Imtiaz Sait trained Raees who is a durable horse currently racing in Mumbai is also a stout stayer. The progeny of Sedgefield swamped the opposition in the 3200 metres Suresh Mahindra Trophy, a race for horses rated 80 and above, the feature event of Saturday`s Pune races. Raees had last won 267 days ago at Mumbai over a trip of 2800 metres trip and after a lacklustre effort, bounced back to win the Suresh Mahindra Trophy, the longest race in the country, for the second time in a row.
There were just four horses in the fray and all of them are almost regular participants in the long-distance races at the local centre. Of them, Raees looked fresh and ready to have a bold show which is the reason why despite the previous races not having gone the way of favourites, punters plumped for Raees with conviction to deliver again going by the spirited betting which the saw odds on the favourite crashing to even money by post time. Jockey C S Jodha kept Raees relaxed in the rear till approaching the final bend. When C S Jodha shook the rains for response at the top of the straight, it was forthcoming in excellent fashion. Raees sped past Frivolous to record a runaway with. Vulcan who showed some aggression at the top of the straight could not sustain and weakened to become third while the long-time front-runner and pacemaker Square Moon was a poor fourth.
Shiraz Sunderji trained Dandi March came in for sustained support in the 1000 metres Piccolina Plate, a race for horses rated 40 to 66 and the favourite obliged expectations with a powerful surge in the hands of Jodha to get the better of Namaqua who had assumed command in the final furlong. Jockey Sandesh cleverly brought Namaqua to take a forward position from the wide outside draw and the got-abroad shaped to win when he had a good lead going into the final furlong. However, Dandi March was not inclined to give up when alerted by Jodha and the favourite finished with a rush to nail the front-runner in the shadow of the post. The speed Impala was third.
The season`s first race for two-year-olds, the 1000 metres Prudential Champ Trophy, saw Malesh Narredu trained Flameoftheforest going into the race as a firm favourite. Fittingly so as the progeny of Speaking of Which had been subjected to solid preparation. The two-year-old showed speedy to grab the lead right from the start and was well clear of the rest in the final furlong even without jockey Yash Narredu going aggressive. Major General nosed out Ashwa Cbintz to get the runner-up berth. Benghazi looked far from ready when finishing fourth.
Karthik Ganapathy enjoyed a good long-priced double. My Precious who had come down a lot in scales was assigned to five-kg claimer Prakash and the long shot hit the front from the word go and enjoyed a good lead which served as a good cushion when the fancied Golden Era finished with a powerful effort only to fall short. Red Carnation held off Super Mario to save place money. Favourite Galloping Goldmine played up at the gates and was withdrawn from the fray.
The day`s most impressive winner of the day was the got-abroad Alexei in the 1600 metres N K Padumjee Trophy, a race for maiden three-year-olds. Jockey Zervan had Alexei well positioned in front as Translator led the field into the straight. The moment Zervan got busy on the favourite, Alexei bounced clear to win by a widening margin of five lengths over owner mate Hokkaido who in turn was five lengths ahead of Walk The Talk. Alexei should win again.
Karthik Ganapathy trained Pulverize lived up to the name when thrashing the field in the lower division of the Sir Sultan Chinoy Trophy, a race for horses rated 20 to 46. Pulverize hit the front from the word `go` and enjoyed the lead as he kept expanding the lead in the stretch to go beyond the reach of the rest to win as he pleased at big odds. She`s A Tiger was a well-beaten second ahead of Es`s And Oh`s. The upper-division of the race went the way of Faisal Abbas trained Chezza who appeared to the medium of a quiet touch. Chezza got the better of Gold Magic close home to win the race. The latter burst his blood vessels which robbed the favourite of a winning chance. Grand Eyes was third.
Pulverize (Bhawani Singh up) winner of the Sir Sultan Chinoy Trophy (Div-II)
Alexei (S Zervan up) winner of the N K Pudumjee Trophy
My Precious (A Prakash up) winner of the Sir Sultan Chinoy Trophy (Div-I)
Flameoftheforest (Yash Narredu up) winner of the Prudential Champ Trophy
Dandi March (C S Jodha up) winner of the Piccolina Plate
Chezza (A S Peter up) winner of the Ashwamedha Plate
Raees (C S Jodha up) winner of the Suresh Mahindra Trophy