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La Rondine wins the feature in a thriller

By: Frankel   September 21 , 2019

Vishal Gaikwad trained La Rondine who had a mandatory preparatory run was seen in different colours as the winner of the Gr 1 Indian 1000 Guineas produced a late burst of speed to nail Bronx on the post to land the spoils in the Gr 3 Pune City Gold Cup, a terms race for three-year-olds and over, the feature event of Saturday`s Pune races. Jockey Akshay Kumar was astride the winner.

La Rondine had the benefit of summering at Bangalore but her below par performance last time out where Awesome One recorded a smashing win was perhaps the reason why she did not go to the post as a favourite. Awesome One enjoyed favouritism though many were sceptical about the consistent performer being equally effective over the extended trip of eight furlongs. Bronx who had a good forward run last time out was another who deserved support along with old warhorse New England. Bronx led aggressively in front with New England in the second position followed by Awesome One, La Rondine and Governor General in that order.

Bronx held the lead even against a strong challenge from New England and shaped to pull it off when La Rondine began to move up with big strides inside the final 100 metres. Akshay Kumar went all out on the lesser fancied runner who responded to the urgings and managed to put her neck in front at the post. New England weakened to finish third while Awesome One ran way below expectations finishing a dismal fourth.

Hoshidar Daji trained Aurora Aurealis broke the winless sequence of 350 days and won the 1600 metres Menorah Plate, a race for horses rated 20 to 46 in the hands of jockey Amyn Merchant. Kept in the penultimate position as Nightfall did the pacesetting, Aurora Aurealis was brought into the reckoning at the final turn when Amyn got busy and went in chase of Star of Thor who had assumed command inside the final 350 metres. Aurora Aurealis fought out with Star of Thor who was bidding for a hat-trick and got the better of the frontrunner in the closing stages of the race. Adonijah ran on from behind to take the third position.

The benefit of a race run had sharpened Tasawwur and he made amends for failure as a strongly backed horse by comprehensively winning the 2000 metres B Prakash Trophy, a race for horses rated 40 to 66. Jockey Sandesh confidently sat with Tasawwur in about the sixth position as Fleur De Lys did the front running. Sandesh made his move approaching the final turn and at the top of the straight, the favourite was ready to overwhelm those in front. Tasawwur took over running inside the final 300 metres and sped away for an easy win over Wizard of Stocks who made a rally from way off the pace to occupy the second position. Arrowfield ran on to take the third position.

An absorbing finish ensued in the 1000 metres Change of Luck Plate, a race for maiden three-year-olds. En Sabah Nur, Chephirah and favourite Cipher were involved in a desperately close finish with the last-named clinching the issue in the concluding stride of the race. El Sabah Nur went ahead from the start with Chephirah in hot pursuit followed by Cipher and the rest. El Sabah Nur and Chephirah fought the length of the straight and even as these were battling it out, Cipher picked up great speed and came home with a powerful dash which saw the favourite get the nod by a whisker. El Sabah Nur and Chephirah were locked together at the finish and a dead heat was announced for the second position. Del Mar showed some spark while finishing behind these horses and is the one for the notebook.

Clark Kent, a long shot from the stables of trainer Noshir Cama, outsprinted the opposition in the 1000 metres Amazing Grace Plate, a race for horses in the lowest category. Akshay Kumar took Clark Kent to the front from the wide outside draw and the grey enjoyed her foray in the front and skipped away beyond the reach of the rest in the final furlong to win the race with a great deal of ease from favourite Belenus. Cabellero just about held on to save place money from late finishing Chosen One.

Sandesh drove out favourite Ame to victory in the 1200 metres Pennywise Plate, a race for horses rated 20 to 46. Sandesh tactfully weaved his way through a tricky passage and brought Ame into strong contention in the final furlong. Ame responded well and overhauled Gloriana with a measure of comfort close home and had no problem in seeing off the late flourish of Highland Wind.


Aurora Australis (Amyn Merchant up) winner of the Menorah Plate

Tasawwur (A Sandesh up) winner of the B Prakash Trophy

Cipher (Neeraj Rawal up) winner of the Change Of Luck Plate

La Rondine (Akshay Kumar up) winner of the Pune City Gold Cup (Gr.3)

Clark Kent (Yash Narredu up) winner of the Amazing Grace Plate

Ame (A Sandesh up) winner of the Pennywise Plate

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