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By Mahendra Mallya | 25 Oct 2019 | PUNE

Dr Cyrus S Poonawalla & trainer Dallas Todywalla leading Missing You (A Sandesh Up), winner of The General Rajendrasinhji Million

Missing You (Arazan – Change of Luck, Villoo’s Greenfield Farm) after a brief dip in form, bounced back to score a dazzling victory to bag the General Rajendrasinghji Million. Missing You had shown a glimpse of her ability right from her debut In January this year and after two second-place finishes picked up her maiden win in the PBMM displaying cracking speed. She returned a blank in Bengaluru and was not effective in either of her two runs there. She seemed to have shrugged off those below par performances and started to pick up well in Pune, showing out in her morning work and then some fluent turn of foot in a mock race finishing alongside Excellent. That was enough and she was sent out as on-money favourite in the small field.

Missing You did not miss a trick as she darted into the lead soon on start and kept a safe distance from her rivals all through. Mystic Bay, Kariega and Nekhbeth were close behind until the turn, but none could make any impact on Missing You at any stage. The Dallas Todywalla trainee quickened on turn for home and stretched out nicely to look the winner long way from home. Majestic Warrior did well to beat the rest, improving steadily in the homestretch. Kariega ended a close third, while Mystic Bay was disappointing. With this attractive victory, Missing You has sounded the bugle announcing to be taken notice of in the Indian 1000 Guineas (Gr1) in December. She was split seconds shy of the course timing, while winning without having to fire on all cylinders.

Belgravia (Phoenix Tower – Lisa’s Kitten, Manjri Stud) won the Delhi Race Club Trophy, but jockey Zervan had to get busy as early as the halfway stage over the sprint. Luminosity led them into the straight with jockey Zervan pushing Belgravia aggressively to join the leader early in the straight. The rest were a couple of lengths further back. A crack or two was all it took as Belgravia shot ahead leaving Luminosity behind. Belgravia went clear in the final furlong to win by a length and three-quarters. Despacito ran on to take the runner-up berth edging out Victorious Spirit.

Imtiaz Sait trained Jager Bomb (Razeen – Grand Passion, Usha Stud) built on his last couple of forward finishes, romping home an easy winner this time in the Shamu Chavan Trophy. Dazzle N Daze shot ahead soon on start and kept increase his lead through the back stretch. Rogue One followed him until the turn before fading out. Jager Bomb, who was in the fourth spot all along, improved positions to be in striking distance at the turn. Brazos raced off the pace with only His Master’s Vice behind him.  

Jager Bomb was all over Dazzle N Daze in the straight and jockey Neeraj Rawal pushed him ahead, eating up ground at a brisk rate. Favourite Gold Medalist and Brazos were improving, however, neither looked good enough to match Jager Bomb at any stage. Jager Bomb outpaced and outlasted them all and scored a handsome victory with a healthy margin. Brazos came in far too late to take the runner up berth. Gold Medalist ended a tame third.

Silver Flames (Leitir Mor – First and only One, Poonawalla Stud) trained by Altaf Hussain, dished out his best to date to score an encore and take his career tally to three wins from six starts. Silver Flames showed remarkable improvement over her last victorious run. Sitting in the second spot behind Impala, jockey Akshay Kumar took off soon on turning for home. Silver Flames scorched the turf thereon and outclassed his rivals showing commendable speed to stop the clock at 1:08:27 a chipping off a whopping three seconds off his personal best in early September. Pablo, certainly not one to be taken lightly, struggled to keep up and was completely routed by the blaze of Silver Flames. He finished over five lengths behind and was completely overwhelmed. Flower Dust kicked on to save the place money, while Till End of Time, did well to recover from a tardy start to finish in the frame.

Malesh Narredu trained Storm Breaker (Leitir Mor – Haunting Memories, Poonawalla Stud) made ample amends to justify the strong support he received this time as well. However there was a tragic mishap in this race; El Comandante broke down and collapsed, falling right on apprentice jockey Gagandeep Singh. The lad was rushed to the hospital. He has suffered one or two fractured ribs, broken a couple of teeth and is recouping in the ICU. The fall looked horrifying, but thankfully the lad is out of danger; sadly that is not the case with El Comandante.

Wild Fire and Slam Dunk disputed the lead with Slam Dunk making a decisive surge on straightening up. Namaqua came up with a game challenge but soon had Storm Breaker coming up with menacing strides. Jockey Suraj Narredu had it all under control approaching the distance post and he urged Storm Breaker ahead in the final furlong. Strom Breaker accelerated well and strode out nicely to notch up hi third win from six outings. Double Nine picked up good momentum in the latter half of the straight to finish on well to take the runner-up berth. Namaqua ran erratic and even bumped into Slam Dunk, but fortunately this didn’t have any damaging effect. Slam Dunk stuck by to take the third spot.

Ebony (Varenar – Mandara, Equus Stud) picked up her second victory with a measure of comfort. She was perfectly poised behind early leader Abraxas coming into the straight and took over readily soon on entering the homestretch. Once in the lead, jockey Neeraj Rawal pushed Ebony further ahead and the Altamash Ahmed ward galloped away to compile a handy lead. Highland Woods made a strong bid to catch up with Ebony in the final furlong, but Ebony kept the momentum going to win by just under two lengths. Abraxas held on to take the place stakes from Ustad Pedro. Favourite True Grit brushed along the inner railings and the jockey was unbalanced midway in the race and lost position. He could never recover thereafter.

Subhag Singh trained Shapath (Oath – Arythia, Pratap Stud) scored his maiden win on 14th start. He had been showing positive signs in his last couple of runs and chose the day to make his statement. He was up among the front bunch from the early stages and made his move soon on entering the straight. He quickened well passing Saffron Fire and fired away from them at a good clip. Highland Wind went in chase but never looked good enough to trouble Shapath. Jockey TS Jodha was in complete command in the final furlong and eased his mount passing the winning post. Highland Wind had to be content with the runner-up berth. Lilibeth saved the place money.  

Gandalf (Sussex – Never Say Goodbye, Pratap Stud) had to dig deep and he did just that to work his way up the order and then collar Dragonmoss right on time to snatch victory on the last stride. Dragonmoss shaped well even before the turn as he was travelling nicely all through. He made steady progress around the turn even as Navigator and Nusrat had entered the straight with the latter threatening to surge further ahead. Dragonmoss made steady progress from the mid-bunch and Gandalf, who was even further back, aped the moves of Dragonmoss, keeping close behind him all the way into the homestretch.

Nusrat had barely headed the field when Dragonmoss arrived to get past fluently. Just when it looked like he would make it, apprentice jockey Pranil got Gandalf going and they fought it out before Gandalf snatch victory in the nick of time. Dragonmoss was unlucky to do down so closely. Nusrat fought on to save place money.

Jockey Neeraj Rawal was the lone pro to achieve a double on the day.