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By Usman Rangila | 05 Aug 2023 | PUNE

Trainer Adhiraj S Jodha leading Dangerous (PS Chouhan up), winner of the Eve Champion Trophy (Gr.3)

After beating King’s Ransom in the Forbes Breeders Juvenile Fillies’ Championship earlier at Mahalaxmi, it was a case of so near yet so far on several occasions for Dangerous in the last year and half. Subsequent to her failure in the classics, Dangerous suffered an ignominious defeat at the hands of Charlie in her previous appearance in a Class III event. But the Adhirajsingh Jodha nursed chestnut filly discovered her winning form with a glorious victory in the Eve Champion Trophy (Gr.3) on Saturday. Dangerous started as the first favourite but it was Pesi Shroff trained Supernatural who cornered most of betting during race time.

The three runners from Shroff’s yard were up in front as the eight-horse field embarked on the mile and quarter journey with Souza setting the early pace. While Supernatural was nicely settled behind Chopin in the third slot by Trevor Patel as the runners raced in a single file. PS Chouhan had Dangerous (Speaking of Which – Transformation) nicely covered close on the heels of Supernatural and swiftly ranged alongside his main opponent as the horses started the climb uphill. In a smart move when the heads turned for home, Chouhan left no room for Trevor to manoeuvre when overtaking Supernatural and surged ahead. Neeraj Rawal astride Chopin marred Supernatural’s chances further as he shifted out in trying to take a non-existent gap and bumped her just when Dangerous loomed large on the outside. Supernatural lost momentum even as Dangerous stole a march over his rivals. Rasputin and Mojito tried unsuccessfully to catch Dangerous in the short straight and eventually it was Dyf who posed a threat to her stablemate close home. The grey filly came with long-stretched run to reach the haunches of her stablemate in the last 100mts but Chouhan kept Dangerous going under the whip to wrest the glory. Dyf gave a gallant show considering the fact that she was conceding 6kg to the winner. Mojito ended third ahead of Rasputin.

Adhirajsingh had a back-to-back double when Hall of Grace (Planetaire – Peritomoreno) registered an encore in the hands of apprentice Gagandeep Mann in the August Handicap. The bay filly gave another speedy display as she stormed into the lead from the gates and made her rivals dance to her tune all the way home over the seven furlong trip. Favourite Democracy was outpaced though she was kept in a striking position behind Hall of Grace. She proved no match to the winner and was forced to play the role of bridesmaid yet again. Kinzhal and Impunity both ran on to fill the final frame.

Faisal Abbas was also successful in saddling a winning double through Zukor and Fortune Teller. Ridden by apprentice A Karande, Zukor (Roderic O’Connor – Queen’s Guest) was the firm favourite to win against a mediocre opposition in the curtain raiser and he readily obliged to taste his maiden success. Zukor chased the no-hopers Reciprocity and Slam Dunk into the straight and kicked on to keep Remy Red at bay. C’est L’amour and Slam Dunk took the minor places.

Fortune Teller was neglected in the betting as most of money flowed the way of Opus Dei, My Princess and Galway Bay and also due to the fact that he was entrusted to jockey Amyn Merchant. But the bay son of Excellent Art out of Star Goddess was tuned to the moment by Faisal which was evident when he made easy meat of his opponents. Fortune Teller pounced upon leaders Fidato and Harriet soon after they brought the field into the straight and left his rivals stranded. Galway Bay ended a tame second ahead of Fidato and Ocean of God. The last named bears watching over a longer trip.

Flaming Lamborgini (Planetaire – Ruby Royal) also registered a surprise win a race earlier when the Imtiaz Sait trainee scored a bloodless victory over his fancied rivals. The winner was settled behind early leaders Key To The Mint, Fortunate Son and Kiefer who called the early shots. Fortunate Son, the favourite, raced too keen in the initial stages and took some time before settling down behind Key To The Mint. Kiefer took charge on entering the home stretch but was soon overhauled by his stablemate Flaming Lamborgini, who was hard-ridden by CS Jodha. Own Voice ended second while Gangster finished on late to take the third place ahead of Brave Beauty, who failed to live up to the expectations of her followers.

Apprentice Mustakim Alam ridden Daulat Mai (Phoenix Tower – Costa Esmeralda) justified her favouritism with a convincing win over seven furlongs. The Narendra Lagad trained Daulat Mai went in pursuit of Love Warrior from the word go and swooped down on him at the bend. The favourite established a winning lead thereafter and won easily from Finch, who was way ahead of Cipher and Charming Star. Fancied Mysterious Angel planted in the gates and took no part in the race.

SN Joshi saddled Come Back Please (Tale of a Champion – Flaming Bay) carried feather weight on his back which paved way for his maiden win in the lowest class. Apprentice Navnath Bhosale gave a confident ride to Come Back Please after gradually recovering lost ground at the start and brought the winner with a resolute run in the straight to collar Lord Murphy. He went on to score a fine victory over Verdandi and Mastery, who was also slowly out from the gates. Lord Murphy, who was being hailed as a winner close home, retired to be fourth.