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By Mahendra Mallya | 24 Aug 2019 | PUNE

Trainer Dallas Todywalla leading Golden Guest (P Trevor Up), winner of The F D Wadia Trophy (Gr.3)

Dallas Todywalla trained Golden Guest (Excellent Art – Queen’s Guest, Poonawalla Stud) lined up a fine hattrick his latest conquest being the FD Wadia Trophy, the feature event of the day at Pune. The 7/1 shot ridden by ace jockey P Trevor, got straight down to business the moment the gates flung open and set off at a good clip. Storm Breaker settled in second with Queen’s Gate alongside, the rest followed in a close huddle with Kildare in the rear.

Golden Guest stepped up the pace further entering the homestretch. Storm Breaker was the first to wilt under pressure and was getting nowhere. Golden Guest galloped on fluently and left it for the others to chase him down. Mzilikazi moved between horses to make a race of it as he inched closer past the distance post. However, Golden Guest was in fine rhythm and looked the winner even with about a hundred still to go. He duly scored a comfortable victory with Mzilikazi finishing a good second. Mirablis ran on to beat Storm Breaker for the third place. Favourite Trouville was definitely short of a run, ending one off the frame.

Imtiaz Sait sent out Silver King (Arazan – Connivance, Poonawalla Stud) picked up his maiden win while pocketing the Mayor’s Trophy, an 1800m affair for maiden three-year-olds. Silver King had to fight hard through the homestretch and just managed to put his nose in front at the all-important end.

Arrowhead darted into the lead and was at the helm until the 800 m mark, where upon Bait And Switch took over; Golden Steal  was close behind the new leader with Silver King beginning to improve as they started to turn for home.

Bait And Switch had a handy lead in the straight and he was galloping on when Silver King started to inch his way closer. This pair fought about the final 300 meters with Silver King grousing stronger at the finish. Jockey S Zervan pushed hard and used the whip to get Silver King going and wore Bait And Switch down with a sustained challenge to snatch the verdict on the post. It was a thrilling last stride victory for Silver King and Bait and Switch was unlucky to have missed out after doing all the hard work until the final stride. Black Cherry, who veered out at the start and was last for the first half of the race, ended a good third, a length ahead of Elation.

In It To Win It (Sedgefield – Blitz Kiss, Jai Govind Stud) who had lined up four wins in 2018, added to his win tally after nearly a year while smashing the opposition to win the Rajaram Chhatrapati Trophy another nine-furlong race for horses in Class II.

Sagittarius led all the way into the straight with momentum in second, In It To Win It improved to be third past the 800m with Valegro and Zenon close behind. In It To Win It moved up fast soon on turning for home and pounced on the leader past the 300 m mark. Once in the lead, In It To Win It stormed further ahead finishing on fully of steam in the hands of champion jockey A Sandesh,  to snuff out the challenge from any quarter, compiling an impressive four lengths at the winning post. Sagittarius held on to finish second. On-money favourite Valegro never made an impact and ended a tame third.

Dancing Lances (Phoenix Tower – Dancing Glances, Manjri Stud) put in a spirited stretch-run to achieve his maiden success and created a flutter. Quoted at 12/1 there were few takers for the Altaf Hussain ward who was languishing in the rear until the turn.

Steppenwolf was off to a quick start and led them well into the straight. Highland Lass and Mount Olypus who were close behind the leader faded out alarmingly soon on turning for home. Barack too failed to raise any hope after being in a striking position. Dancing Lances improved along the rails and switched out past the distance post to make a sustained bid in the final 150 meters. Night Hunt made his bid from the outside and both came at Steppenwolf at good speed. Dancing Lances just about pegged Steppenwolf back a stride from the winning post to post an exciting victory beating Steppenwolf by half a length. Night Hunt ended a neck behind to keep the place money, with Barrack on his haunches.

Ebony (Varenar – Mandara, Equus Stud) finally notched up her maiden win with a fine effort. Macgyver led from the start and was well ahead on turning for home. Soon Ebony arrived with a fluent gallop and the moment she came alongside the leader, she looked the winner. The Altamash Ahmed trainee hurried off past Macgyver in a trice and was soon racing away from them all. Ebony, ridden by Neeraj Rawal won by over three lengths to spare from Macgyver. Samurai managed to pip Adams Blessings for place money.

S Waheed trained Questionable (China Visit – Smashing, Usha Stud) put a sustained bid in the business end of the race to carve out a well-fought victory in the concluding race of the day.

Slam Dunk led all the way into the straight and kicked on gamely until into the final furlong. Questionable started to draw closer but Slam Dunk fought on bravely. It was only in the final few strides that Questionable grew stronger and was able to peg back Slam Dunk to by just one length. Hells Bells fought his way too and ended a close third, while Bunting finished on to take the fourth spot.

Jockey A Sandesh was the lone pro to compile a double.