- india's first & foremost horse racing portal


By Usman Rangila | 05 Nov 2023 | PUNE

Trainer Adhiraj S Jodha leading Dangerous (Neeraj Rawal up), winner of Teena Katrak Memorial R.W.I.T.C. Ltd Trophy (Gr.2)

The chestnut filly Dangerous, hailing from the yards of young Adhirajsingh Jodha, brought an end to the winning streak of Northern Lights in the Teena Katrak Memorial RWITC Ltd. Trophy (Gr.2) here on the concluding day of the Pune racing season 2023. Northern Lights, the grey gelding groomed by Pesi Shroff who had an uninterrupted sequence of seven victories in a row since the Indian Derby day last February, was expected to continue his winning run and thus installed as the favourite. But he looked out of depth when ending a poor fourth behind the winner. Wall Street set the pace over the mile and quarter journey and was followed in a queue by Dangerous, Northern Lights, Mojito and Rasputin. The order of running remained unaltered till Neeraj Rawal urged Dangerous to range alongside Wall Street. As they field straightened for home, Dangerous tackled Wall Street to assume command and had her three adversaries in hot pursuit. Mojito threw a strong challenge at Dangerous (Speaking of Which ­– Transformation) but the filly stretched out well and stayed out of his reach. Rasputin finished on well to beat Mojito on the post for the second place. Northern Lights was a goner much before the race came to a boil and ended fourth after Wall Street lost pace to be last in the field of five.

The long-awaited appearance of Jendayi, who had made a smashing debut towards the end of the Mumbai season, came about when she went out as the on-money favourite to claim the General Rajendrasinhji Million. Trevor Patel-partnered Hall of Grace went sailing ahead shortly after the start and opened up a long lead in the initial three furlongs of the mile journey which was cut down as the field approached the final turn. The two serious contenders in the four-horse field – Waikiki and Jendayi, who were in chase of the leader, went off the bridle at the top of the home stretch even as Hall of Grace was desperately trying to hold on to her lead. However, Jendayi came cantering along when shown the daylight by PS Chouhan and went past Waikiki and Hall of Grace in a trice. Jendayi (Gleneagles – Monasada) had something in reserve when she checked in three lengths clear of Waikiki, who was a neck ahead of Hall of Grace. Alexandros toiled at the tail end throughout.

Veteran Mansingh Jadhav-nurtured juvenile Serrano, who had disappointed in both his career starts, finally graduated from the maiden ranks when he scored an easy victory to claim the Betbricks7 Cup in the hands of NS Parmar. Serrano (Twilight Son – Merletta) came from the wide draw to seize the initiative and was never headed over the six-furlong sprint. Bubbly Boy was in a futile chase throughout and ended runner-up ahead of Roll the Dice, who finished on late. Favourite Littorio took a fly jump from the gates and lost some ground in the process but soon recovered to be in touch with the leaders. The bay colt however failed to quicken and finished fourth.

Hormuz Antia ended his campaign on a high note after saddling a winning double through Maysara and Flashing Famous, both of them succeeding by a narrow margin. Antia once again placed three-year old Maysara to win in a handicap event and the bay filly justified her master’s faith by achieving a hat-trick. Apprentice Haridas Gore astride the speedy Maysara (Surfrider – Circus Ring) failed to hit the front on this occasion as she came from the widest draw to pursue Mustakim Alam-ridden Fidato, who jumped out smartly from the barriers to head the field. Maysara was hard-ridden to gain the upper hand over Fidato in closing stages of the race and prevailed by a neck. Shrikant Kamble-piloted Into The Storm raced within striking distance of both Fidato and Maysara and put in a gallant effort after switching lanes close home. Into The Storm however found the winning post coming to the rescue of Maysara and ended a close third. Mojo was not given a punishing race when finishing fourth ahead of Northern Singer, Attained and Ultimo, all of whom finished in a huddle behind.

Flashing Famous, also ridden by Gore, was the on-money favourite to win the last race of the season and she delivered the goods for her connections but not before receiving a major scare from C’est L’amour. Flashing Famous (Kingda Ka – La Tonnarella) raced well up with the field as Harriet made the initial running over the six-furlong trip. She came wide into the straight and ran green just when she was about to overhaul Harriet. The unfancied C’est L’amour meanwhile slipped into the lead towards the inner rails and almost pulled off a sensational victory. Gore however did well to get Flashing Famous to race on an even keel and, much to the relief of the punters, nailed C’est L’amour in the last stride. Sussing ran on to be third ahead of Harriet

Rookie Navnath Bhosale was also successful in booting home a double through Pyrrhus, who claimed the Betbricks7 Sprint, and Lion King as trainers Imtiaz Sait and Shazaan Shah exploited the advantage of his 5kg allowance. Pyrrhus (Planetaire – Polydences) was settled nicely behind the leaders as Majestic Warrior called the early shots and had Judy Blue Eyes and Superlative in pursuit as he brought the field into the home straight. Bhosale put his head down at this juncture and got busy astride Pyrrhus, who put in a spirited run to wear down Superlative and lasted out to win from Ataash, who finished on strongly in the straight but fell short by a neck at the wire. Dali Swirl warmed up late to be third ahead of stable-mate Fortune Teller. Portofino Bay failed to gather momentum in the home stretch and finished off the judge’s board.

Bhosale had a relatively easy ride aboard Lion King (Win Legend – Sunshine Neil), who was quickly off the blocks and swept his rivals off their feet. Lion King had an uncontested lead throughout the mile trip and won convincingly from Toofan, who was in chase of the winner all the way. Goldiva improved after a lethargic start to finish a faraway third and had favourite Idealista following her home.

Faisal Abbas-saddled Zukor just about managed to scrape through in a three-way finish involving Nelson River and Liam. Ridden by S. Saqlain, Zukor (Roderic O’Connor – Queen’s Guest) was brushed up to be in close touch of leader Mirae and breezed past him inside the last furlong. Both Nelson River and Liam finished powerfully towards the end but Zukor managed to hit the wire first. Nelson River and Liam were separated from the winner by a short-neck and short-head respectively. Mirae completed the judge’s frame whilst favourite Art Collector failed to live up to the expectation when finishing fifth.

The 20 to 1 longshot House of Lords tasted his maiden success in the sixteenth start of his career in the opening event of the day. Slam Dunk made the initial running with Champagne Smile and Arbitrage in pursuit. Meanwhile, apprentice Aniket Karande-steered House of Lords (Excellent Art – Mufradat) slipped through the shortest way even as Champagne Smile and Arbitrage failed to overtake Slam Dunk. Prince O’War and Dowsabel ran on to finish second and third respectively ahead of Champagne Smile.

Mr Khushroo Dhunjibhoy representing Five Star Shipping Co. Pvt. Ltd. was declared as the leading owner of the season. Pesi Shroff, having saddled 19 winners during the season, was crowned as champion trainer for the sixth time at Pune. The young lad Mustakim Alam, who rode 12 winners, had the rare honour of claiming the leading jockey’s title in all the three categories – leading jockey of the season, leading apprentice and leading apprentice with allowance. Neeraj Rawal also had the same number of winners but Mustakim earned the title by virtue of finishing second astride more number of runners than Neeraj. Usha Stud Farms was adjudged as the leading stud farm.