Persistent unseasonal rains coupled with poor visibility forced the Stewards of the Royal Western India Turf Club to cancel the last four races of the day at Pune on Friday. The Pune race track can take care of the big volume of rain but what compounded the problem was the poor visibility. Under such circumstances, the authorities took the most prudent decision of cancelling the last four races of the day keeping in mind the safety of the jockeys and the horses.
In hindsight, their decision turned out to be a good one as the rains were unrelenting till late in the evening. The rains would have done a world of good to the parched monsoon track.
Narendra Lagad trained Majestic Warrior had unproductive outings despite figuring on board on more than 10 occasions. Now pitched in a run-of-the-mill handicap race, Majestic Warrior who was lesser fancied than many horses in the fray, hit the front from the word `go` and had no problem in landing the spoils in the hands of jockey Kaviraj Singh. Majestic Warrior`s initial speed enabled the five-year-old to snatch an uncontested lead and the late effort of the fancied Oui Savage was bound to go in vain. Princess Annabel ran on to edge out another fancied runner Barack for the third position. Favourite Kariega failed to make an impression.
Pesi Shroff trained Pense`e appeared to have no worthwhile opponent after the progressive effort in her last effort and as such, it came as no surprise that she went to the post for the 1200 metres Fair Always Plate (Div I), a race for maiden four-year-olds at cramped odds. Jockey Neeraj Rawal had no problem in steering the favourite for an easy win over Querencia. The latter could have posed a problem or two to the winner but he ran green and the jockey could not get him on an even keel. Rising Sun necked out Sergio to take the third position.
Adhirajsingh Jodha trained Warrior Clan proved vastly superior to the opposition in the 1000 metres Godspeed Plate (Div II), a race for horses rated 20 to 46. In the hands of five-kg claimer M S Deora, Warrior Clan showed a clean pair of heels to his opponents en route to a comfortable win. Favourite Monk was in the earnest chase but found the front-runner unrelenting. Colosseum nosed out Ame to save place money.
In keeping with the trend of front-running horses having a decisive say, long shot Silver Storm, also from the stables of Jodha, hit the front from the word `go` in the 2000 metres Guest Connections Plate, a race for horses in the lowest class and had enough reserve to stave off the late bid of Melisandre. The latter did not get a good start and was tailed off last before making ground on the wide outside to be a suggestive second. Melisandre should benefit from this run. Moon River was a close third while the heavily supportedMandeville and Aspiration did not live up to expectations.
Warrior Clan (M S Deora up) winner of the Godspeed Plate (Div-II)
Pense`e (Neeraj Rawal up) winner of the Fair Always Plate (Div-I)
Silver Storm (Santosh G up) winner of the Guest Connections Plate
Majestic Warrior (P S Kaviraj up) winner of the Desert Lightning Plate