Trainer Pesi Shroff has been on fire this season, winning the races by the dozen. Apart from the fact that he commands the best stable in the country with the accumulation of horses of top-class pedigree, his dominance has also been helped by the fact that the older trainers have lost their zeal and the others don`t have the wherewithal in every respect to make an impact. By the look of things, Shroff is all set to score an unprecedented number of wins when the long winding season concludes in the month of April. The disheartening aspect of this domination is the absence of healthy competition and racing becoming lopsided.
The late-blooming Parisian had none to fear in the 2000 metres Gr 2 Serum Institute of India RWITC Ltd Gold Cup, a terms race for four-year-olds and over. Once again, he was taking on two jaded horses Caprisca and Truly Epic along with Apsara Star who has some catching up to do in this category. Parisian was offered as a money back favourite and it was very well justified. Parisian romped home with the jockey Pradeep Chouhan hardly having to move a muscle. After tracking pace-setting Caprisca and Apsara Star, Parisian was asked to quicken approaching the final bend. With a few swift strides, Parisian covered ground on those in front and in a trice had gone clear of the rest in the stretch to win by a widening margin of six lengths. Caprisca stayed on to take the second position ahead of Apsara who was clearly out of depth. Truly Epic was faraway fourth.
The Gr 3 Villoo C Poonawalla Pune City Gold Cup, a terms race for three-year-olds and over, also went the way of another Pesi Shroff trainee Rambunctious. In a race of this nature, it is always the classic placed horses enjoying a big pull in weights who are a force to reckon with. The market favoured Alluring Silver with top-weighted Group I winning Born Queen being next in demand. Rambunctious was not reckoned to have a great chance going by the perception in the betting ring. Jockey Sandesh found himself in front on Born Queen and he had to stay put there with Rambunctious shadowing her all the way in the race. Born Queen had the first run on her opponents and led deep into the straight but slackened perceptibly. Rambunctious who was in the chase got strong and bounced clear in the final 100 metres to record an easy win. Grand Accord ran on late to finish third. Alluring Silver never settled in the race and it was clear from the beginning that something was amiss with her and she would not figure on the board.
Racing in Pune is becoming increasingly one-sided with trainer Pesi Shroff packing all the punches. The trainer saddled five winners with his regular jockey Pradeep Chouhan being associated with four of them. Zuccarelli was a very short-priced horse to win the 1600 meters Glasnost Plate, a race for maiden three-year-olds. Chouhan had to sit still till turning for home before letting Zuccarelli stretch. The progeny of Western Aristocrat stormed clear in the straight to win by a widening margin of five lengths over Botero who in turn was a distance ahead of Animous. Many of the races cease to be a contest the moment the acceptances are out because of the domineering presence of horses like Zuccarelli.
The progeny of Kingman, Kinnara was surprisingly allowed to run at odds in the 1200 metres Party Whip Plate, a race for maiden three-year-olds. Chouhan pushed Kinnara to hit the front within the first furlong and thereafter, it was total domination on the part of the got-abroad filly who put daylight between herself and the rest. Perfect Man was faraway second ahead of Camden Town.
Trainer Imtiaz Sait broke the sequence of Pesi Shroff`s domination with last start winner Multistarrer beating another last start winner Northern Lights in the 1400 metres Gulamhusein Essaji Trophy (Div I), a race for horses rated 20 to 46. Multistarrer quickly seized the initiative in the stretch to go clear. Northern Lights drifted out under the use of the whip by the inexperienced Kritish Bhagat but finished on well to take the second spot by necking out Red Carnation. Pesi Shroff trained Immeasurable held off the challenge of Winter Storm to win the lower division of the race. The fight was for minor berths with Winter Storm nosing out Bold Advance. Marlboro Man who had some supporters did not run to expectations.
Karthik Ganapathy trained Kamaria had all the credentials to win the 1800 metres Assessed Plate, a race for horses rated 4 to 30. Kamaria had the race firmly in her grasp all the way in the stretch, winning by a margin of over two lengths. Walk The Talk held off Chieftain for the runner-up berth.
Bezan Chenoy trained Grand Architect came from way off the pace to catch up with Sandra`s Secret in the closing stride of the race to win the 1200 metres Allied Forces Plate, a race for horses in the lowest category. Sandra`s Secret who had gone down fighting last time out was running within a week and shaped to win in the hands of jockey Sandesh but was frustrated yet again. Power of Neath staved off Istanbul for the third position.