earlier, Pesi’s much-fancied Chancellor had met the same fate when he got knocked off practically on the post by another rank outsider in Flaring Sun (Alnasr Alwasheek – Sure Future). When Fiery Fox was joined by Chancellor, it appeared that Chancellor had no danger in the vicinity as both Highland Music and Scenic Silver were running out of gas. Chancellor darted ahead of Fiery Fox and was stretching away from the trio. Flaring Sun came in with a tremendous gallop and just managed to pip Chancellor on the post. Chancellor was indeed an unlucky loser but full credit to Himmat Singh and jockey Dashrath Singh for the incredible victory of Flaring Sun. The Captain G Hall Trophy was claimed by another rank outsider - Princess Ruby (Conquering Hero – Natural Spell). While Swahili, Forbes List and Oyster Princess cornered most of the betting, friendless Princess Ruby pulled off a stunning upset. Hitting the front soon on start, Princess Ruby always maintained a couple of lengths lead all the way into the straight. In the straight, there was no stopping Princess Ruby as Dashrath Singh rode her out of reach of the chasers and posted a facile victory with no semblance of fight from any quarter. Swahili fizzled out without offering any resistance. Oyster Princess held on grimly to end a decent second and Misschevious Trot got past the listless Forbes List to run into place money. Ciel Indienne (Burden of Proof – Ceil Fleuri) impressed while carving out a fashionable start-to-finish victory to claim the Charon Trophy without encountering any anxious moments. Hitting the front on start, Ceil Indienne went at a comfortable pace and entered the straight with a handy lead. Favourite Eloise just could not raise her gallop and was not getting anywhere. In the final furlong, Ceil Indienne quick end further to draw away from the rest. Sunlight warmed up late but could only finish second ahead of Eloise. Rose Of Texas (Ikhtyar – Mimi’s Brett) improved upon her last start second to win warding off Forward Charge to spare over a length at the wire. Tailing the front-runners, Rose of Texas was alerted by jockey NS Parmar soon on entering the homestretch. Forward Charge was going all out and had collared the leader Dancing Money. Rose of Texas made rapid progress and midway up the straight, and went past Forward Charge. Once in the lead, Rose of Texas kicked on well and even the late dash from Stylish Strokes made no impact on the Shroff trainee. Forward Charge held on to the second spot denying the useful bid of Stylish Stroke anything other than the third place. Zippity Zip (Brave Act – Creativity) provided a keen tussle in the third race engaging Dangerous Belle in a gripping final few moments. Surmount brought the field homeward and soon surrendered to Blau Himmel. Zippity Zip and Dangerous Belle then started to hound the leader. Blau Himmel could not last out and soon Dangerous Belle and Zippity Zip went hell for leather in the final furlong. Johnny Bravo was also making some progress but not good enough. It was touch and go a few metres from the wire and Zippity Zip got the nod right at the post. Among the jockeys, Imran Chisty, Dashrath Singh and Nicholls scored a brace each.