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Alaindair scrapes home in a thriller on day of shockers

By: Frankel   August 26 , 2017

Altamash Ahmed trained Alaindair bounced back to victory after two below performances during the last season by sensationally getting the better of Your Royal Majesty in the final stride of the race to win the Gr 3 Pune City Gold Cup, a terms race for three-year-olds and over, the feature event of Saturday`s Pune races. Racing has indeed slipped inexorably, with the authorities busy fighting petty battles and stiping has hit an all-time low, with punters finding it extremely hard to follow form with professionals enjoying the support of their godfathers escaping scrutiny for their acts of omission. This in short sums up racing at the ``premier`` racing centre of the country.

The Pune Gold Cup had runners who were past their prime. Phoenix Tiger was running after 496 days, Alaindair`s last win had come 265 days ago and the others in the fray had nothing much to speak of for their achievements on the track. Your Royal Majesty appeared best on form though he is yet to win a race over a mile. Your Royal Majesty also hasn`t done well at Pune, the trainer believing that the horse doesn`t enjoy the Pune track. However, his last performance was encouraging enough to earn him a good deal of supporters.

B Fifty-Two led the field into the straight with Your Royal Majesty who was in close pursuit taking over the running inside the final 300 metres. Your Royal Majesty kicked clear and had a break of over two lengths going into the final furlongs. Alaindair who was looking for an opening, got a big split in front of him at the opportune time and A Imran Khan was able to push the champion veteran through the inside of a tiring Traherne. The progeny of Multidimensional devoured ground and produced a menacing run. A Imran Khan driving finish ensured that Your Royal Majesty who looked assured of a win had toa bow down by a head! B Fifty-Two was third two lengths behind with the others being outclassed. Phoenix Tiger is no longer the champion that he was. More than anything, despite the veterans beyond their time, the younger lot are not measuring up.

Form fluctuations are such that they rarely provoke the Stipes to review them critically. They need to stir from the stupor! Regal Shot had run 15 in the field of 16 runners but the four-year-old gelding shocked the followers of form by resolutely staving off the challenge of Way Ahead and Rapid Girl to win the 1400 metres Star Wish Plate (Div I), a race for horses rated 20 to 46. The GST has done considerable damage to the tote system but even with all the damage, the tenner at Bangalore paid a dividend of Rs 2000! Such was the shocking nature of the result. Last start winner Harmony of the Sea seemed to have lost all intent. The lower division of the race was no better when the strongly backed favourite loses to stablemate at longer odds. Powerhaus had the form to win the race but the speed at which Dashrath Singh went in front, it was unlikely that the favourite would have enough legs to last out. In the event, Kinght`s Quest in the hands of Trevor came home with a good run to catch up with the tiring front-runner. Huzzah`s Grace was third. Such type of shock results has become par for the game today with the Stipes not bothering to look into these form fluctuations, riding pattern et al leading to the erosion of confidence in the way the sport is being conducted now.

Winter Renaissance had run a strong race in her previous outing against formidable opponents and that run was reckoned to get her a winning chance in the 2000 metres Her Majesty Trophy, a race for horses rated 80 and above. As it transpired, Winter Renaissance appeared a spent force as she led the field into the straight and disappeared without a trace. Mekong Delta had the lead for a long while in the straight before being caught up with by Palatial in the closing strides of the race. Multiglory came from a long way back to finish third.

Another long shot in the form of Super Icon won the 1200 metres Golden Edition Plate, a race for horses in the lowest category. Super Icon got strong in the final furlong to edge past Adele and Lilac Time to win the race with a measure of comfort. Fencing received lot of confident support in the ring but the favourite did not give a performance worthy of a horse which had been selected by the majority to run a game race.

M K Jadhav was another trainer who contributed to the misery of punters when his ward Ainra which was available at 100 to 1 on the Bangalore tote floored the opposition in the 1200 metres Marinsky Plate, a race for horses rated 20 to 46. Ainra had not given any indication of an early success by her last run but the seven-year-old proved to be a revelation as she held off fancied Silk Baby and late rallying Divine Solitaire to add to the woes of punters looking for a winner among the fancied lot.

Lesser fancied Vistana from the stables of Bezan Chenoy got the lead going into the final furlong and had enough legs to keep the late flourish of strongly backed Streetjammer at bay to win the 1200 metres Jaidev Plate, a race for horses rated 40 to 66. The Civilian got the better of Free Speech to get the third place. Favourite Sensex was lost in the crowd.

Ascension and Stunner had the form to be concerned at the finish in the 1000 metres Nana Raghunath Trophy, a race for maiden three-year-olds but it was the quietly backed Stallone who had the last laugh winning the race at the expense of battling duo of Stunner and Ascension.

It was no surprise in the light of shocking results, the jackpot pools were carried forward.


Knight`s Quest (Trevor Patel up) winner of the Star Wish Plate (Div-II)

Bateleu (A Sandesh up) winner of the Picasso Plate

Palatial (Neeraj Rawal up) winner of the Her Majesty Trophy

Stallone (C S Jodha up) winner of the Nana Raghunath Trophy

Regal Shot (Bhawani Singh up) winner of the Star Wish Plate (Div-I)

Super Icon (A M Tograllu up) winner of the Golden Edition Plate

Vistana (A Imran Khan up) winner of the Jaidev Plate

Ainra (M Ayyar up) winner of the Mariinsky Plate

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