Three of Arts scores over Annot yet again
Three Of Arts (Colm O'Donoghue up) winning the Shantidas Askuran Trophy from Annot (P.Kamlesh up)
Trainer Subhag Singh always has an ace up his sleeve when he sends that dark bay colt by Diffident out of Brave Ballerina, curiously named Three of Arts, out to compete in a race. In his last two visits to the racetrack Three of Arts has made Annot his bunny and provided a rich harvest for those who backed him. Annot started her Pune campaign in style showing a clean pair of heels to her rivals twice. Subsequently, the C. D. Katrak trained filly has lost her sheen and has succumbed meekly to Three of Arts. Three of Arts meanwhile has also shown scant respect for the handicapper and succeeded in defying his assessment thrice after graduating at Bangalore in Arjun Mangalorkar’s care. The weight difference between Annot and Three of Arts in the 1000 metre Shantidas Askuran Trophy vis-à-vis their last encounter was expected to help the filly avenge her defeat. The bookies harboured a similar view and Annot remained their odds-on choice until the eight-horse field left the paddock and the floodgates of smart-money burst open. Three of Arts didn’t have to go looking for suitors in the betting ring as they came in herds to lay a bet on him. P. Kamlesh settled Annot behind Royal Hunt and Dunbar who, surprisingly, made the early pace and were joined by Fire God later. Colm O’Donoghue astride Three of Arts experienced a few trying moments from the wayward Oscar Star after jumping out but recovered soon. He avoided any further damage by taking the wide route home. Three of Arts’ gradual progress brought him abreast of Annot, who was still racing on the bit. The Irishman put his head down and worked hard on Three of Arts to pounce on the leaders which he did but not before cutting across Annot’s path. Kamlesh wanted to be compassionate hence drove Annot plain hands and heels when O’Donoghue was in a dominating mood. Three of Arts eventually won comfortably from Annot and Royal Hunt. Apprentice D. K. Ashish probably misunderstood Hormuz Antia’s riding instructions on Oscar Star and rode the mare like a rodeo boy. The runs of Annot, Fire God and Oscar Star need to be ignored. Niall McCullagh got two riding engagements from Pesi Shroff and he kept both his own as well as his master’s kitty swelling by steering them effectively. The odds against Secret Garden kept climbing since morning and reached 2 to 1 against to set off alarm bells. The daughter of Razeen out of Habitizia however remained unconcerned throughout the mile journey. She called the bluff of Here Comes The Don in the straight and took charge of the running. Niall then powered Secret Garden to keep both Cincinnati and Ishtar at bay. Ishtar sucked in a lot of money that came her way but failed to live up to the expectations of all. Royal Princess (Royal Kingdom – Tiddly Widdly), who was hot favourite to win the Loyal Manzar Trophy, survived a major scare from her major adversary Elmwood. Royal Princess began accelerating only when the field was brought into the home stretch by Scarsdale. Elmwood was ridden off the pace by Malcolm Kharadi and alerted to his task when skirting the false rails. Elmwood devouring run found him breathing down the neck of Royal Princess. It was the experience of Niall and his purpose-driven ride that made the difference as Royal Princess kicked on to frustrate Elmwood. Zephyrella and Scarsdale completed the frame. Although he was not riding for the first time, jockey Mallesh Narredu’s return to the saddle become some sort of an event for many racegoers. Mallesh however kept his poise and made a successful comeback with Fiery Fortune becoming his special-purpose-vehicle. Mallesh chose to bring Magansingh Jodha trained Fiery Fortune (Hymn – Sparkling Champagne) through rails after Landlord shifted out to provide him enough room to manoeuvre. Fiery Fortune registered his maiden win with Landlord, Artillery and Behaving Badly finishing in that order. Virginia Woolf (Storm Trooper – Scarborough) from Vijay Kasbekar’s barns denied Mallesh a brace when Raju Singh found the filly responding gallantly to his call and got the measure of Lunar Queen, the favourite who shaping as a winner, close home. Trainer Nina Lalvani found succour in the victory of Star Girl (Diffident – Mizvicki) after seeing two runners from her yard, Landlord and Cincinnati, play the bridesmaid’s role. Star Girl assumed her customary front-running role and finally managed to catch the judge’s eye first to provide the 5kg-claimer Raju Singh a double. Despite conceding over 10kg to the Star Girl, the Shiraz Sunderji saddled favourite appeared to be in the process of collaring her in the shadow of the winning post but that turned out to be an illusion. The RWITC Stipes were apparently not convinced by Call To Arms’ performance and the fact that Harish lost his whip in the last 50m. It is reported that they will be looking into this matter. Ancient Princess never recovered after being inconvenienced by Call To Arms at the start and ended sixth. The concluding race was claimed by Rising Warrior (Concordial – Insatiable), who was given a confident ride by trainer Altaf Hussain’s nephew Riyaz Shaikh. Sound of Silence tried to bridge the gap in the straight but found the winner too good. Black Warrior finished on when all was over to prevent Acceptance a place in the money. King’s Desire seemed to have lost all the interest at the gates itself after throwing tantrums during the loading process. He was in the vanguard along with Acceptance before retiring a close fifth.