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By Mahendra Mallya | 26 Oct 2019 | PUNE

Trainer Nosher Cama leading Bronx ( Neeraj Rawal Up), winner of The Aquaguard Championship R.W.I.T.C. Ltd Gold Cup (Gr.2)

Bronx (China Visit – Blue Ridge, Usha Stud), saddled by trainer Noshir Cama, was among the lesser fancied runners in the fray. With favourite Auburn hogging most of the attention in the betting ring, followed by Secretive Force and Raees to an extent, Bronx was offered at very generous odds. Auburn was the automatic first choice and not without reason. She had scored two facile wins this season and had looked fluent and at the top of her game. Secretive Force and arrived with a reputation and being the youngest of the lot, had immense scope to improve as well. Raees was the other one who looked in great touch while scoring his third successive victory in the longest race of the land. However, all those credentials came to a naught when Bronx opened throttle in the homestretch!

Everything seemed going on expected lines when jockey Akshay Kumar eased Auburn into the lead as they bolted out of the gates. Another front-runner Vulcan settled in third with Secretive Force a couple of lengths behind; another gap of about 4 lengths had Bronx with the rest close behind, Watchmyscript at the tail end.

One felt the anxiety when Akshay Kumar started to move his elbows just at the turn, which was not the case last time. Auburn was ridden out before the turn and the eyes quickly shifted to see who was gaining ground and none could miss Bronx making headway, not inching, but pouncing on the front runners. Jockey Neeraj Rawal sailed away soon on turning for home and Bronx strode out majestically to romp home a clear winner without encountering any challenge whatsoever. Raees improved positions to finish on a faraway second with Watchmyscript finishing a close third alongside Raees.

Sunrise Ruby (Whatsthescript – Venus Arising, Nanoli Stud) notched up her memorable maiden win with a fine showing on her first attempt on this turf. She had raced once in Mumbai and ended securing the third place in the Karl Umrigar Trophy won by Kildare. The long break obviously had done a world of good to the Hosidar Daji trained filly and she showed out on the race track when it most mattered.

Tristar led them into the straight and kicked on ahead. Notoriety was under pressure ad was ridden out. Sunrise Ruby was warming up along the rails, while Tudor Hall made rapid progress at the turn, but had to take the turn from the wide outside. Tristar led them into the final furlong but was running out of steam. Notoriety was trying hard, yet making little progress. Sunrise Ruby got going with about 100m to go and jockey Akshay Kumar drove the filly past Tristar to win comfortably. Notoriety held on to the runner-up berth while Tudor Hall managed to pip Tristar for the place money.

Trainer Adhiraj Jodha led-in back-to-back winners in Articulate and Warrior Clan, both of whom were backed with confidence and both notched up their respective maiden wins.

Articulate (Excellent Art – Star Angel, Poonawalla Stud) was off to a quick start and settled behind Mount Olympus with Stick to the Plan improving gradually to be in touch with those in front. Mount Olympus did nto last long and soon Articulate started to dominate. Stick to the Plan tried hard to catch up, but jockey Neeraj Rawal kept Articulate going all the way to stay ahead and score by a narrow margin. Stick to the Plan ended less than length behind to finish a good second. Periwinkle did well to cover a lot of ground in the straight and snatch the place money from Mount Olympus.

Warrior Clan (Hymn – Run Withthe Spirit, Jai Govind Stud) made it start-to-finish galloping at a good clip throughout. C’est L’Amour did throw in a game challenge soon on entering the straight, but could not sustain and dropped after matching strides for a brief while. Thea’s Fire finished on better than C’est L’Amour to claim the runner-up slot. Warrior Clan won untroubled despite the margin being just over a length.

SK Sunderji trained Chephirah (Varenar – Ajaweed, Equus Stud) obliged a large following while working her way from the fourth spot nearing the turn, to surge ahead early in the straight and settle the issue. God’s Decree led the field homeward with Valiant Star close behind. Jockey CS Jodha pushed his way forward and got Chephirah going at a good clip. Once she surged into the lead, Chephirah kept the momentum going and sped away to score by over two lengths. Twinspire improved in the final furlong to take away the runner up berth from God’s Decree. Dowsable had an educative outing, a good forward run all along and should benefit from this outing.

 Rainbow Trout (Leitir Mor – Rainbow Queen, Poonawalla Stud) galloped to her second straight win and this time she had to earn her victory. Shae led them into the straight and soon Rainbow Trout made her move. Power of Thor joined these two and as the trio was abreast, Rainbow Trout was in some discomfort as he was squeezed between the two. It looked pretty tough, but jockey Sandesh managed to wriggle out in time; Shae tiring a bit did help Rainbow Trout’s cause. Power of Thor was looming large all the time and not letting Rainbow Trout get away. Both fought it out right up to the wire with Rainbow Trout holding out to carve out a well-earned victory. Power of Thor was a gallant second finishing well ahead of Shae.

Malesh Narredu trained Auspicious (Excellent Art – Lovely Kiss, Poonawalla Stud) scored an encore taking complete advantage of the gap along the rails soon on turning for home. Bonafide led them in and was fighting to stay in contention. Run Forest Run was on the outside and jockey Suraj Narredu did not wait for a second invitation to poke through the gap on the inner railing. Once ahead, Auspicious accelerated well to stretch away from Run Forrest Run. Night Hawk made good progress along the rails to beat Run Forrest Run for the second place. Cipher improved late to take the remaining slot in the frame.

Isinit (Arabian Girl – Soul Sister, Manjri Stud) put in a strong gallop in the straight to hold the rest at bay. Up with the front running Furiosa, Isinit pushed ahead soon on entering the straight. Maestro made a hard attempt at catching up, but did not muster well enough. Bohemian was right there but failed to quicken. Isinit eventually kicked on to win easily from Maestro and Furiosa.

For the professionals, trainer Adhiraj Jodha, jockeys A Sandesh and Neeraj Rawal scored a double each.