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Petronia brings off a huge surprise

By: Frankel   November 7 , 2021

Hoshidar Daji trained Petronia ran above expectations to bring off a big upset in the Gr 3 S A Poonawalla Million, a terms race for three-year-olds, the feature event of Sunday`s Pune races. Ooty Derby winner Alicia who was ranked way above Petronia, did not run to expectations, suffering a tame defeat which was entirely unexpected. Trainer Pesi Shroff saddled three winners.

The experienced Alicia was quoted at miserly odds which perhaps saved quite a few punters who would have been tempted to put a wager on her chances if she was reasonably priced. This was a saving grace for the punters. Horses from Pesi Shroff`s yard are not spot-on in their first outing of the season but considering the fact that Alicia had run a few times during the monsoon season, most expected Alicia to have it easy. But in the event, Alicia struggled to pick up speed and ended up third. Alicia`s defeat perhaps was a confirmation of the fact that some horses don`t relish the Pune track on which the best horses have been often beaten. It is also possible that Alicia needed more preparation and need the ground to prove her mettle. This is something that will be proved when she runs next. This run needs to be taken with a pinch of salt.

Petronia who took a smart jump this time out was taken on a start to finish mission by jockey Nazil with Alicia in a handy position while Regal Command who was not brisk at the gates being a tailed off last. Petronia held the lead competently with Pradeep Chouhan on Alicia exerting himself to collar the front runner. Bhawani Singh on Regal Command made his move from the back along the rails. Regal Command was in danger of being boxed behind but with Petronia shifting out, the former got a clear run along the rails. Petronia held on gamely to win from Regal Command who managed to nose out Alicia to snatch the runner-up berth.

Malesh Narredu trained Mystic Bay who had the benefit of a race run besides being targeted over a more suitable trip of six furlongs gave an assertive performance in the Star Superior Trophy, a race for horses rated 80 and above. Hidden Gold ran freely in front and led deep into the final furlong before Mystic Bay who was in the chase managed to overhaul the front-runner and win with a measure of comfort. Augustus Caesar who had conceded too much ground not having the initial speed to go with the pace, ran on late to edge out St Andrews to get the third slot. Gazino seems to have dropped form and finished poorly.

Joaquin from the stables of trainer Shezan Shah maintained his winning form in great style in the 1400 metres Inglenook Plate, a race for horses rated 60 to 86. Joaquin had won in the lower category in impressive fashion and the quality of his win was such that a repeat was very much a possibility though he was taking on seasoned runners. Giant Star was backed to the exclusion of the rest. After the fancied Sunrise Ruby led the field into the straight, jockey Zervan let Joaquin have his say in front. The progeny of Saamid broke clear and had a healthy lead all the way in the stretch to win with a measure of comfort. The form that he is in Joaquin should repeat. Giant Star made a late rally but it was clear that he was not up to the task. He was second ahead of Sunrise Ruby.

Apprentice jockey P S Kaviraj lost a certain race on Bold Legend in the 2000 metres Jefferson Plate, a race for horses rated 40 to 66. Bold Legend had let down expectations, losing all the chances at the gate itself on the last occasion. Stablemate Arcadia commanded the betting ring with Successor also expected to make a mark over this extended trip. Circle of Love and Successor raced up in front followed by Arcadia, Bold Command and Mishka`s Pride. Bold Legend was travelling well within himself all through and jockey Kaviraj waited with the horse till the final bend to make his move. In the meanwhile, jockey Pradeep Chouhan made his bid on the outside of Successor and Kaviraj, unwisely decided to take the run on the inside of Arcadia and got hopelessly trapped. Kaviraj had to wait for a while before pulling the horse wide and lost considerable ground as a result. Arcadia had a good lead going into the final 100 metres. Though Bold Legend closed with a big effort, the winning post came to the rescue of his stablemate Arcadia. Kaviraj was possibly looking for some concession from the stablemate but much to his chagrin, he found none.

Another Pesi Shroff trained The Bawaji won the 1600 metres Rao Saheb Kedari Gold Trophy, a race for horses rated 20 to 46 at long odds. Revolution and Ladida were the preferred horses but both were never in with a chance the way the race progressed. Fleur De Lys set a good pace with the stablemate Rasputin in close proximity with The Bawaji in about the fourth or fifth position. Rounding the final turn, Rasputin came up with a good turn of foot to go ahead and shaped to win but could not sustain the challenge unleashed by The Bawaji and went down fighting. Multiencrypted ran on to take the third spot more than six lengths behind the runner up. Seminole was fourth

Pesi Shroff`s third winner of the day came through Alastair who easily accounted for the well-backed Fuhrer to win the 1200 metres Great Secret Plate, a race for horses rated 20 to 46. Fuhrer ran freely in front before being caught up with by the favourite in the final furlong. Alastair bounced clear to win with a measure of comfort. Flash Force necked out Lagertha for the third position.

Imtiaz Sait trained Impermanence was well prepared to make a winning debut and the filly had little trouble in landing the spoils in the 1000 metres Cardinal Plate, a race for three-year-olds. Sandesh had the favourite in front and Impermanence who led all the way checked in untroubled. Murwara Princess ran on to take the second position ahead of Dark Secret.

Lesser fancied Aira from the stables of Karthik Ganapathy swamped the opposition in the 2000 metres Masoom Master Trophy, a race for horses in the lowest category winning by a distance. Aira raced in a handy position before taking charge at the final turn and won as she pleased. Royal Castle was second ahead of Walk The Talk while favourite Memorable Moments was not spotted at the busy end.

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