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Raees wins final day’s feature in absorbing finish

By: Frankel   October 28 , 2018

Trainer Imtiaz Sait had a whip hand in the Gr 2 Aquaguard Championship RWITC Ltd Gold Cup, a terms race for four-year-olds and over, the feature event of the concluding day`s feature event of the Pune racing season held on Sunday. Raees who had a fortnight ago won the gruelling 3200 metres Suresh Mahindra Trophy, once again was game to the task and gamely staved off the challenge of stablemate Caprisca. Favourite Watchmyscript who was kept too far behind, had too much leeway to cover and ended up a tame third.

The race had an open look about it though Caprisca appeared better on performance. However, he was conceding weight to all his adversaries which made his task a difficult one. Watchmyscript who had got the better of Lady In Lace in her last effort, was made the favourite expecting her to repeat her performance as she was well placed in scales. After Big B led from the start, Raees joined issue with stablemate and thwarted the spirited bid of Caprisca to land the spoils in the hands of Hyderabad champion jockey Akshay Kumar. Watchmyscript rallied late to neck out longtime leader B Fifty-Two to snatch the third place.

Noshir Cama trained Hyannis recorded an impressive win at long odds in the 1200 metres Star Shine Plate, a race for maiden three-year-olds. Assigned to less heralded Nikhil, the stable perhaps was thinking of giving a forward run as the progeny of Win Legend was quoted at 20 to 1 with the betting concentrated on Arabia and Highland Lass. Hyannis was sluggish at the start and circled round the field and came on the wide outside. Hyannis flew home to get the better of Highland Lass which had shaped to win. Hyannis looks like a good type of a horse and appears capable of an encore when he races at Mumbai next time out. Bitcoin was third. The well-bred Arabia who is a full sister to the celebrated Myrtlewood looked far from ready when finishing fifth.

Pesi Shroff trained Sacred Roman was successful in winning the 1400 metres Party Whip Plate, a race for maiden three-year-olds. The progeny of Holy Roman Emperor had the benefit of a race run at Bangalore during the summer season when he had finished about 8 lengths behind Desperado. There was spirited betting on Articulate to win the race with Sacred Roman second in demand. Articulate led in earnest soon after jumping out before being passed by Sacred Roman and Jet Fire. Articulate made no show in the straight and was out of contention even before the race came to the boil. Sacred Roman was strongly challenged by Jet Fire but closer home, Sacred Roman asserted his supremacy in emphatic fashion.

The trainers` championship was poised for a photo-finish with Narendra Lagad trailing Pesi Shroff by one point when the last race of the season, the 1000 metres Assessed Plate, a race for horses in the lowest category, was to be run. Lagad had many horses in the fray but the one who caught the attention in terms betting was three-year-old filly Fire Flame, the progeny of Excellent Art. Antia trained Bohemian who led from the start put up a strong resistance before Fire Flame, in the hands of jockey J Chinoy, managed to pull it off in the final yards of the race with Silver Cap finishing a close third. Both the trainers were tied on 17 points each but Lagad was declared the champion on the basis of the number of seconds he had. Thus, Lagad kept the stranglehold on the trainers` championship at Pune. Good Thing shaped to have a decisive say in the lower division of the race before two stablemates from trainer Lagad`s yard, Dance of Fire and Top Wizard charged home with powerful efforts. The former got the nod by a long neck while Good Thing was third another neck behind. Bonafide who was strongly backed to win, was beaten to the fourth place.

Dallas Todywalla trained Lethal Steps swamped the field in the 1200 metres Shamu Chavan Trophy, a race for horses rated 20 to 46. Lethal Steps came up with menacing strides and sailed away from the opposition which was left to fight for minor places. Trevor who rode the winner was way ahead of the rest in the race for the jockeys` championship stakes. Bounty Queen took the second place ahead of Mount Olympus while favourite Steppenwolf made no show. Rehanullah Khan trained Safdar won the lower division of the race against the run of expectations. Safdar came into strong contention in the final furlong and won the race from Sporto. While overhauling Sporto, Safdar rolled over to the rails causing the latter to be checked. However, the objection by Sandesh against Bhawani Singh was overruled through the casting vote of the Chairman of Stewards with two Stewards being in favour of upholding the objection while the other Steward present wanted it to be overruled. The Chairman had to vote twice to overrule the objection.

The 1800 metres Mr Greedy Plate, a race for horses rated 20 to 46, was won by Oriana who was driven out to contain the late challenge of Gnostic Eyes and Benevolence. Gloriana shot ahead in the final furlong and had enough cushion to stay through the trip. Pathan who was the favourite on the back of two successive wins was in earnest but faded out under pressure in the stretch run.


Oriana (Neeraj Rawal up) winner of the Mr Greedy Plate

Dance Of Fire (C Umesh up) winner of the Assessed Plate (Div-I)

Lethal Steps (Trevor Patel up) winner of the Shamu Chavan Trophy (Div-I)

Hyannis (B Nikhil up) winner of the Star Shine Plate

Raees (Akshay Kumar up) winner of the Aquaguard Championship R.W.I.T.C. Ltd Gold Cup (Gr.2)

Sacred Roman (S Zervan up) winner of the Party Whip Plate

Safdar (Bhawani Singh up) winner of the Shamu Chavan Trophy (Div-II)

Fire Flame (J Chinoy up) winner of the Assessed Plate (Div-II)

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