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By Usman Rangila | 17 Sep 2023 | PUNE

Mr Vivek S Jain, Mrs B E Saldanha and trainer M Narredu leading Enabler (Yash Narredu up), winner of The S A Poonawalla Million (Gr.3)

After a scratchy start to his campaign this season, Enabler ran true to the potential as expected by his connections when he won the SA Poonawalla Million (Gr.3) on Sunday. The chestnut colt schooled by Malesh Narredu, who had come off the pace in both his previous outings, was found wanting against Hall of Grace in the first appearance and later put up a brilliant show for his maiden victory in a handicap event. Enabler jumped out smartly from the gates and Yash Narredu showed enough maturity to keep him well up with the pace set by Hall of Grace, who had Believe in close attendance. Yash switched gears on Enabler as the field of seven came down the hill and threw his gauntlet at Hall of Grace after she brought her rivals into the home stretch. He then drove Enabler (Ruler of the World – Rozene) vigorously to gain the upper hand over Hall of Grace, who had all but given up in the last furlong of the mile event. Julius with Bhawani Singh in the saddle graced the wrong end of the field till his rider switched lanes and made his bid from the outside.  Karthik Ganapathy-groomed Julius failed to keep a straight course and only managed to pip Dream Alliance for the runner-up slot after being whipped excessively by his saddle partner. Apprentice Mustakim Alam-partnered Dream Alliance from Imtiaz Sait’s string also launched his assault at the same juncture and ranged alongside Enabler before Julius arrived on the scene. Dream Alliance couldn’t raise a fluent gallop and eventually ended a close third. Hall of Grace faded out to be fourth with the other three runners out of the fray in the straight.
The Villoo C. Poonawalla Million, the day's second million event, run over a six-furlong sprint went the way of young Deepesh Narredu’s ward Pure for Sure, who went wire-to-wire in the hands of YS Srinath. Pure for Sure (Phoenix Tower – Sweet P), who was beaten for early pace by Maysara during her maiden appearance on the Pune track, shot ahead as soon as the gates opened and was never headed by any of her rivals as Srinath packed enough punch in his effort to keep the late-finishing Racing Romance at bay. Favourite Serrano yet again went into the race as the firm favourite but the MK Jadhav-saddled and NS Parmar-ridden bay gelding never raised any hopes and finished a poor fourth behind Bubbly Boy.

Srinath was entrusted with another fancied juvenile, Multiverse, during the day but the favourite found the going tough against his experienced rivals. Antony Raj brought Fancy Nancy with a smooth run just before the final turn to overtake the front-runners headed by Otello, Hagibis and Fontana and it appeared that the Imtiaz Sait-nurtured filly was on her way to record her second career success. But Kariena came with a rattle in the home stretch when Neeraj Rawal reminded Karthik’s ward of her task ahead. Fancy Nancy fell victim to the devouring run unleashed by Kariena (Excellent Art – Santa Ana), who asserted her authority a few strides away from the winning post. Stunning Visual was the fastest finishing horse in the dying moments of the race as she came from nowhere to deny Multiverse a chance to finish in the money.
Three weeks after suffering a mishap during the race, Pesi Shroff-schooled Sea The Sun showed no signs of discomfort and romped home to dispel all doubts that were raised about his fitness. Jockey C. Umesh gave a peach of a ride to the colt and was a winner at every stage of the mile and half journey for the Serum Institute of India Trophy. Sea The Sun (Sea The Moon – Aspen Sun) showed the way to his four rivals Alpha Domino, Vincent Van Gogh, Gangster and Murwara Princess, who raced in a procession from the word go. Just before approaching the final turn, Sea The Sun found his three opponents barring Murwara Princess running abreast and for a fleeting moment it appeared that they would overhaul him. But Umesh put his head down and went all out astride Sea The Sun, which allowed him to regain the lead. The bay colt then drew clear of his rivals and had something in reserve when passing the post well ahead of Vincent Van Gogh who necked out Alpha Domino for the second spot. Gangster ended fourth.
The three handicap races for the lowest class were claimed by Nairobi, Walshy and Sussing, who earned the cornbill for their respective masters – Nirad Karanjawala, Adil Dajee and HJ Antia. Jockey SG Prasad kept Nairobi (Sussex – Capriani) on the haunches of Habibi till entering the straight and bounded forth after the latter threw in the towel. Nairobi then sailed clear for a convincing win over Prince O’War, Reciprocity and Arbitrage. The odds against Bomber went for a toss in the betting ring even as Arbitrage found sustained support. Bomber ran true to the market expectations and finished off the board whereas Arbitrage ended fourth after warming up late to his task. Nairobi had the race in her safe keeping much before Arbitrage could make his presence felt. 
Last-outing winner Walshy, the solitary horse in Adil Dajee’s yard, was ridden confidently by apprentice Haridas Gore for an encore. Walshy (Whatsthescript – Bretton Woods) tracked favourite Fidato and Zukor till entering the straight and forced the former into submission about 100m from home when given his head by Haridas. Jetfire ended in the money ahead of Dowsabel. 
Antia’s move to put the 5kg-claimer Navnath Bhosale astride Sussing proved spot on as the mare just about managed to escape the clutches of runner-up India Strong. Navnath had Sussing (Sussex – Safe Keeping) in close attendance of Champagne Smile and Mighty Thunder till the heads turned for home. The bay mare found an amenable victim in Mighty Thunder, who had assumed command from Champagne Smile after the latter had packed her wares at the turn itself. Parmar-steered India Strong came with a late burst but fell short by a neck as the weight on his back proved to be a handicap, literally. Mighty Thunder ended a fair third ahead of Trinket.