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C Rajendra provides fitting tribute for Karl Umrigar

By: True Blue   March 28 , 2010

Three decades after the tragic end met by the precocious saddle artiste Karl Umrigar, his two siblings Neville Umrigar and Tina Shroff (Pesi Shroff`s better half) decided to remind the world that Karl still lives in the memory of the racing fraternity. Hence they decided to showcase the legendary stuff that Karl was made of and also their fond memories of their brother which get a glimmer of in some prodigal rider on the race-track.

Be that as it may, jockey C. Rajendra who is riding with full gusto after having moved on from his liaison with Haresh Mehta, could not have offered a better tribute to the memory of the departed soul in the Karl Umrigar Turf Championship. He was assigned the duties on Pesi Shroff trained Diego Rivera, one of the three sons of the champion broodmare Rahy`s Serenade in the fray (the other two being Onassis and Highland Crown). The old warhorse first sorted out leader Classerville as the field entered the straight and then quelled the vicious attack of Mr Greedy. Juventus was seen trying desperately to make his presence felt but couldn`t bound forth but Highland Crown found his blood vessels in good stead and almost came close to toppling the duo ahead. He finished a close third ahead of Onassis, who was interfered by ownermate Mr Greedy in the last few seconds of the race.
  Diego Rivera (C Rajendra up), winner of the Karl Umrigar Turf Championship, being led in by Mr & Mrs K. N. Dhunjibhoy (2nd from left)

Pepe Junior (Cruachan – Ganadora) was another horse who, though long in tooth, showed his determination and fought a successful battle with favourite Ikaria for the Hyderabad Race Club Trophy. Ikaria seemed in control of the race as he went past Spitz but rookie Sandesh brought the Rehanullah Khan trainee Pepe Junior along side and both fought a ding-dong duel. Pepe Junior prevailed by half-length. The rest three runners finished close order which was immaterial except for the statistics.

B. Prakash rode a back to back double with the debutant Sunset Boulevard (Bachelor Duke – Intimate), who was foaled at the Hazara Stud, and the Usha Stud bred Icon (Razeen – Nairn).

Pesi Shroff schooled Sunset Boulevard chased Bullet till the straight and then joined the issue with the second favourite. Prakash rode the got-abroad filly plain hands and heels and got stronger at the finish to post a two-and-a-half length victory of Bullet. Ocean Legacy was denied the third spot Su Chaliyo.

Favourite Bold Dancer appeared to be coasting home for a comfortable victory after Suraj Narredu grabbed the lead on entering the home stretch. Icon meanwhile was being cajoled by Prakash but the response was nowhere urgent. Yet the S. S. Shah trained Icon devoured ground steadily to bridge the leeway and his resolve combined with the resilience of his saddle partner brought Bold Dancer down. Dancing Dame and Dignity Amplified, who performance was a tad disappointing, followed Icon and Bold Dancer home.

Apprentice P. Trevor steered River Star (Warrshan – Precieux Act) to a narrow win over favourite Dear Liza in a near blanket finish in the Western India Bookmakers Association Trophy. The lead changed quite a few times right from the word go and River Star also lost it for a moment when he went wide and took along Dear Liza with him. But he regained the lead once Trevor stemmed the drift. Swept Away shocked Blumarine by snatching the third place. Silvestre De Sousa, who rode Dear Liza, objected against Trevor for bumping his mount and taking her wide along with him. The Stewards found no merit in De Sousa`s protest.

It would be of interest to note here that reliable reports suggest that the RWITC Stewards may experiment with bracketing of horses of the same owner in a race from the Pune season onwards. If implemented, the rule could help prevent any malpractice of the connections fooling the punters by “showing” one horse and winning with the “doosra”.

Sea Sparrow (Mr Mellon – Strike It Right) from C. D. Katrak`s yard came into his own while putting his previous dismal performance behind his back in the Track Lightning Trophy. Imran Chisty powered the bay gelding to take charge from the tiring First Empire, who called the early shots, and sailed away for a comfortable win over Sine Qua Non, who warmed up quite late to make any difference to the outcome of the event. Confiserie and Deep Purple finished close behind.

El Tropico (Juniper – Nature`s Miracle) reached the highest class with his third victory from four starts this season in the first race of the day. C. Rajendra ridden El Tropico followed Hunter Bay from the start and asserted his superiority as the destination came close. Trainer M. K. Jadhav was apparently disappointed with Neeraj Rawal who rode Hunter Bay contrary to the instructions given to him. Jadhav complained to the Stewards that he had specifically told Neeraj that he should not let Hunter Bay hit the front no matter what happens. Neeraj didn`t follow the instructions and, after Jadhav`s complaint, the Stewards ruled that he had ridden an “incompetent” race. Neeraj became poorer by rupees ten thousand in the process.

Game of Power (Diffident – Grand It Is) earned his corn bill for trainer Nana Raghunath in the concluding event. Favourite Ibis raised some homes opposite the stands but she first gave in to Dream Talk, who was later shocked by the final surge of the Kishore Kadam ridden winner.

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