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By Usman Rangila | 22 Oct 2022 | PUNE

Mr Nitin Himmatmal Jain & Mr Jatin Laxmikant Trivedi leading Great Guns (R Ajinkya Up), winner of the Times of India Trophy

Trainer Sheraz Sunderji trained Great Guns continued his good form and earned his second bracket of the season when claiming the Times Of India Trophy in a nail-biting

finish from Aah Bella on Saturday. Superleggera found himself in front as the start was given and S Zervan had no option but to let him show the way to the field of seven. Time and Zarak moved up to challenge Superleggera, who blew up soon after entering the straight. Meanwhile, Neeraj Rawal couldn’t find the desired response from Time as Zarak took the lead momentarily before Aah Bella was set alight by A Sandesh and R Ajinkya made his move with Great Guns on the outer flank. Aah Bella zoomed ahead as Sandesh found a dream opening and the Imtiaz Sait nurtured filly appeared en route her maiden win. But Ajinkya-ridden Great Guns ran true to his name and came with a explosive run to dash the hopes of Aah Bella in his last stride. Great Guns and Aah Bella were separated by a nose with Zarak ending third ahead of Time.

In the Hindu Trophy later, Imtiaz Sait’s ward Pyrrhus went on a pillar to post mission and looked like pulling it off before Balenciaga got into her act. Favourite Pyrrhus with CS Jodha in the saddle had gone sailing into the lead even as debutant Inamorata was slow to take off. Balenciaga from Dallas Todywalla’s yard, who was running without blinkers on this occasion, showed remarkable improvement as she went in pursuit of Pyrrhus after turning for home. Balenciaga (Aclaim – Eskdale) gave a superb response when Trevor Patel asked her for an effort and came with a long-stretched run to overwhelm Pyrrhus in the shadow of the winning post. Perfect Win ran on to be in the money with Bomber and House Of Lords finishing close behind.

It seemed that it would be a case of third time lucky for Sait when Sinner with apprentice S Saqlain in saddle headed the nine-horse field for the Dopahar Trophy and had a comfortable lead just before entering the home stretch. But, unfortunately, that was not to be as Sinner started to drift out as the field straightened for home and refused to race on an even keel despite Saqlain’s desperate efforts. Meanwhile Neeraj Rawal ridden Jack Bauer, who followed Sinner into the straight, had the upper hand briefly before being joined by favourite Kings Best and Finch. These three horses went stride for stride as Sinner reached the outer sand track. Sandesh derived the best from trainer Vinesh schooled Finch (Ampere – Pointillist) who surged ahead to taste his maiden with a comfortable victory over Jack Bauer who ended a neck ahead of Trevor Patel-steered Kings Best. The last named came through the shortest way home but surprisingly struggled to match strides with the winner. Sinner eventually ended fourth a length away.

Sanjay Kolse saddled Toussaint (Buratino – Kay Es Jay) ran true to the expectations of both his master and the punters when justifying the favouritism in the Trophy at the start of the day’s proceedings. Apprentice Haridas Gore aboard Toussaint eased the on-money favourite into the lead shortly after the starter’s flag came down and called a merry tune to his rivals all the way home. Narendra Lagad trained filly Daulat Mai, who had never placed in her previous eight started and had finished way behind in her previous appearance, surprisingly showed remarkable improvement in her form and ended runner up in the hands of apprentice Mustakim Alam. Dagger’s Strike and Sentinel completed the frame. Giverny with Trevor in saddle couldn’t get off smoothly from the gates and trailed the field throughout.

Three flip-flop runs following her smashing victory on the Independence Day races, Narendra Lagad nursed Northern Singer (Chinese Whisper – Octagleam) returned once again to the winner’s enclosure carrying the public’s purse on her back. Mustakim got straight down to business utilising Northern Singer’s initial speed and was a winner at every post of the five-furlong sprint for the Race Mirror Trophy. Tristar took the second berth in a three-way finish with Victoria Peak and the late finishing Stars For You. Cognosco ran prominently before failing to quicken and ended fifth. Dowsabel was squeezed out of the reckoning by Stars For You and Victoria Peak at the start and finished sixth.

Hosidar Daji nursed Mysterious Girl (Roderic O’Connor – Aviette) took a level break from the gates this time and the extra furlong went in her favour and was confidently ridden to her maiden win by K Nazil. Mysterious Girl, who had finished a close fourth sporting an eye-patch for the first time behind Rue St Honore on Pune Derby day, reproduced that spark and came with raking strides to collar Multiencrypted close home. Remy Red ended a fair third ahead of Trevor-ridden Galloping Glory, who encountered slight interference on the way but took a long time warming up to her task in the straight. Dalasan and Juiced covered lost ground after a slow start and finished close behind Galloping Glory. However, it would be advisable to leave them alone until they improve gate manners. Favourite Toofan surprisingly started to fall back after the bend to end second last and it’s surprising that the stipendiary stewards didn’t enquire about his poor performance.