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Ocean Wish Wins Keeneland Fillies Stakes

By Mahendra Mallya | 09 Oct 2010 | PUNE

Mr. Prem Tharani leading Ocean Wish (C Rajendra Up), winner of The Keeneland Juvenile Fillies Stakes

Ocean Wish (Diffident – Marmalade) kept her date with victory and produced her best when it mattered most to win the Keeneland Juvenile Fillies Stakes with a forceful finish. The bay filly is owned by Mr Rakesh Kumar Wadhawan and Mr Prem Tharani, representing Wadhawan Livestock Pvt Ltd, trained by SK Sunderji and was ridden well by jockey C Rajendra. Angels Pursuit headed the field which was divided in the running, with the front bunch comprising of Serenity, Star of Venus and Ocean Wish tracking close behind the leader, dominating the entire race.

They were closely matching strides as the heads turned for home. Angels Pursuit wouldn’t let Serenity pass her and kept the tempo going even as Star of Venus poked through between them. Ocean Wish was covering ground and the four were abreast with less than 100 to go. Jockey Rajendra then got Ocean Wish to bring out that extra brilliance and that sealed the fate of them all. Ocean Wish finished on strongly and surged ahead in the final few meters to post a one-length victory in a well-fought race. Star Of Venus did well to peg back Serenity for the second spot and Angels Pursuit ended a good fourth. Jockey M Narredu booted home a popular double and seemed determined to end his career as a jockey on a winning note.

Malesh has expressed his desire to retire as a jockey at the end of this season and begin a new stint as a trainer. On Saturday, he rode with aplomb to win on two firm favourites towards the end of the day. He partnered Starry Glow (Royal Kingdom – Pinotage) to a splendid victory in the Indo German Oktoberfest Trophy Div I. Sitting a handy fourth as Appalina sailed ahead at the start, Starry Glow improved at the turn to be within striking distance on straightening for home. Absolute Reality went past Appalina but had Starry Glow right on his tail. A couple of backhanders, and Starry Glow shot into the lead near the distance post and once ahead, he looked the clear winner. Starry Glow stretched away from Absolute Reality to win convincingly while Proud Star did well to get past Appalina for the third spot. Set Afire (Captain Rio – Bawader) justified the overwhelming support she received and pulled off a clean victory without anxiety.

Getting straight down to business, Set Afire dictated terms from the start and got stronger in the straight. Dancing Money and Starry Ocean with Torcello were the only ones prominent in the straight. Set Afire quickened well to take a winning lead at the final furlong marker and then Malesh eased up closer home allowing Starry Ocean to reduce the deficit to just over a length. Dancing Money ended third ahead of Torcello. Michele Marieci let down a large following while going down tamely to rank outsider Golden Heart (Choisir – Golden Carmen). With Tograllu in the saddle, Golden Heart was at longer odds, but Tograllu got the best out the filly and won with a comfortable margin. Sitting a close fifth till turn, Golden Heart made her move soon on straightening up. Star Goddess brought the field homewards and was soon challenged and passed by the favourite Michele Marieci.

Golden Heart, at this juncture had improved to third, and soon shifted to top gear and worked up a brilliant pace. He galloped on gamely to easily get past Michele Marieci, who could only watch helplessly as Golden Heart ran away from her. Eye Of The Storm finished on well to catch the place money beating Star Goddess for the third. Doi Moi was the biggest let down in the day. Cosmopolitan went berserk at the start and sped away from the rest to lead by a street through the backstretch.

The way he went initially it was a matter of time before he packed up and that happened soon after the final turn. The others caught up and it was Go Guzzi Go (Senure – Ghazwat) who was the first to take charge in the straight and maintained that upper hand right through. Tsesebe and Living The Dream provided a keen three-way battle while Doi Moi looked out of sorts and never raised any hope. In the final furlong, Living The Dream threw in the towel, but Go Guzzi Go and Tsesebe battled on. The duo fought stride for stride and took the battle right to the very last stride hitting the wire almost together. Go Guzzi Go prevailed in the photo finish by the narrowest of margins and jockey Dashrath Singh who has been in top form this season was deservedly rewarded for his Herculean effort.

Tsesebe was gallant in defeat and only just lost a well-fought battle. Earlier in the day, the trainer-jockey combination of Rehanullah Khan and A Sandesh struck a lucrative double. The Rebel in the first race put up a lively start-to-finish show to win his second race this season despite his age (8 years). Rehan has done remarkably well to keep him fit and kindle his zest for racing. In fact, in his five starts thus far this season, The Rebel has won twice and placed twice after running fourth in his first outing. The Rebel (Mischevious Music – Strike it Right) wasted no time in getting to the front and in close attendance was the favourite Brave Gun. On Straightening up, The Rebel moved further away from Brave Gun who simply failed to quicken and lost pace badly to finish out of the picture.

The Rebel was comfortably in front past the distance post when Arabian Empire gathered momentum to pose a stiff challenge. The Rebel’s sizable lead came in handy and he just managed to have his nose in front at the wire. Arabian Empire was the fastest in the final furlong and he fell just wee bit short of pulling it off on the post. Ashwa Prahar ended a good third and Fascination ran on fourth. True Elegance (Brave Act – Antonietta) got her act together and scored a facile victory with Sandesh in the saddle carrying on his good form this season. Waiting patiently through the first half of the six-furlong sprint, Sandesh kept his cool and brought True Elegance through the inner rails and had the mare going at a comfortable pace until the turn.

Enchanted, who was slow in the stride, brushed up to be prominent in the straight. Enchanted led briefly approaching the distance post with Houdini posing a challenge from the outside. True Elegance shot through the rails and was going on full steam. In the final furlong, True Elegance bounded ahead and left the others to squabble for the minor placing. Houdini came far too late on the scene but managed to snatch the second spot from Enchanted.

Carousel (Ikhtyar – Allies Serenade), owned by the Dhunjibhouys, scored an impressive maiden victory in the hands of B Prakash. Mesmerizer, who enjoyed a slightly better following than the winner, failed to even produce a fighting run. It was Rhythm Divine who made the initial running with Stardom Bound close behind. Carousal tracked Gauri until they turned for home. Mesmerizer was further behind but made gradual progress to be in touch with the front-runners at the turn. Into the straight, Carousal picked up steady momentum and sailed past Rhythm Divine who looked spent. Stardom Bound offered some resistance but could not sustain her bid.

At the business end, Carousal got better and stronger and with no challenger in sight, romped home to score decisively. Stardom Bound ended a decent second and Mesmerizer a tame third. Scenic Silver (Ontario – Silver Ore) improved on her earlier runs and showed a tremendous consistency while picking up the Marriott Hotels Pune Trophy in the higher class. She had run the winner close in both her previous starts and this time a determined effort from the start ensured that there was no last stride disappointment for the Mansoor Shah-trainee. On the contrary, Scenic Silver stretched away to win comfortably. Hitting the front soon on jumping out of the gates, Scenic Silver worked up a scorching pace and sustained well.

Creme De La Creme was a bit slow at the start and Polariser was definitely much slower off the blocks. Feona ran a close second with Swept Away and Titleist not too far away, but yes, Bullet, I reckon was a bit too far behind for the scurry. Scenic Silver had a great tempo going and in the straight, was simply too quick for the others to match. Feona, who was closest behind the winner, just couldn’t match up. Titleist too faded out without a whimper. Bullet woke up late and managed to beat all but the elusive Scenic Silver who won with authority. Swept Away ran to finish in the money at the expense of Feona. Creme De La Creme did well to end one off the frame.

Gatravat (Barood – Back From Heaven) produced a lively run in the final furlong to carve out a splendid victory over the mile-long Piccolina Plate. Racing in the mid-bunch which was closely huddled and cramped for space, Gatravat wriggled out of the thick and made his bid from the wider out. Barbara had just taken charge from Shodaan in the straight, with a wall of horses trying to outdo each other when Gatravat showed up with a singing run and shot ahead of them all within a couple of strides and it was all over.

Trainer Robert D’Mellow had done well with the seven year-old gelding who seemed to have found his old touch and chalked out a rewarding victory in taking style. Culcrieff covered ground late to end a noteworthy second also having to break free of the congestion at the mouth of the homestretch. Tommy Carmichael did well to end a good third ahead of Barbara.