Sulaiman Attaollahi trained Lagarde performed consistently for the second time in a row to nail Golden Oaks close home to lift the Gr 1 Indian 2000, the second classic of the season, in the hands of jockey Suraj Narredu who seems to have hit a Midas touch. Trainer Sulaiman too had the rare distinction of saddling a Guineas double both at Bangalore and at Pune perhaps for the first time ever. One doesn`t remember when any such feat was achieved in the recent past.
Lagarde was hailed a classic horse when he made his debut last winter. He didn`t race after that effort due to pandemic related shut down and he was seen only during the current season at Bangalore where he gave a shocking performance. He reportedly came back lame and also choked. But miracles do happen in racing and his next outing was a winning one in the Bangalore 2000 Guineas. With that performance to back him, he choked his opponents yet again. The much-hyped Alluring Silver was considered to be his threat but the filly flopped miserably and one doesn`t have any details as to why she defied expectations.
Golden Oaks was quoted at big odds after finishing third at Bangalore with a front-running role. Lagarde was the second favourite at 4 to 1 while Alluring Silver who did not get clear in the 1000 Guineas carried the public money. Jockey Sandesh who was on Golden Oaks this time could not hold the speedy customer who bolted to the front and set a scorching pace leading by many lengths over the rest, with Suraj positioning Lagarde in the second position. One thought that Golden Oaks would pack up in the straight but he battled on but was overwhelmed by Lagarde close to home. The winner spared a length and a half at the finish. Golden Oaks stayed on to take the second position comfortably ahead of Storm Trigger who necked out Nisus to save place money.
The 2000 metres Homi Mody Trophy, a race for horses rated 80 and above, was the other highlight of the day. Last year`s Pune Derby winner Trouvaille was widely expected to bounce back to winning ways after a relatively a poor performance in his previous outing. Roberta who hadn`t run for a long time came in for noticeable support ahead of stablemate Wizard of Stocks. Jockey Pradeep Chouhan took Roberta on a start to finish mission. The daughter of Multidimensional stayed put there without facing any serious threat from her rivals and won sparing a little more than a length to stablemate Wizard of Stocks. Trouvaille was third without making any impression. The spark surely was missing.
Noble Heir`s last run was suggestive of an imminent win and it materialized in the 1800 metres Venus Arising Plate, a race for horses rated 40 to 66. The Vishal Gaikwad trainee who was always handily placed, assumed command down the final furlong to win with a measure of comfort from Makhtoob and Galloping Goldmine. Jockey Zervan was astride the winner.
The A M Jadhav trained Queen O`War was well prepared to make a winning debut in the 1200 metres N M Irani Trophy, a race for maiden three-year-olds only. Agostino Carracci was the favourite though the kind of money that came on Queen O`War clearly suggested that the latter was also carrying the weight of the money as well. Jockey N S Parma had it easy on Queen O`War who showed great speed and left the field stranded in the stretch to win by a widening margin of eight lengths over Visionary who necked out Heidmar for the runner-up berth. The winner clocked a smart time of one minute 09.91 seconds. Agostino Carracci ran green and was never in the hunt.
Shiraz Sunderji trained Kildare looked to have no worthwhile opponents to challenge his supremacy in the 1400 metres Mathradas Goculdas Trophy, a race for horses rated 80 and above and this was reflected in the short odds quoted for his success. Parmar had Kildare lead from the word `go` and all that the favourite did in the stretch was to increase the lead to about eight lengths at the finish to Flying Visit and Lorraine who occupied the next two slots behind him.
Lesser fancied Winter from the stables of trainer Nazzak Chenoy pulled it off in the 1400 metres M D Mehta Trophy, a race for maiden four-year-olds. Winter who raced in the penultimate position till turning for home, accelerated tremendously in the stretch to get past Ciplad close home to land the spoils in the hands of jockey T S Jodha. Favourite Evangeline never raised a fluent gallop and could only finish a disappointing third.
M K Jadhav trained Magic In The Wind improved on her last run and readily won the 1600 metres Gulamhusein Essaji Trophy, a race for horses rated 20 to 46. Magic In The Wind engaged the front-running La Teste in a stiff battle for supremacy in the final furlong before asserting her supremacy in the end. Multistarrer was third while favourite Maplewood failed to perform to expectations.
Decaprio had no worthwhile opposition to tackle in the 1200 metres Machiavellianism Plate (Div I), a race for horses rated 4 to 30. Jockey Pradeep Chouhan had an arm-chair ride to victory on Decaprio who won by a widening margin of four lengths over Street and Highland Woods. Adhiraj Jodha trained Gold Member was another strongly backed favourite to win in the lower division of the race. Gold Member had things her way as she cantered home for a win by five lengths over Divija and War of Attrition.
Magic In The Wind (N S Parmar up) winner of the Gulamhusein Essaji Trophy
Winter (T S Jodha up) winner of the M D Mehta Trophy
Kildare (N S Parmar up) winner of the Mathradas Goculdas Trophy
Gold Member (Dashrath Singh up) winner of the Machiavellianism Plate (Div-II)
Queen O` War (N S Parmar up) winner of the N M Irani Trophy
Lagarde (Suraj Narredu up) winner of the Indian 2000 Guineas (Gr.1)
Noble Heir (S Zervan up) winner of the Venus Arising Plate
Decaprio (P S Chouhan up) winner of the Machiavellianism Plate (Div-I)
Roberta (P S Chouhan up) winner of the Homi Mody Trophy