Dallas Todywalla trained Golden Guest recorded his third straight win containing the challenge of Mzilikazi to win the Gr 3 F D Wadia Trophy, a seven-furlong terms race for three-year-olds, the feature event of Saturday`s Pune races. Trouville who went to the post as a strong favourite found the lack of a race run and the distance going against him as he made no show, sticking to the rear in the early part and making very little progress in the stretch.
Trevor Patel had Golden Guest in front and the progeny of Excellent Art enjoyed his foray in the front with a healthy lead all through the race. Storm Breaker who was coming on the back of two back to back wins at Bangalore was in chase followed by Queens Gate, Princess Annabel, Mzilikazi, Trouville and Kildare with Mirabilis bringing up the rear. Storm Breaker failed to make an impression on the front runner and Golden Guest was on course for a comfortable win as those making their bids from behind had plenty of leeway to cover. Mzilikazi who had surprisingly gone down meekly to Princess Annabel on the last occasion ran on strongly to take the second position ahead of late-rallying Mirabilis while Storm Breaker weakened to finish fourth. Trouville made no show while Princess Annabel was reported to have returned sour.
Since the Bangalore Summer Season, trainer Pesi Shroff`s horses which were more reliable than that of the majority of trainers have been playing truant for reasons unknown. Valegro who had found Kingsman one better on the last occasion was widely expected to win the 1800 metres Rajaram Chhatrapati Trophy, a race for horses rated 60 to 86. However, Valegro ran a disappointing race giving no hope to his supporters. Sagittarius had the first run on his opponents but In It To Win It easily overwhelmed the front-runner in the stretch and won by a comfortable margin in the hands of jockey Sandesh. Valegro was a disappointing third. Valegro showed deterioration in performance as he had comprehensively beaten In It To With It when the two raced in their last efforts. At least till the time the trainer finds his mark, it is best to be cautious about his horses as the list of favourites from his stable failing this season are only growing.
Last start winner Highland Lass from the stables of trainer Dallas Todywalla let down punters with a miserable performance in the 1200 metres Sea Ruler Plate, a race for horses rated 20 to 46. The favourite ran like a dud. Steppenwolf led from the start and had the lead till the final moments of the race. Dancing Lances who was angled out from the rails in the final 100 metres picked up great momentum and finished with a rush to nail the front-runner in the closing strides of the race. Night Hunt who was ridden out vigorously came from a long way back and obliged those who had put faith in the horse to come in place.
Lesser fancied Silver King nailed favourite Bait And Switch in the concluding stride of the race to win the 1800 metres Mayor`s Trophy, a race for three-year-olds. Bait And Switch who raced a handy second till approaching the final bend was pushed to take over the running by jockey C S Jodha and the favourite bounced clear with Silver King looming large. The front-runner appeared to have enough leeway to pull through but began to falter close home which enabled Silver King, ridden with aggression by jockey Zervan, to snatch a thrilling win by a whisker. Black Cherry was third. There was significant support for Polaris but the fancied runner was sluggish at the start and did not make any progress during the race and finished in the ruck.
Altamash trained Ebony finally broke the maidens ranks in her 17th outing with an easy win over the opposition in the 1200 metres Secret Romeo Plate, a race for horses rated 4 to 30. Ebony was a fancied runner in a race which had an open look about it. Macgyver attempted start to finish tactics but in the stretch was overwhelmed by Ebony who produced the best effort of her life as a five-year-old and recorded a facile win. Macgyver was second. There was a cluster finish for the third place with Samurai getting it in a close call from Adam`s Beginning.
Waheed trained Questionable who had nearly toppled fancied owner mate Kingsman at Mumbai reproduced that form when getting the better of rank outsider Slam Dunk close home to win the 1400 metres Waves of Glory Plate, a race for horses rated 40 to 66. Mansoor Shah trained Hells Bells was backed to record an encore. Slam Dunk moved up swiftly from the wide outside draw to lead the charge followed by Hells Bells while Questionable was settled in about the fourth position. Slam Dunk battled on resolutely and did not give up easily even under intense pressure from Questionable. However, the latter, under the driving finish of jockey Sandesh, managed to snatch the verdict in the closing moments of the race. Hells Bells could not accelerate enough to make an impression on the result and had to settle for the third slot. Gentillesse who lacks early speed and rallies late will surely find the sharp Pune track his undoing.
In It To Win It (A Sandesh up) winner of the Rajaram Chhatrapati Trophy
Dancing Lances (Akshay Gaikwad up) winner of the Sea Ruler Plate
Silver King (S Zervan up) winner of the Mayor`S Trophy
Ebony (Neeraj Rawal up) winner of the Secret Romeo Plate
Golden Guest (Trevor Patel up) winner of the F. D. Wadia Trophy (Gr.3)
Questionable (A Sandesh up) winner of the Waves Of Glory Plate