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By Mahendra Mallya | 12 Oct 2019 | PUNE

Trainer Imtiaz A Sait leading Raees (C S Jodha Up), winner of The Suresh Mahindra Trophy

Raees (Sedgefield – Lost Perfection, Jai Govind Stud) from the stables of trainer Imtiaz Sait, bagged the Suresh Mahindra Trophy for a third time in a row and displayed tremendous stamina while winning the 3200 meters race with a measure of comfort. Jockey CS Jodha raced well off the pace and made all the right moves at the precise moments and reaped rich rewards by outlasting his opponents and winning by a widening margin.

Square Moon set a rather slow pace and had Frivolous, Vulcan and Raees follow him for the major part of the long journey. Raees in particular was tailed off last, a little distance away from Vulcan until past the 800m mark. Jockey CS Jodha then started to urge Raees on with some vigorous pushing to right up as they straightened up for home. Frivolous tried hard to stay ahead as he got past the long-time leader, however, Raees was all over him approaching the distance post and from there on it was only Raees all the way. He skipped away and won by close to five lengths. Frivolous held off Vulcan to take the runner up slot.

Alexei (Born to Sea – Sugar Mint, Manjri Stud) saddled by Pesi Shroff thundered on his debut to leave the rest cold in the homestretch. Settling in second behind Translator, Alexei shot ahead soon on turning for home. Hokkaido was right up close behind Alexei, but once jockey Zervan opened throttle, Alexei was off in a flash and stretched out fluently to draw away from the hapless Hokkaido. Alexei won easing up and finished a good five lengths ahead of Hokkaido to bring up an impressive win on debut, showing a lot of promise for the future.

Another Debutante Flameoftheforest (Speaking of Which – Set Ablaze), trained by Malesh Narredu, was as impressive while scoring a clinical start-to-finish victory and showed great maturity for a two-year-old. She was off to a quick start and was clearly far superior to the rest. Once in the homestretch, she galloped straight as an arrow keeping close to the rails and jockey Yash Narredu was going hands and heels all the way as Flameoftheforest added ground with every stride and skipped away from her rivals to post a fashionable victory with a widening margin of over five lengths. Major General improved slightly to pip Ashwa Chintz for the second place, while Benghazi finished alongside for a slot in the frame.

Trainer Karthik saddled a lucrative double winning both divisions of the Sir Sultan Chinoy Trophy. He sent out My Precious (Excellent Art – Evatina, Poonawalla Stud) on a start-to-finish mission in the upper division of the race and apprentice jockey A Prakash ensured the mission was accomplished.

Taking off at a brisk pace My Precious was hard held right through until they turned for home. There was a bunch of them following My Precious in close order, but none looked good enough to trouble the winner. Golden Era who became the favourite after Galloping Goldmine was withdrawn at the gates, showed some late recovery when he started to inch closer past the distance post. But that was a case of too little too late as My Precious kept the momentum going all the way to win by just under a length. Golden Era took a tad too long to warm up while ending a decent second. Red Carnation did well to keep Super Mario away for the place money.

Karthik’s other ward Pulverize (Saamidd – Feminine Touch, Hazara Stud) won in even better style as he lived up to his name and actually ‘pulverized’ his opponents. Having led them all the way until the turn, Pulverize, with jockey Bhawani Singh in the saddle, blazed away in the straight and soon compiled a sizable lead to stay far ahead of the rest. He won by five and a half lengths from She’s A Tiger and Ex’s and Oh’s. Beemer edged out Suarez and Principessa to end in the frame.

Sunderji trained Dandi March (Chevalier – Salt, Ruia Stud) produced a fiery finish to flash past those in front in the final furlong to score an emphatic victory, his first over the shorter scurry and third overall.

Bonafide and Impala were disputing the early lead with Namaqua lurking close behind alongside Sharareh. Dandi March was stalking the front runners not too far behind. Bonafide bowed out soon on turning for home, however, Namaqua arrived with a spirited gallop to charge ahead of Impala and even build up a slender lead. Dandi March switched lanes as jockey CS Jodha wriggled free and made a decisive forward charge. Namaqua resisted for a couple of strides and Dandi March challenged his lead, but then had to give in as Dandi March was clearly finishing the better of the two. Dandi March quickened well to win by over a length from Namaqua. Impala held on narrowly to save place money.

Faisal Abbas’ ward Chezza (Phoenix Tower – Java Bleue, Manjri Stud) was well ridden by apprentice jockey AS Peter to spoil the party for favourite Gold Magic. Saffron Flower led them into the straight with a bunch of horses closing in behind her. Regal Shot got past to take charge but was soon challenged by Gold Magic. With the rest plodding around, Chezza started to improve positions and on the outside Grand Eyes too was making headway. Gold Magic was ridden all out but was not showing that flowing finishing effort. Chezza soon pounced on Gold Magic and stretched out nicely to seal the issue close home. Gold Magic just about held on to the second place from the fast finishing Grand Eyes.

For the professionals, trainer Karthik and jockey CS Jodha scored a double each.