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By Usman Rangila | 15 Aug 2022 | PUNE

Imtiaz A Sait leading Lego (A Sandesh Up), winner of The Mayor Baburao Sanas Memorial Independence Million powered by SRS Group

The chestnut filly Leto (Roderic O’Connor – Devoted Eyes) from Imtiaz Sait’s yard was apparently tuned to the moment after her educative run at the start of the season and she gave a superlative performance to claim the late Mayor Baburao Sanas Memorial Independence Million. A Sandesh settled Leto in a very handy position at the back of the field as stable-mate Sky Storm set the early pace over the mile and quarter journey. Souza, the crowd favourite, raced in a striking position and was eased into the lead when Sky Storm dropped back. Sandesh timed his challenge to perfection as he let Leto loose when the heads turned for home. Souza had no answer to Leto’s swashbuckling run and the filly won more easily than her margin suggests. Amped was the only horse in the field who showed good stamina and not only stayed the trip but also ran close to Leto and Souza. The other eight contenders including She Is On Fire, who finished fourth, were simply outclassed. Leto has the potential to repeat and Amped should not linger in maiden company for long.

Pesi Shroff had a back-to-back double through Alastair (Speaking Of Which – Alice Springs) and Kinnara (Kingman – Mujadil Draw). Flaming Lamborgini tried runaway tactic which came to a nought when favourite Alastair who was always in hot pursuit wore him down with about a furlong left for home. PS Chouhan drove Alastair vigorously and his handicap advantage enabled him to keep Multistarrer at bay. NS Parmar astride Pure found a wall of horses in front him when making his bid in the straight. Parmar found the gap too late and Pure’s late charge could only fetch the third slot. Arabian Phoenix failed to quicken and ended fourth. The other contenders finished in a huddle behind.

Bottom-weighted Kinnara swept her rivals off their feet as PS Kaviraj took Shroff’s ward on a successful pillar-to-post mission. Kaviraj gave Kinnara a confident ride and romped home beating favourite Petronia comfortably. Count Of Savoy and Alicia followed them home.

Debutant Lady Cadet (Kingda Ka – Al Khazneh) registered a surprise victory in the second division of the Royal Barbers Trophy. Lady Cadet showed plenty of initial speed to grab the lead at the start and her saddle partner G Santosh was just required to keep her on a straight course. The Adhirajsingh Jodha trained chestnut filly then sped away in the home stretch to annihilate the piping hot favourite Montgomery, who struggled to catch his conqueror. Nelson River and Zip Along ran on to finish on the board.

The upper division of the Royal Barbers Trophy was claimed in identical fashion by SK Sunderji groomed filly Kaitlan (Roderic O’Connor – Aviette). The bay filly took charge of the running from Weronika who led briefly after the starter’s flag came down. Kaitlan then kept increasing her lead and put daylight between herself and her nearest rival Weronika when passing the winning post. Touch Of Fury came from nowhere to finish third ahead of Golden Lioness and House Of Lords who were seen plodding in the home stretch.

In another speedy display witnessed during the day, Esperanza (Phoenix Tower – Anacapri) from Shazaan Shah’s yard registered an encore as she vanquished her opponents in the Janardhan Trophy. S Zervan had Esperanza in front as soon as the gates flew open and the filly cruised away for an impressive win over Enlightened, Champers On Ice and Magileto, who were no match for the speedy filly.

Faisal Abbas trained Mad Love (Kingda Ka – Lassere) recorded her first career success with a fluent win in the day’s curtain raiser. Kept in the mid bunch by Trevor Patel, Mad Love gathered momentum after turning for home and moved resolutely to overhaul leader Jack Bauer in the last 100m. Commandment, Toussaint and Caprifla ran prominently in the front but found the winner too good.

Narendra Lagad nurtured Northern Singer (Chinese Whisper – Octagleam) wound up the day’s proceedings with a runaway win. The bay mare hit the front despite coming out from the wide draw and Dashrath Singh steered her to a bloodless win over Divine Soul, Cognosco, Red Dust and the rest who finished a distance behind the winner.