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Iron Age resumes winning ways

By: Frankel   July 25 , 2019

Imtiaz Sait trained Iron Age who had shown his metal mostly over five furlongs during the last Mumbai racing season, reproduced the form even over the extended trip of six furlongs and easily staved off the late bid of Excellent Gold to win the Gamble For Love Trophy, a race for horses rated 80 and above, the feature event of the opening day`s races of the Pune Monsoon Racing Season. Despite the horses running after a long break, fancied runners were prominent in racing held under typical conditions.

Trevor Patel had the speedy Iron Age take charge from the beginning and the progeny of Strong Suit enjoyed a good break over the rest. Clymene was the only nearest challenger as the field took the final furlong and it was clear at this stage that the prolific performer Iron Age would not be overhauled. Iron Age won with a measure of comfort from Excellent Gold who came from a long way back to edge out Clymene for the runner-up berth. Excellent ran on to finish fourth and it was clear that he was far from ready.

The big upset of the day came in the 1200 metres Severiano Plate, a race for horses rated 20 to 46. Pesi Shroff trained Queens Gate was the favourite as the filly had run a noteworthy third to Princess Annabel in her last outing and looked better than the rest on credentials. The long-shot Saltbae from the stables of trainer Deepesh Narredu hit the front form the start and enjoyed a useful lead in the stretch which held him in good stead. Trevor could get a favourable position on the favourite and by the time he could get Queens Gate going in the final furlong, it was too late. Though the filly was flying at the finish, it went in vain as the front-runner had reached the safety of the winning post. Turaco held off a host of horses to get the third position.

Narendra Lagad trained Skysurfer whose last win was during the last Pune season had come down in scales and had been prepared to have a bold show. Backed confidently, Skysurfer bolted to the front from the word `go` and had the race sewn up a long way from home in the 1000 metres Beyond Expectation Plate, a race for horses rated 4 to 30. Apprentice jockey A S Peter was astride the winner. Majestical who chased the front-runner in vain however managed to keep the runner up berth by a whisker from late-finishing Isinit. The lower division of the race had three horses with credentials namely Romantic Eyes, Outstanding and Thea`s Pet. The first named had remained maiden in 16 outings while the other two had not won for over 300 days. Since the field was of poor calibre, one had to hope for any one of them to break the win less sequence After Padmakosa led deep into the straight, Romantic Eyes got a smooth run along the rails and apprentice jockey Raghuveer Singh pushed the five-year-old mare to surge ahead. Outstanding finished with a rush bout found Romantic Eyes escaping to the safety of the winning post. Favourite Thea`s Pet who lost some ground the start rallied well but could only save place money.

Narendra Lagad trained Turmeric Tower was spot on for the 1000 metres D K Ashish Trophy, a race for three-year-olds. Despatico came in for spirited betting to share favouritism. Though Turmeric Tower did not show initial speed, Trevor worked his way up and was in a striking position at the top of the straight. Cipher led deep into the straight and even as Despatico was trying to improve, Turmeric Tower picked up speed and cramped the front-runner en route to victory in the final furlong. Cipher was inconvenienced by the inward drift of the winner and apprentice jockey Peter had to change course. Golden Era was third ahead of Despatico. There was an objection by apprentice jockey Peter against Trevor for interference but the same was overruled.

Mansoor Shah trained Hells Bells recorded an encore in great style in the 1400 metres Season Opener Plate, a race for horses rated 20 to 46. Hells Bells was at lucrative odds and the fact that the horse sported steel shoes might have weighed in the minds of the punters who chose to back Timeless Deeds from trainer Narendra Lagad`s stables as the trainer generally races his horses in more earnest during the Pune season. In the event, Hells Bells gave no chance to the rest as he gained command of the race after chasing Slam Dunk into the straight and left the field stranded for an emphatic win. Philadelphia was second ahead of Timeless Deeds who was a lost cause well before the race came to the boil.

Shiraz Sunderji trained Intense Stylist had it easy in the 1200 metres Alley Cat Plate, a race for horses rated 40 to 66. Though Intense Stylist had the worst draw, the fact that the only threat to his supremacy Mozart appeared to be out of sorts as evidenced by the drift in odds as also the fact that jockey Kaviraj failed to get a good start on the second favourite ensured that the favourite had the race at his mercy. Mozart also did not raise a fluent gallop and finished in the ruck. Safdar led the field on sufferance and the moment Intense Stylist was asked for an effort in the stretch, the race was as good as over. Intense Stylist drew away in the final furlong for a comfortable win. Safdar stayed on to take the second position ahead of late-rallying Tanjo who nosed out Gold Field to grab the second position.


Romantic Eyes (Raghuveer Singh up) winner of the Beyond Expectation Plate (Div-II)

Skysurfer (A S Peter up) winner of the Beyond Expectation Plate (Div-I)

Bushtops (N S Parmar up) winner of the Double Bull Plate

Iron Age (Trevor Patel up) winner of the Gamble For Love Trophy

Saltbae (Shrikant Kamble up) winner of the Severriano Plate

Turmeric Tower (Trevor Patel up) winner of the D K Ashish Trophy

Hells Bells (H Zeeshan up) winner of the Season Opener Plate

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