• Punjabi Girl wins The Fillies Championship Stakes (Gr.1)
  • Sir Cecil wins The Colts Championship Stakes (Gr.1)
  • Sir Cecil wins The Kingfisher Ultra Derby Bangalore (Gr.1)
  • Desert God wins The Tetrasoft Inc. Bangalore St. Leger (Gr.2)
By Mahendra Mallya
Saturday 04 Aug 2018
Mr Yohan Z Poonawalla & trainer Altaf Hussain leading Frieze (CS Jodha Up), winner of The August Handicap

The compact six-race card is not the best way to showcase western India racing, known for its fierce competitive edge and quality fields. However, punters enjoyed a mixed sort of a day with fancied runners coming to the fore and some ‘chance bets’ a more lucrative odds also resulting in reaping rich returns for those that ventured to wager on them.

Frieze (Excellent Art – Deraasaat, Poonawalla Stud) won well galloping alone up in second behind She is a Spy who led them all until into the straight. Frieze shot ahead soon on turning for home and built up a handy lead approaching the final furlong mark. He galloped away gamely to win comfortably. Quail Hallow, the prime favourite, lacked the finishing zip to make any impact on the new leader. Hope and Glory took the turn slightly wide and in the short Pune straight, that can be fatal. Jetfire improved positions in the straight and finished on well to finish second beating Hope and Glory to third.

Auburn (Champs Elysees – Atwirl, Highgrove Stud) cruised to a very easy victory and beat a tough set of rivals with surprising ease. She settled in third as Odessa hit the front with Lord of the Sea alongside. Lord of the Sea faded out alarmingly and ended last. Auburn took charge soon on turning for home and outpaced the rest as she accelerated smoothly to glide ahead and away with every stride. She won by an impressive margin and looks good for an encore. Selfie Star ran on to finish second. Uncle Scrooge made good progress in the straight to edge out Turning Point for the third place.

Malesh Narredu trained Pioneer (Phoenix Tower – Riyaasat, Manjri Stud) flew towards the end to shock Bottega Louie on the last stride to snatch victory on the wire. Few would have believed that to happen when Bottega Louie got past the early leaders Triple Threat and Harmony of the Sea on turning for home. Bottega Louie shot ahead with only a furlong and half to go and was shaping well to go all the way. Even in the last 100m she seemed well on course, but a dazzling finish from Pioneer was truly brilliant as the bay colt arrived with blistering speed to pip Bottega Louie on the post. Pioneer too should pick up another race going by the brilliance he showed at the finish. Bottega Louie was unlucky to have lost after being in a commanding position until the last stride.

Raise a Grand (Ravel – Lothian Lass, Chhatari Stud) built on his maiden win that he achieved at the end of the Mumbai season with a superlative performance to win the opening race of the day.  The 10 to 1 shot followed the bunch In front comprising hot favourite Kanchenjunga, Komandant, Red Indian.

Kanchenjunga was struggling to stay in contention even as they turned for home and just as Komandant got past the leader, Raise a Grand arrived with a big gallop to sail ahead to draw away from them all. Raise a Grand won easing up by over three lengths to Komandante; Kanchenjunga barely managed to keep Kuzzah’s Grace from grabbing the third slot.

Golden Weaver (Tariq – Venus Arising, Nanoli Stud) put in a late dash to come up trumps and beat Timeless  Deeds in a thrilling finish. True Grit led the field homewards but was soon challenged by Timeless Deeds. Golden Weaver was still some distance away from the lead, taking the turn slightly wide and then apprentice jockey K Nazil rode aggressively to challenge the front runners. Timeless Deeds was under threat with less than 50 meters to go as Golden Weaver was gaining rapidly on him.  Golden Weaver’s run was timed to perfection and he collard Timeless Deeds in the nick of time to carve out a narrow victory.

Furiosa (Arazan – Because of You, Villoo’s Greenfield Farm) had to work hard to win the concluding race of the day. She took off well to lead the field from the start and entered the homestretch with a slender lead. Adam’s Beginning and Arc of Passion were right on her tail all through and apprentice jockey Prabat Singh had to ride out with all his might to hold on to the lead. Furiosa managed to kick on gamely and ward off her challengers to score eventually.

Apprentice jockey K Nazil scored a good double.