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By Mahendra Mallya | 07 Nov 2021 | PUNE

Trainer Hosidar Daji leading Petronia (K Nazil Up) Winner of The S. A. Poonawalla Million (Gr.3)

Hosidar Daji trained Petronia (Kingda Ka - Smoke Ring, Nanoli Stud) shoed commendable improvement as well as 'big race' temperament to claim the prestigious SA Poonawalla Million (Gr3), the feature event of the day. The line-up was small and the favourite was Alicia after her achievements at Hyderabad as also her win in the Nilgiris Derby (Gr1) run at Chennai. Flaming Fire and Regal Command too had a fair share of followers with Petronia too receiving fair support.

Petronia darted into the lead  and galloped at a steady pace. Flaming Fire tried to match strides as they settled down, but fell back approaching the final turn. It is learnt later that Flaming Fire had bled. Alicia kept close behind Petronia, while Regal Command improved from the rear to be within striking distance as they turned for home.

Both Alicia and Regal Command were hopeful of catching up Petronia, but the filly kept a firm grip on the race all through and successfully warded off Alicia's and Regal Command's serious challenge, holding on by just under a length. Regal Command did well to pip Alicia for the runner up berth.

Malesh Narredu trained Mystic Bay (Leitir Mor - Memory Bay, Poonawalla Stud) put in a power-[acked finish in the hands of jockey AS Peter to beat Hidden Gold in the final furlong and clinch the Star Superior Trophy. Hidden Gold hit the front soon on start and Mystic Bay quickly sat close behind the leader. There was a rather longish gap behind the two front runners with St Andrews and  Augustus Caesar racing together with the rest not too far away.

Hidden Gold had a useful lead in the final 400 meters,  but Mystic Bay started to inch closer approaching the distance post. There was no other threat from the others; Mystic Bay tackled Hidden Gold soon on entering the final furlong and galloped fluently to win by over a length. Augustus Caesar managed to pip St Andrews for the third spot.

Joaquin (Saamidd - Phoenix, Hazara Stud) pulled off a clinical win, his second on the trot this season and although he was taking on a higher set of rivals, he showed that he belonged there and won without really having to fire on all cylinders, in the hands of jockey Zervan.

Sunrise Ruby led briefly before Joaquin took charge after the first furlong. Once in the lead, jockey K Nazil looked in supreme confidence keeping the Shahzaan Shah colt in check until into the straight. Giant Star made a forward move and got past Sunrise Ruby, starting to chase down the leader. Joaquin however, paced ahead fluently, galloping with majestic strides to stay well clear of Giant Star. He won by a healthy margin and brought up his fourth victory in seven career starts showing that he is on top of his game at the moment. Giant Star made a wee bit of headway in the final furlong and a race over a mile could change his fortunes. Sunrise Ruby held on to the third spot.

Shroff trained Arcadia (Kingda Ka - Shane, Chester Stud) had to fight off stablemate Bold Legend while scraping through to win the Class III Jefferson Plate. Circle of Life darted into the lead with Successor in chase. Arcadia and Bold Legend were close behind while Mishka's Pride stayed in the rear all the way.

The race came to a boil as soon as they turned for home with Circle of Life barely holding on to her lead as Successor got alongside. Soon Arcadia joined the pair in front and she could not have timed her run better. Bold Legend would have taken the gap had Arcadia not moved up and in the process Bold Legend had to check and skirt around, which would play a crucial part in the final outcome. Arcadia raced ahead of Successor and worked up  a handy lead. Bold Legend had to rework on his momentum and he did so in quick time but not quick enough. Arcadia just managed to escape to victory; Bold Legend was finishing faster, but eventually fell shy by a narrow 'head' verdict.

Shroff had his second of three winners with The Bawaji (Down Approach - Caught On Camera, Equus Stud) claiming the Rao Saheb Kedari Gold Trophy in the penultimate race of the day. After Fleur Des Lys led them until the homestretch, asputin and The Bawaji pulled away from the rest to make it a two-way contest. Rasputin held a slight advantage for most of the homestretch with The Bawaji breathing down his neck. The push came to a shove in the final fifty meters or so and The Bawaji, ridden well by Neeraj Rawal, surged ahead to win by a narrow margin. Multiencrypted held off a host of rivals to clinch the place money.

Shroff signed off the day with his third victory, sending out Alastair (Speaking of Which - Alice Springs, Usha Stud) to his maiden win on his fourth start. The dark bay colt, with jockey PS Chouhan astride, settled quickly in second behind Fuhrer all the way into the straight. This two was reduced to a duel as the others were no match for this pair. Fuhrer looked good entering the straight, but once Alastair began to flex his muscles, it was all over. Alastair sped past Fuhrer and galloped away to win easily by over three lengths. Fuhrer retained the second spot, while Flash Force beat Legartha for the third  lot.

Imtiaz Sait's Impermanence (Anjaal - Close Link, Sohna Stud) showed commendable maturity for a debut run and jockey Sandesh handled the initial jostle at the jump aptly for the filly to shrug it off and go for the lead. Impermanence galloped in fine rhythm right from the start and only got stronger once she led them into the straight. None could even narrow the lead down as Impermanence galloped further and further away to notch up her debut win stylishly and with a comfortable two-length margin.

Karthik's Aira (Varenar - Sayuri, Equus Stud) too achieved a maiden success in the opening race of the day. Aira had it easy as she moved up along the rails to lead them in and then cruised further and further away in the homestretch. She looked the winner long way from home as jockey Bhawani Singh eased the filly up in the final few strides, winning by more than 10 lengths. Royal Castle improved positions in the final furlong to finish second, while Walk the Talk bet Chastity for the place money. 

For the professionals, trainer Pesi Shroff had a fruitful day with three winners, while jockey PS Chouhan scored a double.