Imtiaz Sait trained Truly Epic overwhelmed favourite Intense Stylist to win the 1600 metres General Rajendrasinhji Million, a terms race for three-year-olds, the feature event of Saturday`s Pune races. Truly Epic who was a more seasoned horse having run in the Pune Derby, measured Intense Stylist the front-runner who surrendered meekly, finding himself out of depth against a superior opponent.
Intense Stylist had two stylish wins over seven furlongs and on both occasions, he was not tested, winning as he pleased. Now Intense Stylist was running over a furlong extra and his free-running style had to be curbed to suit the extended trip. Intense Stylist did not enjoy being restrained as he was inclined to run out but jockey Zervan kept him in restraint behind pace-setting Excellent Sorrento. Though Intense Stylist overhauled the front-runner in the straight with ease, he had nothing left in the tank when Truly Epic came home with a blistering turn of foot in the hands of Hyderabad champion Akshay Kumar. Merlot ran on to finish third while the pace-setter Excellent Sorrento ended up a miserable last.
Trainer Antia pulled off a smart coup on Flag Flying in the 1400 metres Roedl & Partner Trophy, a race for horses rated 50 to 76. Madagascar who had back to back wins to his credit was the strong favourite. Flag Flying had been consistent, placing in good company and hence his win as not entirely unexpected. After travelling the first furlong, apprentice jockey Ayyar pushed Flag Flying to take over and the lesser fancied runner quickly established a good cushion. In the straight, Flag Flying skipped clear before the others could be alerted. By the time the others could warm up to the task, Flag Flying had an unbridgeable lead. Timeless Deeds came up with a big run from way off the pace to occupy the second place ahead of Carbonara. Madagascar made no show.
Trevor Patel who is usually very aggressive in his finishing efforts, failed to produce that spark as favourite Gold Medallist went down narrowly to last start winner Aquarius in the 1600 metres Irish Boss Plate (Div I), a race for horses in the lowest category. Aquarius led from the start and jockey Sandesh kept persevering with the horse in the straight to ward off the threat from the favourite who came menacingly but faltered when he looked to collar the front-runner. Cray Cray was third. Noshir Cama trained Emotionless who commanded good breeding appeared to be a cut above the rest in the lower division of the race. Emotionless was at good odds and jockey Pradeep Chouhan held a forward position and bounced clear in the final furlong for a decisive win. Solo Mission was second ahead of favourite Dazzling Eyes who had too much leeway to cover on those in front but managed to finish third.
The 1000 metres Masoom Masters Trophy, a race for maiden three-year-olds looked like a minefield as those who had the benefit of a race run hadn`t done anything noteworthy. In the fitness of things, debutant Julio Cesaro from trainer Narendra Lagad`s stables won at big odds. After chasing fancied Clark Kent into the straight, Julio Cesaro asserted his supremacy close home in the hands of jockey J Chinoy. Favourite Highland Empress failed to pick up momentum when the race came to the boil and finished a tame third.
The highly rated Roberta was quoted at very cramped odds to succeed in the 2000 metres Cielo Grey Plate, a race for horses rated 40 to 66. Roberta won as expected from Gloriosus, but one could not put this performance in perspective in terms of her classic prospects. She needs to improve a lot. Othello held off the designated pace-setter Khartoum to get the third place.
Rehanullah Khan trained Eyes For You was backed to the exclusion of the rest in the 1400 metres German Unity Day Trophy (Div I), a race for horses rated 20 to 46 despite getting the outermost draw in the field of 15 runners. Jockey Sandesh did well under the circumstances, but the favourite did not have the wherewithal to bridge the leeway in the straight. Longshot Grand Tenton who was in a handy position at the top of the straight, built up a useful lead in the stretch and won with a measure of comfort. Aurora Australis nosed out Eyes For Your for the runner-up berth. Pesi Shroff trained Arrowfield readily justified the favouritism in the lower division of the race, easily overhauling the front-running Daughterofthesun in the final furlong. Cristo Boss nosed out Cupido to save place money.
Roberta (Trevor Patel up) winner of the Cielo Rey Plate
Arrowfield (Trevor Patel up) winner of the German Unity Day Trophy (Div-II)
Aquarius (A Sandesh up) winner of the Irish Boss Plate (Div-I)
Julio Cesaro (J Chinoy up) winner of the Masoom Master Trophy
Flag Flying (M Ayyar up) winner of the Roedl & Partner Trophy
Truly Epic (Akshay Kumar up) winner of the General Rajendrasinhji Million
Emotionless (P S Chouhan up) winner of the Irish Boss Plate (Div-II)
Grand Tenton (Akshay up) winner of the German Unity Day Trophy (Div-I)