"I thought she has wasted the money, and told her so", Lagad confessed to mid-day, laughing, "but now I will never ever go against her female instinct"
A vigorous ride by Mustakim Alam, given to a gutsy Alpine Star, gained the day for trainer Narendra Lagad, who won the Pride Group Independence Million, the feature event of the Independence Day card at Pune.
Mustakim settled Alpine Star behind leader Blazing Bay all the way, before taking charge approaching the 800m marker, and then courageously thwarted a desparate bid by favourite Vincent Van Gogh (PS Chouhan up) in the final furlong of the 2000m trip.
Ironically, Alpine Star was not originally meant to run the big race because the trainer thought it was foolish to pay a late fee of Rs 2 lakh to take a shot at the winner's purse of Rs 5 lakh. But his wife, Begum Shaherbanoo who owns Alpine Star, put her foot down. Defying her husband, she wrote a cheque for the late entry fee of Rs 2 lakh.
"I thought she has wasted the money, and told her so", Lagad confessed to mid-day, laughing, "but now I will never ever go against her female instinct."
Incidentally, this was the fourth success for the trainer in the coveted race in a career spanning 42 years in which he has saddled more than 1,500 winners.
The Magansingh P Jodha Trophy was won by the Karthik-trained Julius (Bhawani Singh up), beating Winter Agenda (MS Deora up) on the post. The finish was made more thrilling by a late assault of Kubric (TS Jodha up) who rushed in to finish third in the same photo finish frame.
Snowfall, sporting Dr Cyrus Poonawalla's silks, ran away from his rivals to win the B K Lagad Trophy. Snowfall was ridden by Akshay Kumar for trainer Altaf Hussain. The same jockey and trainer also won the Leto Trophy with another Poonawalla horse: Mount Sinai.
Lord And Master, trained by Shazaan Shah and ridden by Anthony Raj, posted an authoritative victory over the mile trip of the Unforgettable You Plate.
Trainer Lagad who won the feature event with Alpine Star, ended the day with a grand treble, also winning both divisions of the Astral Flare Plate with C'est L'Amour (Aniket up) & Mirae (N Bhosale up).
Credits - mid-day