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By mahendra mallya | 26 Jul 2019 | PUNE

Mr Vivek S Jain leading King Khalil (Yash Narredu Up) winner of The Dr S R Captain Trophy

Followers of form were content on day 2 of the Pune meeting as fancied horses obliged in most races on the day.

King Khalil (Multidimensional – Khalila, Usha Stud) the overwhelming favourite, showed restraint when Wild Fire darted to the front. Jockey Yash Narredu, astride his brother trainer Deepesh Narredu’s ward King Khalil, had no qualms about sitting in second allowing Wild Fire to burn out. The rest followed a couple of lengths behind.

Wild Fire led comfortably entering the homestretch, but soon King Khalil started to loom large while bridging the gap and tackled Wild Fire with ease. He bounded away past the distance post and galloped away from the rest to stretch his winning streak to three in a row following his back-to-back wins in Mumbai. King Khalil clocked a fiery 57 seconds plus displaying top speed without having to go all out. Beshiktash did well to rally in the final 100 meters to peg back Flaming Martini and Joplin and snatch the runner-up berth.

The Shroff-Trevor combine scored back-to-back double dominating the first two races of the day. Arrowfield (Phoenix Tower – Dramatikos, Manjri Stud) showed clear pair of heels while scoring an emphatic victory in the day’s opener. Surprisingly the odds on Arrowfield drifted alarmingly with the post-race favourite being offered a t 3/1 at race time. However, those who persisted with Arrowfield reaped rich dividends as Arrowfield made mockery of the opposition and won on his own terms. He went into the lead approaching the 1000 m marker and then galloped away majestically all the way. In the homestretch, it was clear that Arrowfield would face no threat as he drew further away from the rest. Astounding Bay, who was heavily supported, ended a tame second, just ahead of Gold Medalist. Silver King was never in the hunt and ended a poor fourth.

Jockey Zeeshan suffered a fall early in the homestretch as he got squeezed between horses. Astounding Bay seemed to be hanging out while taking the turn and moved in slightly. The light drizzle wouldn’t have helped either as the track too must have been rendered a tad slippery. Kennedy who was between Astounding Bay and Silver King trying to squeeze through the rails, clipped and dislodged jockey Zeeshan. It is learnt that while Zeeshan is out of danger, he has a broken rib and is under medical observation.    

Sasakwa (Kingda Ka – Jahanara, Nanoli Stud) won impressively with an even bigger margin than Arrowfield for the Shroff camp. Sasakwa toyed around behind early leader Blazing Bay and Peerless until the turn and marched on ahead soon in the homestretch. Trevor had little to do as Sasakwa stormed ahead and piled up a huge lead to win by an impressive margin beating the hapless opposition by 10 lengths! Sasakwa ought to repeat going by the facile manner of victory. Blazing Bay ended a faraway second, well ahead of Peerless.

Aquarius (Burden of Proof – Bountiful Heights, Sans Craintes Stud) powered his way to victory after a brief tussle involving Retained Asset. Grand Chieftain led them into the straight, but was soon challenged by Flying Dragon. Aquarius poked through between these two and shot ahead. Retained Asset arrived with a challenge from the outside and joined the trio. However, apprentice jockey Pranil rode out well to surge ahead inside the final furlong and draw away from Retained Asset to win by close to three lengths. Flying Dragon ran on to finish in the money, just ahead of Grand Chieftain. Grand Eyes dislodged the rider at the jump.

MK Jadhav’s Namaqua (Mayson – Darcique, Nanoli Stud) displayed good speed outpacing his rivals from the word go. He shot out from the inner most draw and darted into the lead going at a good clip right from the start. Once into the homestretch, Namaqua found a great rhythm and jockey Pranil just had to sit tight and let Namaqua go about his business. Namaqua won on a tight rein running away to score an effortless win by a widening margin. Royston Rock ran on to finish second, well ahead of Antarctica and Julio Cesaro.   

Sunderji trained Intense Stylist (Western Aristocrat – Spica, Ruia Stud) bounced back to winning ways with a superlative run in the Alley Cat Plate for class III. Third initially behind Safdar and Gold Field, Intense Stylist came into his own in the straight and put in a sustained gallop to outpace and outclass the rest. He surged into the lead with ease and then ate up ground briskly to put the issue at rest way too early. There was no challenge in sight and Intense Stylist with jockey CS Jodha astride, romped home to win with a good measure of comfort. Safdar did well to take the runner-up berth, while Tanjo covered a lot of ground to pip Gold Field for place money.

Golden Guest (Excellent Art – Queen’s Guest, Poonawalla Stud) benefitted from jockey Trevor’s riding skills and managed to carve out a narrow win in the concluding race of the day. The Todywalla ward had some ground to cover when Thomas Hardy got past Bonafide at the distance post. Thomas Hardy was shaping well when Golden Guest started to inch closer with every stride. Trevor got everything right as he headed Thomas Hardy; he had to also contend with the late finishing Adele too and Trevor rode out in a splendid fashion to ward off his rivals and win by a narrow margin. Adele was the fastest of the lot, but failed to nail the winner. Adele however, did well to peg back Thomas Hardy for the runner-up slot.

For the professionals, jockey P Trevor was the top performer with three wins. Trainers Pesi Shroff, MK Jadhav and apprentice lad K Pranil scored a double each.