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It is Emperor Roderic in S A Poonawalla Million

  September 18 , 2022

Pesi Shroff trained Emperor Roderic gave an assertive performance in the Gr 3 S A Poonawalla Million, a terms race for three-year-olds, the feature event of Sunday`s Pune races. Traditionally treated as a lead-up to the Pune Derby, Emperor Roderic enhanced his reputation as a prime contender for the premier event with a start-to-finish win in the hands of senior jockey Pradeep Chouhan. Jockey Sandesh continued to enjoy a good run booting home three winners.

Emperor Roderic had run behind Golden Kingdom 43 days ago, an effort which should be considered below par given the fact that his last win at Mumbai was over subsequent Poonawalla Million winner Dexa. Possibly Emperor Roderic was short on preparation as he raced after a longish break of 224 days. Emperor Roderic was well supported to win the Million along with Dangerous who too had good credentials to back her claims, having won twice including the beating of King`s Ransom and then running behind Philosophy in the Gr 1 Fillies Championship Stakes at Bangalore. The only question mark was the long absence from the race track for 182 days since that run noteworthy effort but with the trainer asserting that all is well with his ward and the preparation for the race had been extensive, Dangerous went to the post as a favourite. But she flopped with a below-par effort, relegated to the fifth position, putting a question mark about her wellbeing. Also, she went to this race without a lead-up race as well.

Pradeep Chouhan took Emperor Roderic on a start-to-finish mission even as Dangerous was shuffled back to the last position in the first furlong. Emperor Roderic enjoyed his foray in front and under a vigorous ride by the veteran, the fancied runner kept digging for more to eventually win by a shade over a length over Great Guns who was the only one to give a good chase to the winner. Bangalore challenger Kalamisti saved place money. Dangerous failed to raise a fluent gallop at any stage of the race and looked beaten well before the race came to a boil.

The benefit of a race run and extensive preparation which was evident by the perusal of the workouts stood the Adhiraj Jodha-trained Gold Kite in good stead in the 1200 metres Villoo C Poonawalla Million, a race for maiden three-year-olds. Gold Kite was ridden in a handy posey by jockey Sandesh and the progeny of Surfrider skipped clear in the final furlong for a facile win over Hawk of the Wind and House of Lords. Pesi Shroff trained Claudius was running for the first time but went to the post as a favourite. The caveat about the first-timers of Pesi Shroff is that the trainer doesn`t send his horses fully tuned for debut races and more often than not, they prove their mettle with the benefit of a race run. Claudius looked far from ready as he graced the wrong end of the field and ran on well towards the close to finish fourth.

The 1400 metres Racing On play.rwitc.com Plate, a race for horses rated 20 to 46, produced a thriller. Last start impressive winner Kaitlan from the stables of trainer Shiraz Sunderji held off the strong challenge of Prinia and Sierra Dela Plata in a three-horse finish. Prinia who graced the rear of the field made tremendous progress in the stretch to almost snatching the verdict. Mighty Thunder ran on well to finish fourth ahead of My Princess who had all the chances but perhaps needed more ground to make a mark.

Sandesh who otherwise was excellent on all his horses was found lacking on favourite Rodrigo from the stables of trainer Dallas Todywalla in the 1000 metres Serum Institute of India Trophy, a race for horses rated 40 to 66. Rodrigo and Esperanza who were the market fancies spoilt each other`s chance by cutting each other`s chances at the front end. The effort told on both these runners. Roderigo who led all the way in the final furlong slackened and was floored by the finishing burst of Cellini who went past the favourite in a blink in the shadow of the post. Esperanza finished third. She reportedly bled after the race.

Sandesh drove out Waheed-trained Cognosco to a narrow win over late rallying Dowsabel in the 1200 metres Suraiya & Masoom Master Trophy, a race for horses rated 20 to 46. Cognosco who shot ahead in the final furlong was pressed close home by Dowsabel who responded to the urgings of apprentice jockey Saqlain to come within striking reach of the favourite. Sandman ran from the rear group to occupy the third position.

Kamaria was one of the firm favourites to oblige during the course of the day`s action. Backed strongly to give a winning performance in the 2400 metres Jefferson Plate, the Karthik Ganapathy trainee did not disappoint, taking charge on turning for home and winning by a widening margin of eight lengths over Brazos who rallied from the last position to take the second spot. Mount Sinai was third.

Stablemates One Wish and Menilly from the stables of Sunderji who were both available at long odds fought out for the spoils in the 1200 metres Inglenook Plate, a race for horses rated 60 to 86. The fancied runners Sky Fall, Desert Fire and Birkin Blower ran way below expectations. It was left to the stablemates to fight out the issue, with One Wish proving the better in the hands of jockey Ajinkya.

There was one-sided betting on Altamash-trained Rue St Honore who had the best credentials to win the 1600 metres Great Secret Plate, a race for horses in the lowest category. Perhaps the lack of a run benefit went against the favourite who was running after a gap of 182 days. After cruising into the lead and giving hopes of an easy win, Rue St Honore faltered. Alpha Gene who had a good forward run last time out, closed with a big effort to easily overhaul the favourite for a comfortable win. Ivor Fernandes trains the winner.

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