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By Usman Rangila | 17 Sep 2022 | PUNE

Mr Vikram Bachhawat and trainer Vinesh leading Victorious Sermon (A Sandesh Up), winner of The Mysore Race Club Trophy

Finding himself pitted against horses who were either over the hill as far as the career was concerned or those for whom the mile journey was a tad long, Vinesh trained Victorious Sermon (Whatsthescript – Crystal) found his way to the winning enclosure on Saturday. Victorious Sermon assumed command from the word go and called a merry tune to his five rivals all the way home. Jockey A Sandesh judged the pace to a nicety and Victorious Sermon apparently had the race under his control halfway through the journey, where his opponents were all off the bridle. Sunrise Ruby was the only horse which improved after Kamilah started to fade away after chasing the winner in vain into the straight. Trevor Patel brought Sunrise Ruby with a sustained run down the home stretch but Victorious Sermon had sewn up the race well before the mare could ruin his prospects. Kamilah was hard-ridden to keep the third place ahead of Augustus Caesar. Favourite Taimur’s, who had lost narrowly to A Star Is Born earlier, performance was a big let-down as he stuck to the rear and struggled to make any impression when asked for an effort by Bhawani Singh.

Shortly afterwards Sandesh was seen piloting SK Sunderji’s candidate Flying Scotsman (Phoenix Tower – Thread Bare) for an upset but facile win in the supporting event of the day, the Dinkoo N Chenoy Trophy. Chieftan cut the early pace along with longshot Django whilst favourite Queen O’War became too keen and joined the former just after travelling a little over two furlongs from the gates. Nikhil Parmar tried to seize the running from Chieftan as the heads turned for home but was caught flat-footed as Sandesh set Flying Scotsman in motion. The winner spurted into the lead and was soon in the comfort zone. Sandesh gave Flying Scotsman a few taps before he could finish clear of Flaming Lamborgini, who tried hard to catch him. Mystical Rose ended third with the winner’s owner and stable-mate Own Voice, who was not stretched to the hilt, in close tow. Queen O’War ended a disappointing fifth.

Favourite Wall Street (Speaking Of Which – Nifty) made a smashing debut in the Mr Greedy Plate run over a mile and quarter. The Malesh Narredu groomed bay colt was settled close behind Tureci, Venus and Fashion Icon till the field began its climb uphill. Here Yash Narredu eased his grip on Wall Street to range alongside the front runners and launch his assault. After tracking Venus for a while, Wall Street stole a march over his rivals as the field entered the straight. The big made colt then quickened well to oblige his supporters. Kiefer made a valiant attempt to throw a challenge at Wall Street who proved to be too good for him. Gimme ran on from the rear to finish third ahead of Edmund who ended a fair fourth.    

Rehanullah Khan trained Outlander (Phoenix Tower – Slippers Best) was backed to the exclusion of his rivals in the weak set he encountered in the Dr K Vasudevan Trophy (Div-I) and graduated from the maiden ranks in only his second career start. Outlander proved far too speedy for his opponents and made it start to finish though being nagged by runner up Red Carnation till opposite the stands. R Ajinkya astride the winner kept him going in the straight and won comfortably. Tarzan warmed up late to finish third ahead of Power Of Blessing.

The lower division of the K Vasudevan Trophy was picked up by another on-money runner Soup And Sandwich. The Altaf Hussain trained Soup And Sandwich went to the front from the barriers and won in the hands of apprentice S Saqlain without raising any sweat. Hilma Klint came across a superior one as she chased the winner all the way. Northern Singer came out of nowhere to finish third ahead of Fidato and Almas, who seemed to be out for an airing.

At the start of the day’s proceedings, Pisa (Phoenix Tower – Kissed By The Mist) from Imtiaz Sait’s yard shed his maiden status immediately on relegation to the lowest class. Pisa owes his victory to jockey Anthony Raj who kept his nerve after being engaged in a fierce duel by favourite Turmeric Tower as the field turned for the final run in. Anthony keep Pisa on a straight course though intimidated by Turmeric Tower in the last lap of the six furlong trip and safely steered the bay gelding to victory. The 5kg claimer Mustakim Alam showed amazing resilience as he drove Turmeric Tower purposefully but it was certainly not his day as Anthony’s dogged effort and the winner’s long neck deprived him the glory. Zacapa and Intense Belief filled the judges’ frame.

Sandesh ended his day on a high note as he partnered Jack Bauer to an overdue victory in the day’s last race. The S Waheed schooled Jack Bauer lay in wait as Victoria Peak, Multiencrypted and Sentinel called the early shots. Sandesh made his move and grabbed the lead at the final bend and drove out Jack Bauer to help him notch his maiden win ahead of Anoushka, Multiencrypted and Indian Crown.

A lot of smart money was wagered on Narendra Lagad trained and Joy Chinoy ridden Remy Red, which all went down the drain. Remy Red never really recovered after playing up as the gates opened and losing precious ground in the bargain. Chinoy tried to save the punters’ investments by reporting that he was not ready when the starter’s flag came down. After a lengthy deliberation, the stewards’ body decided there was no merit in the jockey’s claim.