- india's first & foremost horse racing portal


By Mahendra Mallya | 17 Oct 2021 | PUNE

Sultan Suleiman (N S Parmar Up), winner of The Delhi Race Club Trophy

Racing excitement returned to Pune finally but the closed-door status left the usually large number of buffs in dismay and understandably so. However, this is the new normal and under the circumstances getting the racing off the blocks in itself was a huge plus for the Club. It is hoped that the truncated season eventually ensures that the Club will dwell upon the spectators' desires too and does it's bit to convince the state authorities to allow people to enjoy their racing albeit with appropriate precautions in place.

Sultan Suleiman (Arazan – Saffron Dancer, Poonawalla Stud) enhanced his reputation with a clinical victory on his first assignment since March this year with a resounding win by close to two lengths. St Andrews showed good speed to go into the lead with Mystic Bay close behind along with Carpisca until the turn. Rambunctious raced on the outside of the front bunch, a little ahead of Sultan Suleiman. Grand Accord was a bit tardy at the start and tailed the field all the way into the homestretch. 

Mystic Bay tried to challenge St Andrews but the latter did not give an inch. Caprisca didn't have much to offer and fell back. Jockey NS Parma guided Sultan Suleiman between horses and once he got the clear passage, the Altaf Hussain trainee started to accelerate as he is known to do. Sultan Suleiman whizzed past the trio in front with ease and stretched away to flex his superiority on the day. Grand Accord did well to improve well as he finished on fastest to beat the rest for the runner-up berth. St Andrews just about held on from Mystic Bay for the place money. Rambunctious had her chances, but could not capitalize on it and she ended one off the frame.
Malesh Narredu trained Flaming Fire (Kitten's Joy – High Jinks, Manjri Stud) had been working attractively on the morning track and true to the trend produced a blazing run to pick a memorable debut win. 

Flaming Fire settled nicely in jockey Yash Narredu's hands, up with the front running Zarak and Rasputin. Alastair raced on the outside and at the turn too he was the widest of all. Kokomo raced in the mid-bunch as did Regal Command for most of the seven furlong distance. 

Flaming Fire had to search his way between Zarak and Rasputin and while Yash was waiting for enough gap to venture in, Kokomo made a quick headway past the trio to grab the lead. Flaming Fire swung into action soon and sliced through the two and began to quicken. Kokomo put up a grim fight as Flaming Fire caught up and threatened to surge ahead. The two were engaged for a good 100 meters and Flaming Fire came up trumps to win by a neck. Kokomo was a gallant second; Regal Command finished on fastest and caught the eye while covering a lot of ground albeit a tad too late, as he did finish on the haunches of the top two finishers. 

Shazaan Shah's Joaquin (Saamidd – Phoenix, Hazara Stud) was back at his best and picked up from his dipping form to score an emphatic victory. Joaquin showed good early pace and settled nicely behind Wild Flower along with Belenus until into the straight. 

Joaquin collard Wild Flower soon on turning for home and shot into the lead, galloping at a cracking pace. Once ahead, jockey S Zervan was in complete control and he sped further ahead to score a comprehensive victory encountering no threat whatsoever. Endeavour finished a good second, considering he was not in the best of position inside the shorter Pune straight. Endeavour had to switch from the rails to the outside and that took a while, but once he got a clear run, he finished full of steam to beat Aegon and Wild Flower for the second slot. 

Red Merlot (Surfrider – Mateus Rose, Ruia Stud) put in a power-packed finish to score a convincing victory over Marvellous. This pair made it a two-horse race as both Hela and Nothing to Worry, the closest behind them, fell back soon on turning for home. Marvellous was a shade ahead of Red Merlot coming into the straight, but it didn't take too long for Red Merlot to step up pace and surge past Marvellous. Jockey Dashrath Singh rode out confidently and the Narendra Lagad trainee picked up speed with every stride to snuff the fight out of Marvellous and score his second victory in five starts. For the lesser experience Marvellous, this was a learning experience and the filly should do better the next time round. 

The Strategic Move Plate for class IV horses saw a keen battle between stable & owner mates, with Minx getting the better of Medora close home, the Pesi Shroff wards grabbing the top two positions. Medora led them into the straight with Moonshot close behind and Minx improving from the third spot to make her bid. Medora was fighting hard as Minx started to gain on her. The pair fought a good part of the homestretch with no other threat in sight. Minx eventually stretched out better in the hands of five-kilo claimer Kirtish Bhagat to peg back Medora and score a narrow half-length victory. Medora fought well all the way, but the five-kilo allowance may have weighed in on her. Medora is sure to benefit from this run and can strike when out next. Petronia too progressed well as she was way behind until the turn. She improved positions in the straight and did well to finish in the money. 

Veteran trainer MK Jadhav's Peppoli (Tamayuz – Albeed, Nanoli Stud) showed considerable improvement over her three previous unplaced outings to score her maiden win on her fourth attempt winning the upper division of the Navkhal Trophy. Ridden by jockey Prashant Dhebe, Peppoli raced in third behind early leaders Hilad and Windy City until they turned for home. Windy City prolonged her reign until Peppoli arrived and dashed past to grab the lead. Lambretta was in a good position but found it hard to keep pace with Peppoli. Grand Architect put in a good burst in the final 100 meters, but by then Peppoli had sealed the issue. Grand Architect fell just 3/4L shy of Peppoli at the wire. Lambretta held on to finish third from Anoushka. 

Imtiaz Sait's Sandra's Secret (Sedgefield – Sinai) showed high alacrity in the straight to slip in through the rails and fight all the way to achieve her maiden success in the lower division of the Navkhal Trophy. La Peregrina had a handy lead coming into the straight, but soon Sufiyah started to chase the leader down. Sandra's Secret, ridden by Ayyar, started to improve approaching the distance post. Sufiyah had just managed to get past La Peregrina when Sandra's Secret slipped in from the rails to snatch a narrow victory from Sufiyah. La Peregrina ended a close third. 

HJ Antia trained Dilbar (Ivory touch – Circus Ring, Ruia Stud) scored an easy start-to-finish victory in the opening race of the season. Hitting the front soon on start, Dilbar kicked on gamely in the straight without encountering any danger. Dilbar, with Shubham in the saddle, was well clear in the final furlong and the late dash from ON Va Danser made no impact on Dilbar who won by more than two lengths. On Va Danser arrived with a late burst, but had too much to do in the straight. He ended a notable second and could be a tough customer in his next start. Blazing Bay ended a tame third. 

Cellini (Arazan – Yomalo, Poonawalla Stud) looked class apart while winning the concluding race of the day. Jockey TS Jodha settled Cellini in the third spot behind Slam Dunk and Northern Singer. Once into the straight, Lagartha moved ahead but soon Cellini was all over her. Cellini took off with a little over a furlong to go and stretched out fluently to win by a healthy margin. The Bezan Chinoy trainee made it look ridiculously easy as he charged ahead  returning all alone in the final furlong. Beamer made steady progress coming from a long way back to take the runner up slot from Goshawk and Jetfire.