- india's first & foremost horse racing portal

Spark Of Gold Glitters on Pune Track

By Mahendra Mallya | 18 Sep 2010 | PUNE

Mr. P Arun Kumar & trainer K Pradeep Annaiah leading Spark Of Gold (P S Chouhan Up), winner of The Idar Gold Trophy Grade-III

Spark Of Gold (Mischevious Music - Expensive Week), owned by Mr P Arun Kumar and trained by Bengaluru-based trainer Pradeep Annaiah, romped home with surprising ease to win the Idar Gold Trophy (Gr3), the feature of Saturday’s races at Pune. Settling well alongside favourite Native Knight in the fourth position, jockey PS Chouhan pushed Spark Of Gold to the front soon on turning for home. Spark Of Gold darted ahead and Chouhan, using power and momentum, managed to build a handy lead approaching the distance post.

Spark Of Gold then kicked on gamely and was all by himself in the final furlong. Cabriolet and Native Knight tussled behind and the former ended a good second giving indications that he is now getting back to old form. Native Knight yet again failed to deliver and ended a tame third. “I always felt that Spark Of Gold would prove my decision right as I had insisted he ran the prestigious Idar Gold Trophy (Gr3). This is my first victory on the western India circuit and winning a graded race here is certainly a great feeling. His third to Becket in Bangalore was a great effort since he covered a lot of ground in the straight then. The way he finished, he convinced me then and there to take a late entry for the Idar Gold Trophy.

I felt good receiving the Trophy from Maharaj (Rajender Singh Idar), more so because I had bought the colt from the Pratap Stud Farm owned by Maharaj himself,” said a delighted Arun Kumar. Flamboyant owner Dr Vijay Mallya had two winners on the day, both trained by Pesi Shroff. Cambiasso (Razeen x Gourgandine) first won the duo a thriller and then Angelo brought home the baton scoring a comprehensive victory. Cambiasso won a ’toss up’ race with close rival Doi Moi.

As the small field of four jumped out of the gates, Doi Moi found himself in front making the running which I reckon he didn’t bargain for. Doi Moi was tentative and the initial pace suffered. Cambiasso wasn’t complaining and sat last all through the backstretch. From the five-furlong marker onward, the pace quickened and the four runners were huddled close together at the turn. Doi Moi entered the straight with Go Guzzi Go breathing down his neck and Cambiasso also making his presence felt. Doi Moi wilted under pressure and started to drift outward. Go Guzzi Go got sandwiched between the two main contenders and bowed out leaving the pair to fight out the last furlong. Doi Moi kept shifting out and almost leaned on to Cambiasso.

The latter gained on Doi Moi rapidly in the final few strides and craned his neck at the wire edging out Doi Moi who had himself to blame for the loss. Cambiasso utilized the run of the race to the hilt and scored a brave victory. Angelo (Razeen x Alix) too had to earn his victory. Angelo was up with the front bunch unlike favourite Aristocratic who was last of all initially. Angelo improved steadily to be prominent at the turn. Angelo quickly got past Red Dragon and sailed into the lead and left the others to do the chasing. Aristocratic moved along the wider out.

Past the distance post, Angelo, despite carrying a heavy 62 kilos, was going well. Suddenly Aristocratic put in a powerful gallop and covered a lot of ground but Angelo managed to stay ahead right through to win by a length. Aristocratic, it was later announced, broke a blood vessel. Owners Wadhawan and Tharani had a double too with rank outsider Star Of Roses and the well backed Star of Venus. It was a disastrous day for the followers of favourites, as only one firm favourite obliged in Star Of Venus (Placerville x Free Radical).

Star of Venus didn’t have it easy though and the heartbeats pounded when her own owner mate Ocean Yarrman came menacingly close at the wire. Star Of Venus got past Set Afire soon on entering the straight, and shot ahead picking up a good momentum. Flashing Sword and Samiel were just a couple of lengths behind but neither was gaining on the favourite. Just when it looked like Star Of Venus will sail through, Ocean Yarrman came alive with a terrific run from the wide outside.

The winning post couldn’t have come a stride early for Star Of Venus, as another stride would have seen the challenger pip the favourite. Ocean Yarrman ended an impressive second and is well worth to note this run. Star Of Roses (China Visit x Blue Ridge) had Ravi Biramne in the saddle. With Rising Glory and Blush cornering most of the commercial business, Star Of Roses was offered at longer odds. Rising Glory was quick at start and soon joined Firemiss who was a shade quicker. Blush came next with Nou Camp alongside.

Star Of Roses followed them as they turned the final bend. Into the straight, Rising Glory took the lead and was soon joined by Blush and Nou Camp looking dangerous. Nou Camp and Blush went past the first favourite Rising Glory and as they battled on, Star Of Roses came swooping down on them. Star Of Roses wasn’t even on full throttle as he shot ahead with ease to post an upset victory close home.

Nou Camp was rewarded the runner-up slot for his good effort. It was not all joy though for the Wadhawan camp, for as many as three of their better fancied runners failed to score. The very first race saw hot favourite Sea Bucaneer humbled by Prince Of Troy (Warrshan – Princess Helen) on the post. Sea Bucaneer shot ahead in the straight and was galloping well. Fantastic and Itsdawnofracing were not making much headway. Prince Of Troy came full of steam midway up the straight.

Prince Of Troy unleashed an all-out assault and shocked Sea Bucaneer on the last stride. Ocean Power was the first fancy in the last race but went down without a whimper. Mypethoney was quick on the button and led the field into the straight. Ocean Power never really settled down and was even a bit erratic just before the bend. Titleist (Emerald Cat - Noble Anchor) seized the lead coming into the homestretch and once ahead, left no chance for the others with sheer acceleration. Seen It All tried his best, but could do no better than finish second by over three lengths.

Arshavin did well to end a close third just ahead of Petra who ran a good forward run. Aristocratical (Flitch - Athenian) showed little signs of rustiness and ran with the front bunch, a handy fourth or thereabouts. Arch Rival was in front coming into the straight and soon Aristocratical joined him and both then got engaged in a long-drawn battle right up to the winning post.

Aristocratical out-lasted Arch Rival and it is commendable that trainer Nirad Karanjawalla managed to bring him to the level of fitness required to come out of oblivion and score straightaway. Aristocratical got stronger at the finish and had it been a little longer distance, would have sailed further away.

Hi Dolly could not produce anything worthwhile and ended fourth behind stablemate Wells Fargo. For the professionals, trainers Pesi Shroff, Narendra Lagad and CD Katrak saddled a double each, while jockey Dashrath Singh too scored a brace.