Tuesday, November 18, 2008

great indian mares

This is the first a series of articles by Epsom Ace to rekindle the good times of the eighties — a period termed by many as the renaissance of Indian racing. Some of the mares like Deep Water Blues, Purita, Rock Haven and Be My Guest held their own on the track or produced champion offspring or both. They were courageous ladies whose legacy remained on Indian soil as their progeny dominated the classics here. They were the unforgettable members of the fairer sex.

We commence our series with Be My Guest — a grey filly under the ownership of the late Mr. L. C. Gupta.

Be My Guest was by Mr Mauritius out of Minniehaha. In the late seventies, she won seven races including The Brindavan Cup.

Between '82 and '84, she produced a trio of highly successful offspring. They were Invitation, Splash and Brave Dancer. Sired by the prolific sire Everyday II (those who followed our Magnificent Seven series of sires will know about his success story), Invitation started her career in whirlwind fashion by claiming the George Williamson Indian Produce Stakes traditionally run on New Years Day, when two-year-olds turn three. Thereafter, she won two more races before her untimely death at three.

Splash was a grey filly, sired by Ballo, who developed late and then notched up eight wins including the prestigious Maharaja's Gold Cup. She fared pretty well in the St. Leger and The Stayers Cup which alerted her connections to the fact that her full brother Brave Dancer, may turn out to be a champion. The powerfully built roan became just that. He won a total of 19 races including the Calcutta Derby and the Mysore Derby. He won the prestigious President of India Gold Cup and the Queen Elizabeth Cup twice. Under the care of experienced trainer Vijay Singh, the property of Ranajit Nobis went from strength to strength. Unfortunately, he was out of sorts during the Invitation Cup in Hyderabad won by Own Beauty. Nevertheless, he turned out to be the pride of Calcutta's turfites. His unsurpassable exploits sparked the imagination of a journalist who authored a book 'Dirty Derby'.

Apart from the colour of his coat, there was one more similarity between this champion colt and his dam Be My Guest. Both enjoyed running in a handy position behind the front-runners before moving in for the kill. Be My Guest will always be remembered for this 'Dancer' from Calcutta who was named after the illustrious Dancing Brave — the winner of the Arc De Triomphe in inimitable style.

The late seventies saw a flood of top-class fillies and mares. So much so that veteran trainer Uttam Singh of western India was branded as the 'Ladies Man'. A host of bred-in-the-blue fillies established themselves in the classics under his care.

The south India circuit too enjoyed its share of success. One such filly who established herself in that region was Fire Haven - sired by the prolific Paddykin out of Star Witness. The last named had the distinction of winning seven races - one of them in England. She produced a string of successful horses. The list included Fair Court (24 wins including South India Derby), Star Haven (13 wins including South India Derby), Rock Witness (6 wins including South Indian Oaks) and of course Fire Haven, who picked up nine races including the Deccan Derby and Bangalore Derby.

After being retired to stud, Fire Haven proved that her progeny was as good as her, if not better. Fire Flash set the trend with 12 wins including the Calcutta 2000 Guineas. Then came Vibrant, a big made colt under the care of Bangalore maestro Rashid Byramji. So versatile was the animal that one could not ignore him in any distance between a mile and the Leger trip. His list of trophies included the Arc de Triomphe, Calcutta Gold Cup, the Colts Trial Stakes there, the Bangalore 2000 Guineas, the Bangalore St Leger and the Guindy Gold Cup.

Vibration beat his brother in quantity, but not in versatility. Though he had 17 successes to his name, most of them were over middle distances. His list included the Eclipse Stakes, The Eve Champion Trophy and the C.N. Wadia Trophy.

Though the grey Silver Fire would appear to conclude the list of classic winners that Fire Haven produced, one would be doing injustice to Young Tipu if the colt were not made a mention of, even if briefly. Not because he picked up seven races but because of the manner he staved off the formidable Red Chieftain over a distance of 2000 metres, during a Bangalore Summer meeting. The colt came fresh from Ooty and took the four horse field by storm as he opened up a lead of nearly 30 lengths despite being the longest priced horse at 15/1. That gap eventually narrowed down to a little over a length but that miraculous victory kept the legacy of Fire Haven alive.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

blogging tips

Friday, August 29, 2008

confidence gaining in life

1.PRESENT GLORY -prakash
2.yana win
3.micro supplys 250 pieces,
4.cell phone
5.stay at gandhi nagar 8 days. at ban still
7.aquadesiac win chilly m nareedu win
9.juventus- ildivo-secret pilgrimstar girl
10.phatak philip-ravi-adsense money
11.dancing dynamite
12.kiara losing
15.angels glory-highland conquest
16.power punch

Confidence is generally described as a state of being certain, either that a hypothesis or prediction is correct, or that a chosen course of action is the best or most effective given the circumstances. Confidence can be described as a subjective, emotional state of mind, but is also represented statistically as a confidence level within which one may be certain that a hypothesis will either be rejected or deemed plausible. Self-confidence is having confidence in oneself when considering a capability. Overconfidence is having unmerited confidence--believing something or someone is capable when they are not. Scientifically, a situation can only be judged after the aim has been achieved or not. Confidence can be a self-fulfilling prophecy, as those without it may fail or not try because they lack it, and those with it may succeed because they have it, rather than because of an innate ability.
Choking refers to losing confidence, especially self-confidence, just at the moment when it is needed most and doing poorly as a result e.g. in sports. This is found as a common plot device in literature and film, and is usually devised to result in a total alteration of a character's life.
1.PERPETUITY 3 times.
6.raju sr nagar.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

recent win win and failed favrites

1.western command
2,our excellence
3.distintly ahead
4.diamond hunter
5.reflection of gold
6.silver fox.



secret pilgrim



thunders roar



able associate


fleeting arroow


set alight



chances missed

2.our excellence
3.raghuvansh spirit
5 Archipeneko
6.Scimittar 11 to one
7.Silver fox
8.distinly ahead.
9.Celiastial treasure




13.thunders roar

14. second run shps


Friday, August 1, 2008

failure bets speed won by m nareedu
2.m nareedu,spit fire won by smith
3.prakash way of light won by nareedu
4.mark of gibraltar won by alford
5.kolkata pleasuring won by mumbai guy
6.the contender race
7.noble prince nareedu
8.against covenant
9.pune first race m nareedu

Sunday, July 27, 2008

recent success stories confidence boosters

super woman diffident double missed
alejandros shp poll missed at 13 to one
distinctly ahead
super yacht uniform betting missed at 12 to one
place bet at 7 to one missed
reflection of gold missed how it won last time?
celistial treasure
covenant new point
secret pilgrim piont missed
mountain bear
fair tactics

highland con
angels glory
appertain shock
trafalgar square

able assosiate
power punch
western command
star speed

Thursday, July 24, 2008

process of elimination

1.forget old and small trainers odds on favrites.
uniform betting needed,avoid betting at 65 paisa...avoid 60 plus race card ..dont miss how it won last time??? better to watch late comer first timers of 3 olds.
watch name changes????
2.forget 61 kgs weight betting
3.when odds on forget betting second fav.
4.first run a close 4 th runaway win appu at pune. fav can be given a chance again cairndhu
6.mosly ring decides winners.cairndhu
7.placerville breed beats youngsters too. obsorb shoks like hidalgo take advatage at good favrites 3 firmfav won at pune easily.
10.rapsidion snow new point.
11.latest in form thunders roar at 15 to one
12 win win choices to bet
13.avoid others confusions rama chandra goli,masthan reddy. owners doubles
15.concentrate on place betting. connections in the country .m nareedu c alford pakash suraj

17.latest spurt like chimerique beating class one anaimal.
18.where it was favrite??
19.jockie touch kiara
20.lestor krishnan. assosiate secon win at good odds.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

confidence boosters

1.war child sec win presntation
3.pierce arrow.
4.succsessor win
5.bourbon king win at top weight
6.own voice win.
7.sontage etoile
8.oasis star sec win
10.mark of gibraltar first win.
11.echos of light
12.malvado-cherenzio shroff win.
13.pastiche win
14.chaitanya chakram debut win

Monday, July 7, 2008

kolkata new race season

With the Monsoon Racing Season of 2008 scheduled to kick off on Thursday, July 10, the Stewards of RCTC have left no stone unturned in their quest for a trouble-free, lucrative season spanning three months and 21 racedays.This, in effect, is likely to attract a quite a few big names among trainers to this centre. It's in the air that the likes of Pesi Shroff and Darius Byramji may be seen stationing themselves here for a lengthy period of time.Anyway, first things first. RCTC already has 330 horses stationed in the city and are expecting about 100 more in the months to follow. Trainer Anupam Sharma from Delhi has been granted a B licence, while Jasbir Singh is making his debut as a trainer with an A licence. A total of 15 'A' Licensed and 8 'B' Licensed trainers will take part in 152 races through the season. The Stake money has been doubled in relation to that of the Monsoon Season of 2007. For the 152 races that are proposed to be run during the season the advertised stake money is over Rs 4 crore (Rs.4,27,20,000). Cups and Trophies, valued at Rs.5,63,000 will be presented to some of the winning owners this season. Three Sweepstakes races have been added this season, which brings the total number of such races to 20. The Monsoon Cup, a handicap race for horses in the highest class has been upgraded to a terms race for 4 year olds and over. Rs 5 Lakh is added to each of the new sweepstakes races, namely, The Calcutta Juvenile Sprint (1100 m Terms), The Calcutta Monsoon Sprint (1200 m) and The Stewards Cup (1400 m). The Calcutta Fillies Trial Stakes, The Calcutta Colts Trial Stakes and The Monsoon Cup will each have added money of Rs 10 lakh. The Calcutta Monsoon Derby, to be run on Sunday October 5, 2008, will have added money of Rs 15 lakh. Some of the special racedays are: August 16, 2008 – Independence Cup and Calcutta Juvenile Sprint; September 13, 2008 – Calcutta Fillies Trial Stakes; September 17, 2008 – Calcutta Monsoon Sprint; September 20, 2008 – Calcutta Colts Trial Stakes; October 5, 2008 – Stewards Cup and Calcutta Monsoon Derby; and October 15, 2008 – Monsoon Cup. The RCTC Tipsters' Tally Contest will carry a winner's purse worth Rs 20,000, Rs 10,000 for the runner-up and Rs 5,000 for the third place. The RCTC Tipsters' Cup contest will have prizes worth Rs 10,000, Rs 7,500 for the runner-up and Rs 5,000 the third place. Apart from the two big guns, Daniel David and Vijay Singh, some of the trainers to watch out for during the season are Arti Doctor with a string of 11 horses, Deepak Karki with the same number, Javed Khan with a total of 41 horses (which include 8 two-year-olds), Shafiq Khan with a stable strength of 21, Patrick Quinn with 28 horses, Richard Alford with 14 horses, John Stephens with a string of 20 and Robin Corner with 5 youngsters and 21 older horses under his wing. Daniel and Vijay both have well-filled yards with 75 horses each, which consist of 30 two-year-olds apiece.

great stallions

A rare grey stallion, Sovereign Silver completed the Poonawalla trilogy. Sired by Sovereign Path out of Silver Talisman, Sovereign Silver was retired to stud at the optimum age of five years. He was an Irish stallion who won five races in Ireland and France. From his first nine crops, he had 118 starters and 98 winners.
Sovereign Silver is strongly influenced by the powerful Nasrullah line as his grand sire Grey Sovereign was by the latter out of Kong. His sire Sovereign Path won eight races including the Queen Elizabeth Stakes. His dam Silver Talisman was a half-sister to Lost Cove – a winner of seven races.
Sovereign Silver produced a host of classic winners. The sire's influence on the Calcutta track has been considerable. Romantic Dancer picked up nine races at Calcutta including the Derby and the St Leger.
Azhar too enjoyed significant success at Calcutta as he went on to bag the Derby at 5/1 from the one-paced second favourite Ardiles. It was a controversial Calcutta Derby in the year 1987 as the on-money public choice Relevance was not handled to her potential in the race and she finished a poor fourth. She, however, had the consolation of winning the St. Leger in a close finish from Splash.
It would be relevant to note that both Romantic Dancer and Azhar had very strong dam lines. While the former was out of the successful filly Cartier (a Malvado progeny), the latter was out of Aureole Queen (a Grey Gaston progeny).
Then there was Silver, for whom the longer the trip the better. Silver won the Calcutta St. Leger after finishing third in the Calcutta Derby. Finally, The Advisor, also by Sovereign Silver, won five races including the Queen Elizabeth Cup.
Sovereign Silver's influence on the west coast was no less. Corviglia won the Indian 1000 Guineas while Pavielle pocketed the prestigious C.N. Wadia Gold Cup. The prolific Aristotle and the filly Silver Fire won seven races apiece. The former's prize triumph was in the Eve Champion Trophy while the latter bagged the Fillies and Mares Stakes.
This was the sixth of our 'Magnificent Seven' stallion. Last but not the least, we shall discuss the brilliance of Grey Gaston.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

her majesty

The Indian classics have always seen an extraordinary champion every few years. Champion horses like Exhilaration, Smart Chieftain, Indictment, Storm Again, Mystical et al have left a rich legacy. Though Mystical was not destined to win the Indian Derby, he won three Indian classics in splendid fashion and then went on to become one of the greatest thoroughbreds of Indian racing history by winning back to back races at Dubai last year. But the achievement of Her Majesty in the year 1946-47 surpasses all other performances in the Indian classics simply because she is the winner of four Indian classics and second in the coveted Indian Derby. What is more, she carried the weight of public expectations in all the five Indian classics. Of course, only a filly can win four or five Indian classics simply because colts and geldings cannot run in two classics which are gender specific.

The fact that Her Majesty could carry her form in exemplary fashion from a mile to the grueling 2800 metres speaks greatly not only about her versatility but her gutsy qualities as well. In recent times, Running Flame matched her performance while Sweeping Success, with two Indian classics and two photo-finish losses in the Derby and the Leger was another who ranks alongside these champions. Sweeping Success is also the winner of Gr 1 Deccan Derby and Gr 1 Indian Turf Invitation Cup.

The daughter of Steinbeck, Running Flame won the Indian 1000 Guineas, the Indian Oaks and then ran second to Supervite in the Derby and then got the better of one of all time greats Saddle Up in the Indian St Leger only to be relegated to second position in a controversial objection. Running Flame also won the Indian Turf Invitation Cup. She won several graded races after her feat at Mumbai and then raced unsuccessfully at USA. She has had a few foals abroad.

Bestowed the affectionate appellation ``Apdi Ghodi’’, Her Majesty was an imposing performer. The only loss in the Indian classics came in the Indian Derby when she went down to Bucephalus whom she had beaten comprehensively twice before and twice after. The glorious uncertainties of the sport have prevented many a champion from winning the coveted Indian Derby. Her Majesty lost to Bucephalus in the all important Indian Derby as fate willed against her victory. Ironically, it was her own pace-maker, a colt by named Equity who broke down during the race, almost brought Her Majesty to ground. Despite the injuries she suffered in the accident and the ground that she lost, Her Majesty put up a brave fight against Bucephalus for a while in the straight before going down.

Her Majesty (bf 1943 by Barra Sahib* out of Laughing Water* by Walter Gay) established three track records at Mumbai and the legion of her fans considered the guaranteed one rupee return she gave for a place dividend on the Tote as the safest of investments. Bred by her owner Mr A C Ardeshir in partnership with the Yeravad Stud, she was trained by W Buckly and piloted by Billy Evans to all her twelve wins. Incidentally, the A C Ardeshir Cup is held as a graded race in memory of the man who owned Her Majesty. The Ardeshir Cup has indeed seen many a stalwart making his or her mark through this race.

Tragically, Her Majesty died at sea en route to England as a result of swollen sub-maxillary glands and the intense heat in the Gulf of Aden and as such, she did not leave any legacy at the stud.

malvados progeny

One of the most influential sires in recent times has been Malvado. The Poonawalla Stud Farm owned Malvado played a significant role in lifting the profile of Indian blood stock. He not only sired champions but he was also a great broodmare sire. Mystical, one of all time greats of Indian racing who won back to back races at Dubai during the Racing Carnival was out of his daughter Mystic Memory.

Interestingly, India’s quest for glory outside the shores of the country began successfully with Malvado’s son Astonish who was the first Indian horse to be exported in the beginning of 90s after Balam made an unsuccessful foray in the 50’s. The Indian Triple Crown winner went on to stun everyone by writing a new chapter in the history of Indian racing by winning on debut at Hong Kong and then backing it up with another success. The victory of Astonish was what gave impetus for Indian breeders to successfully race their produce abroad in subsequent years. The performance of Saddle Up at Singapore and Malaysia and that of Adler at America capped by the brilliance of Mystical at Dubai were all built on the foundations laid by the champion sire.

Malvado (b 1972 by Nearctic out of Victory Chant by Victoria Park) sired 304 winners from 19 crops Given the comparatively low level of stakes when he commenced stud duties in 1978, the gross earnings in India of Rs 13,07,29,303 stand out, being the fourth highest till last three years. With 127 black-type earning progeny, of whom 55 were black-type winners, he was the Champion Sire five times.

Bred in Canada by Mr E P Taylor, Malvado raced 24 times in France. He won six races and placed 14 times including 2nd in the Gr 3 Prix de Guiche, Gr 3 Prix de la Coupe etc. His dam Victory Chant was the dam of 12 winners of whom seven earned black-type and each of her six fillies was a noteworthy broodmare in their own right.

The list of his best progeny is legion and it includes Astonish, Indian Triple Crown winner, unbeaten champion Exhilaration, Mystic Memory, Ministrella, Scintillating, Desert Warrior, Miss X’Olence, Oakmead, Solitaire, Veuvius, Vibrant and several others.

A feature of Malvado as a sire was the fact that he got the best athletes from mares who were from a wide cross section of families and who were also daughters of a wide cross section of sires. The dams of his 127 black type performers were the progeny of 73 different sires and came from 66 different families on their distaff side.

A sire of nine sires, Malvado also had 155 of his 172 fillies enrolled in the ranks of the Indian broodmare. A pillar of the Poonawalla Group of Farms, he was Maternal Grandsire of 99 black-type performers including Starfire Girl, Academic, Arsenal, Splendid Girl, etc. He was also the Champion Maternal Grandsire five times with gross earrings of Rs 18,58,71,291 at the end of year 2005.

If the Darley Arabian male line is so prominent in the modern thoroughbred, it is in no small measure due to the contribution of Nearco and his illustrious sons including Nearctic, the sire of Malavado. Malvado died at the age of 27 years in 1999 but his legacy lives on.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

tote at bangalore is all set to touch 1000 crores in 2008

In most horse racing centres in the world, computerisation of totes and a single betting system, without the participation of bookmakers, is a phenomenon recognized by the horse racing fraternity. In many countries, the totes are connected nationwide and you can buy the betting tickets from even the remotest place. This has led to organised betting, transparent taxation systems and general improvement of the sport. Monies earned by the Turf Clubs are ploughed back into the game and better facilities are created for the owners, licensed professionals and the racing public. It is like watching a spectacle, when one has a chance to witness night racing at Singapore. The tote betting system also helps in partially safeguarding the sport from unwanted elements. It is a well-known fact that a parallel illegal bookmaker syndicate operates in most countries. They are known as the "Betting Mafia". While visiting a few racing centres in far eastern countries, I saw the police taking away small-time illegal bookmakers from amongst the crowd. But, by and large, the system has led to better collections and better profits for the institutions.

The Managing Committee holding the reins at the Bangalore Turf Club in the late 1980s had the vision and the foresight to realize that this was one system which needed to be implemented. The Club did not have the cash reserves to implement such a huge project. The software had to be developed and costly hardware had to be installed. The committee was in two minds about the virtues of such an investment. However, in a landmark decision taken at that time, the Club decided to go ahead and placed the order. The banks associated with the BTC raised their hands and the funding was put in place. After lengthy test runs and proper trials, the tote was computerised and became operational on January 10, 1991.

There were many people at that time, who doubted the success of this project. A few amongst them had reservations about the amount of money that was being spent. More importantly, there was a resistance to change. It took time for the racing public to realise that the returns were as good, if not better, than those offered by the bookmakers. Punters, who habitually backed outsiders, were the first to fall in line. They ultimately realized that the investments and dividends were free of betting tax. It took five years for the collections to touch the Rs 100-crore mark, which was achieved in the year 1996-97. There was much jubilation and backslapping because the tree was finally seen to be bearing fruit. All of a sudden, there were many who wanted to take credit for this achievement. The knowledgeable at the Club knew the people that needed to be complimented. The institution was then rejuvenated. Betting centres were opened progressively all over the city and thereafter in various parts of the state. The tote had become the backbone of the BTC.

The reason for writing this article is to tell our readers about what happened subsequently. The figure crossed Rs 500 crore in 2005-06 and Rs 700 crore in the subsequent year. It is learnt that the Club has clocked a turnover of Rs 924 crore when the accounting books were closed on March 31, 2008. It will not take an astrologer to tell us that the magical figure of Rs 1000 crore would be easily crossed this year.

It is time to salute the people who had the wisdom to take the club on the growth path. It is also time to think about the common punter who is the backbone of racing. It is he who brings in the money and funds the entire operation. Therefore, it is time for the Bangalore Turf Club to improve the amenities that it provides to the average racegoer.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

british-invation of china

British troops occupying Peking, China, loot and then burn the Yuanmingyuan, the fabulous summer residence built by the Manchu emperors in the 18th century. China's Qing leadership surrendered to the Franco-British expeditionary force soon after, ending the Second Opium War and Chinese hopes of reversing the tide of foreign domination in its national affairs. In the 1870s, Chinese Empress Dowager Cixi began rebuilding the palace and its stunning gardens, renaming it Yiheyuan, or Garden of Good Health and Harmony. In 1900, during the Boxer Rebellion, the palace was burned again by Western troops, and it remained dilapidated until the Chinese communists rebuilt it in the 1950s.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Treble for Vijay Singh

A bumper New Year's Day crowd spent an extraordinary day at the Calcutta racecourse on Tuesday. Traditionally marked as a day, when the city, who exchange season's greetings, while the thoroughbreds go about their business as usual, visitors returned home happy after enjoying a fair share of excitement in both spheres.
There were head-turners galore, as well as thrills aplenty on the track.
After drawing a blank in the first five races, trainer Vijay Singh rattled off a hat trick in the last three events of the afternoon. His winners were Accalia, Oxford Street and Elusive Study. All these runners are owned by his chief patron Deepak Khaitan, Khaitan led in another winner, Bath-trained Imperial Romance.
The most amazing result was in the afternoon feature event. The Indian Produce Stakes, which saw a stunning victory for Vijay Singh trained Accalia. The filly by Diffident out of Amantran lost eight lengths at the start but moved with giant strides from a hopeless position in the straight to land the spoils in the hands of Neeraj Rawal. Stablemate Arcology was fancied to deliver the goods but Christopher Alford found nothing extra, when he gave him full throttle at the distance post.
Public choice Piato was handled in a pedestrian manner by Mallesh Narredu, not that it would have made any difference to the ultimate result.
Barring Accalia and Entrepreneur, it was by and large an afternoon when punters got the better of the exchanges with bookmakers. As many as five on-money favourites were first past the winning post, namely Supreme Attraction, Apostrophe, Imperial Romance, Oxford Street and Elusive Study.
Some of the city's professionals were irked by the manner in which imports from western India dominated the first three races. Patrick Quinn pulled off a fine gamble with Italian Affair (Mark Reuben up) in the curtain-raiser before Aarti Doctor got into the act with retained rider C.S. Jodha to notch up a fine double with Supreme Attraction and Apostrophe. The Mumbai apprentice handled both runners with a degree of confidence. The stick had to be used liberally atop the former as Loughborough posed a serious threat near the distance post.
The fashionable bred Apostrophe however faced no such problems as the ante-post favourite Saarah Alam was all at sea, when jockey Mark turned on the heat.
Neeraj Rawal notched up the first of his two winners, when he guided Bath-trained Imperial Romance to a smooth victory in the Star Magic Cup. The chestnut gelding pegged back Conde Nast without batting an eyelid. However, it must be noted that the winner was in receipt of 12kg from the top-weight.
The Cico Park Cup saw Mark Reuben pull off a marvellous victory with Entrepreneur. The Robin Corner ward ate up ground in the final furlong, to peg back runaway favourite Altissimo.

The day's last two races were all Vijay Singh. His runners dominated the sprints. Neither Oxford Street nor Elusive Study had to be stretched to land the spoils. Thus, visitors left for home on a happy note on the first day of the New Year.

Wonder Smile Lifts Bangalore Oaks

The Bangalore Oaks (Grade II) attracted a very small field of five runners with the 1000 Guineas winner, Wonder Smile standing tall amongst this bunch of fillies. On sheer rating she was two classes superior to her nearest rival, and the bookmakers had no hesitation in offering very cramped odds on her. Agassiz after her last effortless victory over a staying trip, changed hands and now ran in the colours Of Dr. Vijay Mallya, who had pitched her as a final entry in this classic.

The race itself saw Agassiz going to the front and setting a good pace. Welcome Back, Wonder Smile and Mother's Pride were seen cantering along in close attendance. The field started bunching up at the turn, with the favourite moving up easily on the wide outside and cruising past the rest. Wonder Smile was eased up near the winning post, many lengths ahead of a hard ridden Welcome back and a tiring Agassiz. It was reported that Agassiz had splayed a plate during the race, but that may not have altered the result in any way. Wonder Smile shall now be targeted at the big one on Republic Day.

The Ardent Knight Cup saw the Prakash ridden Fantastic Quest being backed down in a big way with a fair bit of support coming for the Darius trained and fashionably bred Excellent Ability. The favourite had the benefit of two runs, and that came in handy when he quickened nicely in the straight and passed a front running Greens. The latter showed a lot of speed and can be earmarked for an early success. Excellent Ability was desperately in need of this run, since it struggled to get the better of the early leader Nearco Master and finished a tame third.

The day started with a fine performance by an unheralded three year old called Fleeting Arrow (Burden of Proof-Sabre Dance). This nice looking colt was looking a bit soft in the parade ring, and understandably. so, since it was the first run of his career. His trainer Babu Rao seems to have realized the capabilities of his charge considering that he was made to take part in 1400 metres. Safari and Touch of Magic were the joint favourites with the rest being available at 10's and over. Safari, who had already had two impressive runs under her belt, was taken to the front and was cruising into the straight, when she found Fleeting Arrow on her outside. There was hardly a contest as Fleeting Arrow lengthened his strides and went away to beat his tablemate Undue by a widening margin. Safari plodded on to be third, while Touch of Magic was totally outclassed. Fleeting Arrow's timing and style of running suggest that he is one of the top colts at this centre and should be prominent in the big races slated later in the year.

Prakash ridden Global Genius was confidentially backed to win a class IV sprint for older horses. Trainer Warren Singh chose to use a five kilo claimer on his ward Worth a Million, and decided to send him to the front. Apprentice Gautam Raj rode hands and heels, and did not permit Global Genius to come anywhere near him. Prakash had to be content with second place. when he whipped his horse to beat Hold the Fort into third position.

Another favourite from Ganapathy's yard, Storming Brown ridden by O' Donoghue was beaten into fourth place by Jersey Power, Power Punch and Lightenin Blues. O' Donoghue weighed in less than what he was supposed to be carrying in the race, and was deprived of his position after a steward’s enquiry.

Apprentice jockey Gaurav Sapra rode three public choices in the last three events of the day. He got beat on all of them. He started with Eshwar's Alinski, on whom he was beaten into second place by the front running Darktan. Alinski did manage to put his neck in front at the distance post, but the hard ridden Darktan came back on the rails and won in a close finish. Damgood finished a respectable third.

On Secret Fury, he took a good position from the start and sat behind the early leading pair of Amazing Forest and Ciampino. When he saw Appu relaxing Ciampino into a comfortable fourth position, Gaurav pushed Secret Fury and went in chase of Amazing Forest. In the last 300 metres the field started to close in, as Secret Fury started to tire. It was finally a hard ridden Ciampino, who got up in the last stride and beat Amazing Forest and Oro Neiro in a blanket finish.

Nityanand trained Plum Pudding was his third ride. This filly was the rage in the betting ring and came in for a lot of support to start as a clear favourite. She seemed to be travelling well and picking up the front runners one by one. However the early leader Don Cherry was a tough nut to crack, as he was seen holding on to his lead. Ryan Marshall made free use of the whalebone on Don Cherry and held a late finishing Action Hero and Plum Pudding at bay.

The stewards met after the last race of the day to enquire into the running and riding of the hot favourite Stanza Starry in yesterdays races. Trainer M Eshwer and Apprentice Gaurav Sapra were produced before the stewards. It is learnt that both of them have been suspended till 31st July 2008.

Mark Of Gibraltar Beaten

Jockey Prakash seems to have lost his zest for riding. In recent times, he has been seen in poor light on many top-class horses. He has lost races in Mumbai and Bangalore which he would have comfortably won if he had been riding in his old form. Prakash at his best used to be a treat to watch.
Prakash in his current form is a pale shadow of the champion that we have known for the last so many years. It is difficult to pinpoint the reason for this sudden change. I am sure it cannot be the easy rides he is invited to come and partner in Chennai week after week, a process in which he does not have to really perform to win the first five races of the day. It cannot be a physical thing, because he is still young and extremely fit. It is perhaps a state of his mind wherein he is unhappy with a foreign rider taking all the plums on horses, which were rightfully his rides. It may also be the suspension handed out to him by the stewards of the RWITC. Whatever be the reasons, the fact remains that the situation is getting to be tough for his many ardent supporters who wager heavily on horses ridden by this talented rider. It is hoped that he shall soon overcome the temporary loss of form, and start performing again at a level expected of him by the racing public all over the country.

The feature event on Friday was the well-endowed Karnataka Racehorse Owners Association Trophy, a sprint race for 3-year old horses. This was a terms race with winners expected to carry the standard penalties. A small field of five runners faced the starter, with the betting confined to two horses. Both Mark of Gibraltar and Alcmene were impressive winners in maiden company, but the style of running made Mark Of Gibraltar an obvious choice and thus he was installed as the shortest priced favourite in the season. Appu sent Music Forever to the front with Srinath ridden Alcmene in close second position, while Prakash on the favourite was seen travelling the widest of three as they straightened for home. Alcmene took over from a tiring Music Forever and soon found Mark Of Gibraltar coming with giant strides on her outside. The two of them were engaged in a duel for a while before the favourite got the upper hand and seemed to be getting the better of Alcmene on whom Srinath had stopped using the whip. The last 50 metres of the race saw Srinath pull out all stops as he punched Alcmene and goaded her to put everything into it. She responded beautifully and in the process caught Prakash napping on Mark Of Gibraltar at the all-important end. This was another race that Prakash may have easily won when he was in good form.

The Chatrapathi Cup was a class II race over seven furlongs and saw big money coming on Appu-ridden Swift Fire. This gelding had run a couple of times this season and had finished on the board on both occasions. He had run with better-class horses and therefore finding today's set a bit easier, the connections backed him down from 5/2 to even money. Chris Hayes took Carabinieri to the front and seemed like spoiling the party as Appu was seen frantically whipping Swift Fire in second position. Carabinieri had a couple of lengths to spare at the distance post but suddenly started to shorten his strides. To the relief of his numerous supporters, Swift Fire went ahead and scored from a late finishing Mucho, who edged out the front-runner from second place.

The race for maiden 3-year olds saw a very average lot of youngsters face the starter. Based on her breeding, Lady Banks (Diffident-Mary Bankes) with Prakash in the saddle was installed as the half-money favourite. Here again, Prakash was seen struggling to keep her on an even keel and was lucky to nail the early leader Little Splendour on the post. Blushing Beam was sporting the same colours as the winner but was ridden by morning work jockey M Ravi. Had Ravi decided to be more enterprising on Blushing Beam, the story would have been totally different. For the record, Blushing Beam finished a close third and shall be too good to miss in her next start.

The class III race over a staying trip of a mile and a quarter saw Sontag Etoile being installed as an on-money favourite with the other five runners available at eights and over. Jagadeesh took Saptashwa to the front and surprisingly lasted out to win from a late finishing Van De Star. The latter was not given a good ride by apprentice John who decided to keep him in last position before skirting the field and coming widest of all into the straight. The game horse made up a lot of ground but was shy by a length at the winning post. The favourite Sontag Etoile plodded on to be a close third.

The last race of the day saw the Mangalorkar-trained Surprise Package emerge as the easiest winner of the day. Although drawn on the outside, jockey Aadesh rode a neat race as he took a good early position and rode a well-balanced race to win comfortably from Shenandoah, Crackerjack and Lighnin Blues.

The first two races of the day were for horses in the lowest class and saw Royal Flinn and Lago Vista earning their corn bills. The latter won easier than the verdict and can be placed to win again in her present form. The short seven event card was quite competitive with no professional able to score more than once.

Kinane and Shah

At 48, Mick Kinane was the oldest of the 19 jockeys in the Derby at Mahalakshmi Race Course on Sunday. On the other side of the coin was trainer SS Shah. In a 60-second post race chat with trainer Shah, I asked him how old he was. He shot back, “You make a guess.” My answer was 65. “I am 69,” Mr Shah said.

Six-time Irish champion jockey, Mick Kinane was winning the Indian Derby for the third time. Sir Bruce and Cordon Bleu were the other two horses that Kinane rode to victory in India’s most coveted prize in horse racing.

Trainer SS Shah, the oldest trainer in the Derby field and I believe I am making a safe assumption, was winning the Indian Derby for the second time. Mansoor was his other winner and the rider was the peerless Pandu Khade whose artistry in the saddle won the admiration of many a discerning observer.

May I say that the 2008 Indian Derby renewal was a triumph of experience over youth? It was only last Friday that at 49, Russell Baze reached the 10,000-winner milestone by riding a winner at Golden Gate Fields. Two days later, in India, several thousand miles away and in a different time zone, another history of sorts was made by a pair who, in normal circumstances, ought to be contemplating retirement.

This was my underlying thought as I posed this question to Mick Kinane. “At 48, when jockeys are considering other options in their lives, you are going round the world riding winners in big races. You have accomplished so much and what more needs to be done and how long will you do this?”

“I will keep going. I have years left,” he said. A friend interjected. “He will go another 10 years.”

“This is special. To come back to India and do this, it is great.”

Kinane has won the Breeders’ Cup, the Belmont Stakes, the Epsom Derby and every big race one can think of. The Kentucky Derby has eluded him but Louisville is a difficult target for an Ireland-based jockey.

Trainer Shah could not hide his glee. “This my second Derby win. I gave Hotstepper a big chance. There was no doubt in my mind he will stay. He came tough today. In the end, it was his staying ability that gave him the edge.”

As it turned out, it was a case of Hotstepper raising his game and a case of Bourbon King not being able to sustain his play level. Hotstepper responded spiritedly as the pressure mounted. Bourbon King ran on in the final 400 metres but he lacked the fiery acceleration that had stood him in good stead in his earlier wins.

Let us remember this. Mystical was beaten in the Derby. He came back with a vengeance to win the Invitation Cup. Southern Empire was beaten by Diabolical, a stablemate, in Mumbai. In the Invitation Cup, Southern Empire put daylight himself and Diabolical. Dr MAM Ramaswamy was prompted to declare, “Let me tell you. Southern Empire is better than Mystical.”

The trend continues. Favourites cannot get the job done in the Indian Derby. If history holds, in the last two years, beaten Derby favourites have redeemed themselves in the Invitation Cup. All I can say is that I am looking forward to my Malakpet visit.

Here are a few observations. The tote selling and paying system needs to be streamlined. The fixed odds concept is commendable, however. The clerks take forever to count the money, especially large sums. On Derby day, there were not enough windows to cater effectively to the fans.

The betting ring in the members’ enclosure is too small. On Derby day, I was able to penetrate the throng only twice. You could hardly breathe. On big racing days, the ring should be over a bigger area. This is important.

The 26% betting tax simply does not make sense. It is a legislative (political) matter but a movement should be launched. Racing is a revenue-producing game for the State Government. The racing authorities should do everything in their power to convince the Government that the goose that lays the golden egg is being deprived of oxygen.

The public address system needs correction. Mumbai has an excellent announcer. One can hardly understand the announcer. I do not know what is wrong. Audio experts should be asked to examine the system.

Here’s a suggestion. When there is a favourite at cramped odds, there should be what is called, ‘betting without the favourite.’ On Saturday, Vale of Leven was half money and marginally better. We can pretend that Vale Of Leven is not in the race and bet on the others. You will have a winner if you horse reaches the post first or if your horse is second behind Vale of Leven.

It is imperative that a post-race press conference be held. The winning owner, trainer and jockey should be there and it must be mandatory. Ten minutes would be enough. Have a moderator start off with a question. Then the meeting should be open to questions from the press corps. There is nothing like getting quotes.

There is another thing. The media department should ask a question or two of a beaten favourite, especially one like Bourbon King. Let jockey O’Donoghue respond to a question or two. Get the answers. Type them up and make copies and distribute them. Dissemination of information is critical to keeping the vitality of the game.

Finally, in the paddock area, there is open access. The paddock and the environs should be a privileged area and admission restricted to those authorized. This situation cries out for attention and correction.

I must express my sincere thanks to the Racing Secretary for providing me with passes for the weekend. I am looking forward to the 2009 Indian Derby.

I must offer a retraction. I had said in my piece last week that Frankie Dettori was riding in India for the first time. I stand corrected. Dettori was in India about 17 years ago for what was then called, ‘the Clash of the Titans.’ It was a contest between Indian jockeys and foreign jockeys.

Oasis Star

Top Class performance by the Naval Sky Divers and enthralling music went hand in hand with the Mumbai races on the SC Jain's Sprinters' Million Day at the Mahalaxmi race course.

The day began on a steady note as Dynamic Cat (Grant) made light work of the top weight (61 kg) he was carrying and posted a convincing victory to claim the Western India Bookmakers Association Trophy. Grant, who had partnered the colt in his last start victory over Casual Look, produced an ‘action replay’ more or less in the similar fashion, but this time encountered little resistance from his rivals. Pacific Zone led them into the straight, and once Dynamic Cat strode on to the scene, he was in complete command and stretched away from the rest. Victor Ivanov looked a pale shadow of his last start and did not raise any hope whatsoever. Amberogio (Chinoy) improved to finish second, pegging back Pacific Zone.

Artillery (Alam) fired finally and earned his winning bracket. Artillery was very restless in the gates but fortunately was alert at the jump. Hymn's Angel reared up as the gates flung open and lost a lot of ground. In the straight, Grey Storm led till 400 m where from Artillery took over. Tullamore (Ranjane) moved very late on the wide outside and failed to get past Artillery. Phi did well to finish third.

Classic did not have to sweat a lot for his victory in the third race of the day. Sitting well up, Classic (Alford) was just niggled to take over just past the 400 m and only about 200 m did Alford need to take out his whip. Astro Boy (Riyaz) could have done with better handling and had to be content with the third spot behind Arabian Power (SS Rathore). Tribal Warrior (Appu) who is no serious contention all through warmed up late to fill the frame. The last named is getting ready and needs watching over an extra furlong.

Englehart (Tograllu) produced a spirited final furlong burst to easily put it across Councilofthegods (Rajendra). Star Always (Appu) had every chance of making a race of it after being prominent in the straight but she just could not find her feet and faded away. Flames of Fire was always looking to get a clear run and his failure to do so may have cost him heavily. Oyster Princess (Nirmal) who kept Englehart company in the rear for the most part, saw the latter draw away from him and was ridden all out to get into the place money close home.

Red Indian (Rajendra) was badly affected by the erratic run of Wild Temper who drifted all the way across the turf. Leading from the start, Wild temper (Alam) was still in charge past the 400 m when Red Indian joined alongside. Just when it appeared that Red Indian would go ahead, Wild Temper started drifting out and continued to do so all the way taking Red Indian along. By the time Rajendra could take corrective measures, Simply Smashing came on the scene and pipped Rajendra to the second place. This could be the reason why the jockey did not opt for taking an objection as he would still not get the race. Wild Temper, thus, was fortunate to keep the race despite not keeping a straight course and taking Red Indian's ground. Simply Smashing came up late and is the one to note. Mickey Mantle was caught between horses, however, didn’t quicken when he did get out and finished off the frame.

Casual Look (Merchant) suffered due to the rider's insistence on poking through the front running Sepia Tone and the challenger Clean Sweep (Kishore). Had he had the presence of mind to immediately switch on the outside, he may have made it considering that Casual Look closed in towards the finish. Merchant tried to get the race in the stewards’ room, but the winner was in no way to blame for the incident and the objection was overruled.

Liverpool (Neeraj) attempted a start-to-finish essay that got aborted at the distance post. Celtic Charm (Srinath) came up with a sustained bid to ward off a serious threat from Il Divo (Rajendra) who had to be switched out of a troubled passage. The late charge of the Shroff ward was never going to be enough after Celtic Charm was ridden hard to hold on. Il Divo, however, looked good enough to make amends very soon.

Srinath missed out on a hattrick when he opted out riding Pure Devotion due to his reporting ill. Grant who replaced Srinath guided Pure Devotion to a hard fought victory on the post. Xiamen led the field home hotly chased by Adallia who then led briefly only to surrender to Kalpavruksha (Belose). Black Hussar tried to make an impression but failed to quicken. Pure Devotion suddenly pounced upon them all and caught up with Kalpavruksha on the post. Czech (TS Jodha) did exceedingly well to come from a long way back to snatch the place money. If he overcomes his starting problems, Czech will be in the reckoning as he displayed good finishing effort.

Among the professionals, trainers Imtiaz Sait, CD Katrak, Narendra Lagad and jockeys Srinath, Grant and Alam scored a double each.

The Indian Navy performed an aerial display and the Naval band played on the lawns/paddock. Vice Admiral J.S. Bedi was personally present to give away the prizes. The Fantasie Stakes created a huge ambience. Ms Zeba Kohli put up attractive stalls with her array of products and had chocolate samplings. Huge hampers were given away as prizes to the winning team.

The Dr SC Jain Million had a record field. The Jain family invited leading models Sandhya Shetty and Aryan Vaid as guests. There were several other models as part of the entourage. Ms Jesse, a regular visitor, won the Ganesha. The best-dressed male prize went to Rajesh Kohli, husband of Zeba Kohli, who was nattily attired in a linen suit. The best-dressed lady went to Aarti Surendranath, a regular on the society circuit. The Jain family presented beautiful trophies to the winning owner, trainer, jockey. Managing Director of Deutsche Private Wealth Management was present to give away The Deutsche Bank Dash trophy to Mr. Shapoor Mistry.

Oasis Star (Senure – Gambaru Etsu) overcame a nasty check soon after the start, then had to encounter a wall of horse in front, forcing her to skirt around the bunch who were already in top gear in the straight, and only in the final 100 metres did she unleash a sensational run-in to zip past some renowned sprinters in full flight, and clinch the SC Jain Sprinters Million (GR-2) with an awesome display of raw speed.

In my preview on the race, I had speculated that the course record for 1200 m would be under threat. The only reason the record stays intact in the name of Persephone (1m – 10.54 secs), I conclude, is the fact that Oasis Star was subjected to a near collision near the 1000 m mark by Lady One (Aadesh). This relegated the filly to the second last position in a strong 17-horse field. In the straight too, Oasis Star had to be maneuvered between horses and only got a clear passage past the distance post. That she clocked a nippy 1m-10.72, just split seconds off the record, despite the impeding run, leads me to believe that she would have clocked a better timing otherwise and my plucky prophecy would have been spot on.

Pampered Princess showed that she is the quickest starter and led the field, Agha, Atmosphere, Rejuvenite, Escravos were close in a huddle, not far behind were the rest Oyster Cove and Oasis Star in the rear and they only had the slow starter Perfect Attraction behind them till the turn. In the straight, Pampered Princess was making a race of it, Atmosphere was wilting, Rejuvenite was toiling to keep up and Evatina and Escravos were being pressed hard. Pampered Princess was desperately wishing for the winning post to rescue her and inside 100 m of the post Oasis Star conquered the opposition flying past as though the rest were pedestrian.

Jockey Srinath rode a commendable race, kept his calm and showed complete faith in the filly's ability. He never hurried her and coxed her to give her best when it mattered most and the scintillating response from Oasis Star exhibited her class and she is the one they all have to beat in the Sprinters' Cup at Hyderabad early March.

Enaski, Escravos, Oyster Cove, Pampered Princess, Evatina and Rejuvenite all were together in a blanket finish for the minor placings. Of this lot, Oyster Cove covered a lot of ground and should come good in the near future. Enaski was the surprise package and Pampered Princess a determined fighter.

It was a colourful day and the turnout was encouraging even though it followed the Derby weekend.

Rare And Precious

The P Dayanand Pai & P Satish Pai Bangalore Winter Million saw the emergence of a new star in the form of the Prithviraj trained Rare And Precious at the Bangalore races on Saturday. This progeny of Juniper credited his sire with the first big win from his crop on Indian soil. With two fairly ordinary runs in his short career so far, Rare And Precious was ignored in the betting ring and was easily backable at 8's and over. It is learnt that the trainer was quite confident about his chances and had told Suraj Narredu at the declaration stage itself that he was getting onto a winning mount. Hardworking Prithviraj has had a fairly good winter season but today’s success was the "Jewel in the Crown".

Byramji's Alcmene cornered most of the support in this well endowed event. This filly had done everything asked of her by winning both the races that she had run since November. In her last start she had beaten the highly rated Mark Of Gibraltar. Prince Ville from the Ganapathy camp was the other fancied runner in this race. The paddock parade gave an indication that there might be an upset, because both the above mentioned horses were noticed to have lost a bit of condition since their previous runs. The race itself saw the well bred Greens making full use of the inside draw and
charging off to the front. She was followed by Nearco Master, Rare And Precious, Alcmene, Join The Party and Prince Ville at regular intervals. Greens seemed to be going well at the 400 metres marker when she suddenly saw Rare And Precious looming on her outside, and Alcmene also gaining
ground on the two of them. The whips were taken out and the three of them started to pull away from the rest. Rare And Precious responded beautifully to the urgings of Suraj, and the two of them sailed away for a smashing victory over Greens who was able to hold the favourite Alcmene and a late
finishing Stormy River. The last named was looking gross in the paddock and his finishing effort suggested that he will be too good to miss in his next outing.

The jubilant connections definitely missed the presence of their sporting owner Santosh Lad during their post race celebrations. A new entrant into the sport of horse racing, Mr Lad seems to have a "Golden Touch". His friends cajoled him into buying a race horse a couple of years ago. He asked
trainer Mahesh to pick one for him. Splendid Surprise was acquired and the rest is history. He won the Mysore 2000 Guineas and the Mysore Derby for his first time owner. Enthused by this success, he decided to buy a few more horses last year. Rare And Precious was one of them and today he has proved that he is a top class horse.

The supporting event during the afternoon’s card was The Nilgiris Trophy, a seven furlong race for horses in the highest class. Royal Ambassador was the obvious favourite but the seasoned punters were wary of backing him because he had picked up the bad habit of getting left at the starting gates. He started as an odd on favourite with the rest of the runners available at 10's and over. The race was full of drama. It started with Royal Ambassador missing the kick and losing a few lengths at the start. The front running Carabinieri, Fantabulous Prince and Dare Don brought the field into the straight while Vivek on Royal Ambassador was making desperate efforts to get into striking position. His anxiety caused an accident as he knocked a tiring Orpendale onto the rails, which resulted in Shoban Babu parting company with his mount. Royal Ambassador gained the expected momentum
thereafter and emerged as an easy victor of the Nilgiris Trophy. Jet Fire came from the back to run second ahead of Dare Don and a fast finishing Lionheart. His backers heaved a sigh of relief and were just about returning to normalcy, when the siren was sounded at the behest of the Stewards, who
had ordered an enquiry into the running of this race.

The enquiry revealed that the accident had been caused by Vivek on Royal Ambassador. History was not on the side of the favourite retaining his first place, as one was reminded of Mark Zahra's win on Southern Charge when he was disqualified for cutting across the field. Our readers may remember
that the stewards on that occasion had held that although Southern Charge had neither caused a fall nor touched any of the objecting horses, the mere fact that the rider rode dangerously was enough to take the race away from him. Royal Ambassador was extremely lucky to retain his first prize today.

The racing patrons were delighted to see the emergence of two new stars in the form of Equidae and Archipenko. They happened to be running in the two divisions of the race meant for maidens over 1400 metres. Equidae (Desert Style-Eye View) is a nice rangy filly and was given a smooth ride by Samuel Fargeat. He allowed Prakash on Gentle Knight to go ahead of Luminous Gold at the bend, before he pulled out Equidae and charged home for an effortless victory. This well bred filly trained by Padmanabhan looks a staying type and should do well in the summer classics.

Archipenko (China Visit-Born To Dance) is a huge colt and looked very heavy in the paddock. It seemed that he may need this run and his odds started to drift. Suraj Narredu was a picture of confidence as his horse ran like a seasoned campaigner when he effortlessly overtook the front running Cart Wheel. He won on the bridle with All My Colours taking the second spot ahead of a tiring Cart Wheel. Archipenko is also a top class horse and is one for the notebook. Incidentally both Equidae and Archipenko clocked class I timings, and, one was left wondering about what may have happened if both of them had been put together in the same division.

The rest of the fare was pretty ordinary. True Confidence and Gift a Diamond won their respective races in identical fashion. Both of them made the early running, and lasted out to win in the last furlong. De Souza gave us another glimpse of his riding skills when he brought Crackerjack from third position and downed the front running Ballerina Girl. The favourite Ciboney ran a pathetic race and finished a dismal fourth. Appu ridden Satin Wood won a race after many seasons, as he was able to hold onto its slender advantage over an apprentice ridden Place Her Well.

Suraj Narredu was the only professional to be associated with a double for the day. He was delighted with the runs of both Rare And Precious and Archipenko and hoped that he would be able to partner them again in their future engagements.


Spinoza (Pennine Ridge–Shingle Path) endorsed her staying prowess with yet another impressive victory, making it a back-to-back grand double. He followed his victory in the Maharaja Jiwaji Rao Scindia (Gr 3) in December with an even more emphatic win in the Jeejebhoy Eclipse Stakes of India (Gr 2) on Sunday.

Settling well and early up with the fast pace set by Desert Dust, Spinoza who was third behind Secret Memory (Srinath) easily breezed past the leaders near the 400 metres and devoured ground all through the home stretch at a remarkably fast clip. The final timing of 2 min 02.41 seconds is the fastest this season - just 0.41 secs off the course record! Gruezi (Neeraj) was a touch unfortunate as he was bumped soon on straightening up and had to jostle a bit with Southern Empire. However, Gruezi finished on strongly accounting for all but the winner.

Southern Empire (Prakash) once again failed miserably and the even money favourite was never in serious contention. The Multi Classic winner was reduced to a pale shadow of his past reputation and raced in the rear bunch all through. In the straight, he tried to move out of the traffic snarl and in the process banged into Gruezi just after the turn for home. Southern Empire then had a clear run to go for the kill, but he never got going. It was Spinoza all the way in the home stretch and Gruezi made her presence felt only in the final moments. Spinoza, despite drifting out considerably under pressure, held on by a length. Secret Memory also ran sitting well up with the pace to end a good third, while Cotswold Arms gave a good account of himself by figuring the frame.

Rave On made a successful start-to-finish bid to win the first race of the day with just a little anxiety close home. Leading the field into the straight, Rave On (Kishore) kicked on as his stable mate Marmaris (Shailesh) tried to come alongside, and continued to gallop away at a fair clip. Marmaris just could not quicken enough but kept chasing the leader. Meanwhile, Refuse To Bend, who was racing in the rear bunch, raised a challenging gallop inside the final furlong and started to bridge the gap quite rapidly. Top Action (Vikram) and Tapis (Akash) joined the chasers but could not sustain. Refuse To Bend was the only one to impress beside Rave On and ½ length separated the two on the line. Rave On, who hadn’t done too badly up to this race, was surprisingly neglected in the betting and was quoted at a lucrative 8/1 odds in the ring.

Bridge Too Far (Shailesh), after his suggestive last start second, was the tote favourite. Attempting it start-to-finish, Bridge Too Far faltered in the final furlong when Ring Bearer (Fargeat) produced a fiery onslaught to bolt ahead decisively and pocket the race a few metres from the winning post. Raging Chenb (Chouhan) ran a good race after changing both, name and stable (late Sleight Of Hand). Bridge Too Far was clearly overwhelmed but the one to note was King Of The Ring who covered a lot of ground towards the end and although his recent runs have not been encouraging, and having finished off the frame, the King gave an impression that he is striding his way into good form.

Ruby Rocket (Grant) never really recovered from a lethargic start and failed to justify the ‘favourite’ tag conferred upon him. As if the slow start was not enough, the mare got tangled between horses at a crucial stage in the straight and lost out on whatever recovery was possible and ended in the rut. Appreciate did nothing to prove that his last start shock win over Raquel was not a fluke. Although stiffly penalized, Appreciate could not even finish in the top five. Star O’ War (Rajendra) was in striking position at the 400 m and bounded forward to register a handsome victory. Call To Arms (Aashish) went all out but made no impression on the winner. However, Red Dawn (Kharadi) was the one to catch the eye, as he poked and probed between horses for a clear run, and finally when did see daylight Red Dawn stormed in with a dazzle but could only finish as runner up to the elusive Star O’ War. Crespo (Dasharath) looked like gaining momentum nearing the distance post but failed to sustain.

Arktouros (Diffident–Girl From Ipanema) made an impressive debut, coming from a long way back and easily pass Secret Glory (Prakash) and the half money favourite Western Challenge (Srinath) who were in full flight. Secret Glory took charge early in the straight as Vantage fell back, with Western Challenge in close attendance. Jockey Neeraj Rawal had clearly assessed Arktouros’ response and nursed the gelding calmly even as Secret Glory was setting sights on the winning post. Western Challenge ran on, but could only close in on Secret Glory as he helplessly watched the strongly built Arktouros unleash a seething final gallop to snuff out the opposition without being fully extended and clocking a nippy 1:24.27.

Blue Ray (Alnasr Alwasheek–Bay Of Angels) provided trainer Pesi Shroff a back-to-back double in the division I and II of the YM Chaudhry Memorial Trophy. Rajendra seemed confident right from the start and it didn’t bother him that he was way back in the 12-horse field. In the straight too, Rajendra steered the bay colt on the wide outside and alerted him past the 400 m. Meanwhile, Lone Sentinel was losing out to Spitz (Fargeat) and Riyasat (Srinath) with Indian Summer (Chinoy) chasing them. The fighting trio were stunned by the strong finishing effort of Blue Ray who simply trounced the opposition and just one crack past the pack had Blue Ray bolting away from them leaving the rest to fight for the minor places. Blue Ray clocked a smart timing too of 1:- 24.80 secs for the 7 furlong distance.

The Samsonite Grand Mile saw seven horses going to the post and the favourite Personified duly compiled a fantastic hat-trick, winning all his three starts handsomely. Sitting well up, personified took charge soon on turning for home and sped away under the stick to establish a handy lead mid way up the straight. Livorno (Rajendra), who was racing in the rear, came on strongly towards the finish but never looked like getting the measure of the winner. Chouhan rode a copy book race and never caused any anxious moments and Personified (Razeen–Magical Moments) looked every inch a winner all through. The Karthik ward has developed into a top-class miler and can add to his tally.

Siroco (Kishore) ran straight as an arrow and the earned rich dividends in a fighting finish with Elemntto Angel (Dasharath). Trainer Rehanullah Khan needs to commended for correcting the wayward ways of the dark bay and jockey Kishore played his part to the hilt. As she stepped up the pace for the post, Tantrik faded out as Elementto Angle took command, Noble Replica (Neeraj) went all out but was not getting anywhere with the leader. At the distance post, Siroco appeared, full of running and easily zipped past Elementto Angel who ended next best. Nobel Replica came into place money. The favourite Roman Beauty finished last of ten, despite Grant making all out effort in getting the mare to respond. Roman Beauty just couldn’t raise a gallop and it would be wise to observe her form before waging on her again.

The last race was the most open race of the day but Landlord attracted a lot of betting. Can Can, Cinderella Man, Full Throttle and even Chief Warrior had their share of followers. As it turned out, the race in the straight was a commentator’s nightmare with the lead changing quickly and a wall of horses spreading out to outrace each other. Varun, Quaoar, Love Forty, Full Throttle and landlord were all in a line making a cavalry charge to the fast approaching finish. Can Can (Shailesh) was desperately looking for space and weaved himself through horses and once he got the opening, he swept past all and collared Full Throttle close home to land the spoils in a dramatic fashion. The Nina Lalvani ward covered ground rapidly towards the finish and his final burst was laudable.

Jockeys Rajendra and Kishore Kadam scored a brace each.

autonomy million

Richard Hughes’ ploy to mark Red Romeo (Kinane), chase the favourite all the way, and step up his challenge in the final run paid off rich dividends. Autonomy (Razeen–All Heart) produced a strong run towards the finish to reverse the verdict in his second encounter with Red Romeo and snatch a scintillating victory close home in the PBMM (Gr 1). Autonomy had succumbed without even raising a fight in the Nitco Million when partnered by CD Hayes. However, Hughes made ample amends and timed his run to perfection to get the optimal result when the duo started going stride for stride in the final furlong.

Aurora Aurealis (Narredu) set the tone with an edgy Successor for company, Mark Of Gibraltar was well up, and Red Romeo was in the mid-bunch being chased by Autonomy all the time. On Straightening up, Aurora Aurealis kicked on; while Successor came under pressure, Juventus (Fargeat) was keen to stride ahead but was hemmed up on the rails. Red Romeo burst on to the scene and immediately started to dictate terms. Autonomy was unsure for a few moments and Richard got him out in a flash before Red Romeo could bolt too far ahead. Then began a power-packed battle of two of the most prolific riders in the world. Had Mick Kinane shown Red Romeo daylight a wee bit early? Some might argue so on hindsight; however, at the rate Autonomy devoured ground in the home stretch, it was apparent that Red Romeo would return second best. It was an absorbing battle and a fitting finale to the supremely showcased ‘Juvenile Derby’.

Of the finishers, Aurora Aurealis ran a terrific race to sustain the electric pace all through and stubbornly held on to the third spot. Juventus (TS Jodha) may rue the lack of clear passage and not without reason as Aurora Aurealis was not giving any quarter whatsoever and they both finished together! Fleeting Arrow resorted to take the turn wide and make his bid closer to the outer railing to run a good fifth. Southern Summit (Srinath) came from the rear, was the widest one at the turn, and ran on to run ahead of Star Wave, Mark Of Gibraltar, Successor and Palazzio’s Sun.

A strong crowd of close to 15,000 witnessed the PBMM and the collections were close to one crore mark. Glamorous models displayed the attractive collections of designer Delna Poonawalla. The crowd in the members’ and first enclosures were treated to free entry and refreshments courtesy the Poonawalla group and one lucky gentleman walked away, or rather sped away, with the Mahindra Logan car for the lone correct nomination of the order of the first four in PBMM race. It was an enjoyable, well-planned and executed race day and kudos to the Poonawalla Group for promoting their race as one of the best races in the country.

Oasis Star sizzles in the Sprinters' Cup

In a chat moments after the Sprinters' Cup presentation was made, Jockey Srinath confirmed what had been apparent in the early part of the eight-event card. "When I won the third race with Imperial Gate, the inescapable conclusion I came to was that speed was dominant and the track was favouring horses who got out alertly. Finding that opening on the rail was a good break but as it turned out, Imperial Gate would have won anyway. He was firing on all cylinders."

The subject of the conversation changed to Oasis Star. "People believe that Oasis Star is effective when ridden off the pace. It is true but this filly can do anything you ask of her. She can leave and get position and race close to the lead. That is what she did today. The plan was to stay close to the front-runners. Sitting third gave me the kind of trip I wanted. It was a question of when I wanted her to go. When I did, she took off. After this win, there is no doubt that she is the best sprinter in India."

I had a word or two with CD Katrak, the winning trainer. "Yes, we had to stay out of trouble. It was not a small field. When Srinath left and was right behind the top two, I was thrilled. When that breakaway happened turning for home, there was concern. When she got going, there was no stopping her. It is great to train her, she has given us proof she is the best sprinter. We wanted a clear run and jockey Srinath did a great job."

When prompted as he returned to the unsaddling enclosure about Oasis Star's chances on Sunday, Srinath was emphatic. "I fancy her chances," he said.

Woman On Top did get a call or two from the announcer but it was evident it was a lost cause for her soon after the start. She had poor position and was not a factor at any point. If there was an excuse, I am sure we will know about it.

Rhapsidion Snow put some cheer in trainer Padmanabhan's camp. A firm favourite despite Wonder Smile's strong credentials, Rhapsidion Snow, was receiving chunks of weight from her key adversary. Danny Grant tracked the pace-setter, closed the gap to draw even in the final turn and paced away. Wonder Smile could not keep up in the last 400 metres. It was a washout.

With Wonder Smile and Woman On Top failing, my last hope for the afternoon lay with Arabian Knight in the 3000-metre Stayers' Cup. In an overpowering show of speed and stamina, the Jaggy Dhariwal-trained four year-old won from the word 'Go.' Samuel Fargeat took command at once and kept a clear margin down the backside. Maximise and Danny Grant delivered a stern challenge as Arabian Knight made that turn for the run to the box. The duel did not last for more than a moment or two. Arabian Knight, shaken up by jockey Fargeat, responded with alacrity as if saying, "ah, ah, not today," and ran on to win easily. The time of 3 minutes 10.57 seconds is the fastest time recorded in Hyderabad for the Stayers' Cup..

The affable Dhariwal is articulate. "This horse has not had luck. Ability is one thing but you need to have luck in this game. I am happy Arabian Knight put it all together today."

I asked trainer Dhariwal if going to the front was his plan. "I wanted him to have an incident-free trip because he has had a list of excuses this season. I was convinced that 3,000 metres would not pose a problem. I had targeted him for the Bangalore Derby. However, all along we had the Stayers' Cup in view. I felt he must be given a chance to prove himself and he did it in no uncertain terms. He came up right and delivered."

Zeyn Mirza, Racing Manager for Dr Vijay Mallya, is a man who is not at a loss for words. "Arabian Knight set a decent gallop. We wanted Samuel Fargeat to leave and get covered up if someone else wanted the lead. There were no takers and Samuel was able to go along pressure-free. It was a record-breaking performance."

"Not going in the Bangalore Derby was, perhaps, a blessing in disguise. We had time to prepare."

I asked Mr Mirza why Samuel Fargeat was chosen. “Our retained jockey, Chris Hayes had to go back to Ireland. Samuel was free and we asked him," he said.

Asked about future plans for Arabian Knight, Mirza answered, "He needs rest and will get it. Bangalore summer meeting has some terms races that will suit him. We will look at our options. It is now clear that Arabian Knight is ready to scale new heights."

Diego Rivera Edges Splendid Surprise out in Mehra Super Mile

It was a spine-chilling finish and Diego Rivera, the 6-4 favourite, eked out a win over Splendid Surprise in the Grade I Major P K Mehra Memorial Super Mile, the supporting event in the Invitation card at Malakpet Racecourse on Sunday.

Bet confidently on the basis of his recent win in Mumbai, Diego Rivera was given an astute steer by jockey Mallesh Narredu. The favourite was held up and lay, at no time, farther than sixth. Splendid Surprise, sent out a picture by trainer Mahesh, was in striking range. As the contenders and the pretenders were being separated, Splendid Surprise took an inside route in the lane. He was travelling very well and to the dismay of jockey Christopher, Splendid Surprise’s momentum was checked. Mallesh Narredu, having waited with Diego Rivera long enough, pushed the green button and the response was striking. He drew even with Christopher and Splendid Surprise and a combat ensued. For a fleeting moment, Splendid Surprise may have held the upper hand. Mallesh dug deep and Diego Rivera had another gear to spare. A head bob separated the two and the Pesi Shroff-trained Diego Rivera had won.. The time was 1 37.09 seconds for 1600 metres.

Jockey Mallesh Narredu is a breath of fresh air. He is cerebral. We talked at length. “In riding, timing is everything. Diego Rivera idles on the lead. My major concern was not to hit the front with some running left. I had to let our momentum, once I let my mount loose, carry us to the post. That was the key. Once I got going, I was confident I would get there though Splendid Surprise gave a bigger fight than I expected. Diego Rivera is in excellent form.”

Mallesh who tries to analyze why and how things happen, spoke about decision-making and riding his mounts in keeping with individual propensities. “There is so much to learn that I learn a thing or two every time I go out on the track.”

Pesi Shroff, as dapper-looking as a horse trainer can get, talked about Diego Rivera’s climb to the top. “He has had problems. His potential was not realized. In recent weeks, he was finding his stride. His last win in Mumbai, especially, was a big confidence-builder. I did not have a good view of the race but Mallesh made the right moves from what I know. Diego Rivera can go longer. As he gets older, he’s getting stronger. He knows when he takes to the track, he has a job at hand and races accordingly. If the heat has no adverse impact on him and he comes out of today’s race in good order, I will find a target for him in Mumbai.”

Trainer Mahesh, disappointed as he was missing a big prize narrowly, was upbeat. “That interference cost me the race. He was quickening spiritedly and would have gone into an unassailable lead. It’s all in racing.”

Oasis Star won the K N Dhunjibhoy and Dolly Dhunjibhoy Million by a five-length margin in the splendid time of 1 23.11 seconds. Oasis Star went up to 11/10. The penalty she had been subject after the win in Saturday’s Sprinter’ Cup, must have weighed heavily on the fans. Jockey Srinath lay farther back than he may have liked. Ruben Star led a merry dance and opened up with 400 metres to run. Once shown some racetrack and having received the ‘go ahead’ signal from Srinath, Oasis Star put her telling stride into action. Concern turned glee as Oasis Star raced past Ruben Star in emphatic fashion.

Winning two races in two days is an accomplishment of enormous significance. Jockey Srinath had four winners over the weekend. Trainer C D Katrak is to be commended for a job well done.

Samuel Fargeat had two winners. B Prakash rode a pair of winners. Frankie Dettori made three visits to India in four weeks. He failed to connect. Richard Hughes made his presence felt with a winning ride on Autonomy in the Poonawalla Million.

Richard Hughes goes back to England. He has a ride or two on Wednesday at Lingfield on the all-weather surface.

I made the acquaintance with Samuel Fargeat. He is well-spoken and polite to the core. “I realized speed was dominant. That is why I took Arabian Knight to the lead. I knew a long way from home that the race was over. I am leaving India end of March. Please say hello to me when you come to Paris.”

I will be in Paris on June 1 for the Prix du Jockey Club which is the French name for the French Derby.

Sweeping Success Gives Dr. MAM his 11th Invitation

The ‘Gold Brown’ belt camp has, I am sure, a large trophy-filled chamber and the collection got a significant addition on Sunday. Bourbon King carried the hopes of a majority of fans but it was Sweeping Success, a filly in the hands of jockey B. Prakash, who after striking the front midway down the Malakpet lane, galloped on resolutely to help Dr. MAM Ramaswamy make a successful defence of India’s most glittering horse race. It was Dr. MAM’s 11th win in the Invitation Cup. To Dr. MAM, rewriting the Guinness Book of World Records comes naturally. He has won the piece de resistance of the Indian racing calendar five times in a row. Talk of a dynasty, Dr. MAM has won the Invitation Cup 25% of the time since its inception in 1963.

Sweeping Success, a filly by Placerville out of Lady Moupa, has had a productive season and emerging victorious in the Invitation Cup was the culmination of a string of high-profile wins. In the Indian Derby, over the never-ending Mahalaxmi homestretch, the S. Ganapathy trained filly had lost a duel of attrition to Hotstepper, ridden by the wily Mick Kinane. On Sunday, Hotstepper, Frankie Dettori up, was content to toil in the rear and at no pint, raised the hopes of his supporters.

Imperial View set out on a steady gallop. Retribution took forward position and tracked the leader. Sweeping Success lay third and Bourbon King was fourth. Noble Prince, travelling in the clear, was in middivision in the ten-horse field. Regal Connection, the Calcutta Derby champion, was allowed to coast and find his rhythm and was several lengths off the lead. Hotstepper raced at the back of the pack.

As the field raced down the backstretch and got ready to negotiate the bend, the race began to acquire a definitive shape. Imperial View was showing signs of weakening. Retribution was unable to keep up the chase. Bourbon King, in obvious distress, was beating a hasty retreat. Richard Hughes called on Noble Prince but the response was not as strong as trainer Padmanabhan would have wanted. Hotstepper was not making forward movement. On a track that showed no mercies to off-the-pace horses, Regal Connection was put in top gear by C Alford and the Khaitan-owned colt was surging and beginning to make an issue of the Invitation Cup. Jockey B. Prakash, having made the most of a ground-saving journey, was out of the pocket to challenge Imperial View. Not many moments had passed and Sweeping Success had sailed into the lead. With Regal Connection closing the gap in a hurry and Prakash, hard at work to keep the advantage, the fans were being treated to a finish quite unlike last year when Southern Empire won by the length of the Hastings stretch. Ruby Queen, late on the scene, was moving menacingly. The judges had to call for a photo. Sweeping Success had held on by a neck over Regal Connection. A length and three quarters away in third was Ruby Queen. Noble Prince, three parts of a length off, took fourth. As a matter of fact, the first six finishers were separated by four and three quarter lengths. The time for the 2400-metres trip was 2 minutes 29.57 seconds. Sweeping Success was 6-1 in the wagering.

I caught up with trainer Ganapathy. The ever-courteous S.Ganapathy spoke in glowing terms of Sweeping Success. “She has a great record. Been in fine form this season. In the Derby, she was asked to move too soon. Prakash executed our plan to perfection today. He left well, took position and had a very good trip. I knew we had a great chance with the track favouring front-end horses.”

Trainer Ganapathy continued. “She’s a tough filly who can handle the boys.”

My next question was about Bourbon King.” The track has been playing hard. He could not handle it. We will take a look at him. At this point, all I can say is that there is no negative news.”

I asked Ganapathy about decision-making in the Dr MAM camp. “It is a team effort. We are all involved. I make the recommendation and Dr MAM is consulted.”

I had a quick exchange with Colm O’Donoghue as he returned to the paddock. “Did he break down?”

Colm O’Donoghue uttered one word. “Bingo.”

I believe Colm’s one-word reply will be confirmed soon. Something went seriously wrong with the colt who has set Indian turf on fire the past 12 months.

I sent word to speak to jockey Prakash. I waited and waited and gave up.

I had a word with Richard Hughes who was aboard Noble Prince. “He raced well. After all, we finished fourth. There was no lameness problem. Never did I get a good feel, however.”

Another Invitation Cup in the books and a well-run and well-planned carnival. The Hyderabad team, headed by Mr Surender Reddy, the Chairman, did a magnificent job. Malakpet is the cleanest and the best-kept racecourse I have seen in recent days in India.

The Invitation Cup is always high drama. This year was no exception. A deserving filly won it. The favourite fell by the wayside. The Indian Derby winner was nowhere to be seen. The ceremonial aspect of any race meeting is what makes it special. Malakpet respects tradition and it was a deliberate and well-executed plan that made the weekend so very special to racing fans.

alekona bangalore

Five year old Alekona has finally lived up to the promise he had shown at the beginning of his career as a three year old. He was bought by Deepak Khaitan as a youngster and entrusted to Arjun Mangalorkar for racing him in
Bangalore. Alekona had shown great promise and won the very first start of his career in splendid fashion, before he developed some niggling problems and was kept on the shelf for over a year. He was then put up for sale and
was bought by his present owners. Trainer M B Mangalorkar bought a share in Alekona and took up the challenge of trying to bring this horse back into racing. The trainer's hard work and efforts bore fruit when after a couple of lethargic starts, he showed some spark and won a race in December. After a fighting second to Rio Bravo in his next start, the connections raced him within a couple of weeks and he trounced a class II opposition. On that occasion, Alekona came from way off the pace and stretched away to indicate that he will be more suitable over a staying trip.

The handicapper gave him a stiff penalty and rated him at the top of class I. He accepted along with five others to run in the days feature, which happened to be the Delhi Race club Trophy over 1800 metres. In an open betting event, there was almost equal support for Stafire, Lionheart, Alekona and Dare Don. The first named finally reached the starting gates as a marginal favourite. The low weighted Symbol Of Speed tore away to the front and was chased by Copenhagen, Stafire, Alekona, Lionheart and Dare Don. The order remained the same till well into the straight ,before the group started to bunch up. It was pretty obvious at this stage that Alekona was moving the best of the lot, and this fact was confirmed the moment Srinath decided to release the brakes on him.The response was immediate and Alekona bounded away from a late finishing Dare Don ,who was able to edge out Lionheart for the second spot. The favourite Stafire was seen plodding at the rear end of the field. Alekona shall be a strong contender in the many graded races during the Bangalore summer season in which he shall be treated favourably by the terms.

The Varada Trophy was the supporting event of the day. Padmanabhan trained Perfect Rhythm was fancied on the basis of her last victory and she obliged her supporters. Lucky to get an inside draw in a field of twelve, Appu took her to the front she and was seen racing well within herself before they straightened and charged for home. She won with a measure of comfort from a late finishing Mucho who is better suited over a slightly longer trip. Asiaticus and Panchakshari who were always in touch with the front runners had to be content to fill the rest of the frame. Perfect Rhythm seems to have handled her knee chip operation fairly well, and in her present form and condition can be expected to make further progress in her career.

It is common to see the distance being increased from sprinting to 1400 Metres for maiden three year olds, as we reach the last month of racing in the winter season. Today's event had two frontline contenders in All My Colours and Mighty Heart, both of whom had finished second in their previous starts. There was spirited betting on Mighty Heart at race time, while the odds against All My Colours began to drift as the horses reached the starting gates . Mighty Heart bounded out of the gates and was settled into second spot by Gnaneshwar as Chilli Chocolate set a fast pace in the early stages of the race. You Beauty was right behind them while All My Colours was being niggled to stay in fourth place. Mighty Heart skipped away from the rest as they approached the distance post, and it was evident that All My Colours would not be able to catch him today. Fly Free came from a hopeless position to occupy the third spot. The rest of the field was outclassed.

Dickey legged Attain finally won his first race of the season. This talented horse was taken to the front by Ryan Marshall and despite carrying a back breaking weight of 62 kg, he cantered away for an easy victory over Rebellious and Tina's Triumph. Another one to carry the public purse to victory was the Irfan Ghatala trained Bee The Star. This was her second successive victory in as many career starts, and her style of running indicated that she has many more races in store for her. Apprentice Vinod Shinde sat an unperturbed fourth, as Smart and Special led from the second in demand Remarkable Stride and Royal Hero. He was quick to seize the opening on the rails at the 300 Metres marker, and pushed Bee The Star to a popular victory over Smart and Special, Remarkable Stride and Royal Hero.

Vinod Shinde also partnered Ciboney to a long overdue victory. This Dhariwal ward had taken down a lot of money in her last start when she had run as a 5/4 favourite and finished a tame fourth. Today she seemed to be in her elements as she overcame the disadvantage of the outer draw and found herself in box seat. She collared the front running Paint Me Red and Give Me The Money before emerging as an easy winner. Her cause was helped by the fact that the favourite Lightnin Blues missed the kick and was at the tail end of the field for most of the way. Lighnin Blues came with a long stretch run, but was unable to deprive Paint Me Red of the runner-up berth.

The other two races in the card were the two divisions of a race for horses in the lowest class. These two insipid events were won by the Mangalorkar ward Badda Rupaiyya and the Warren Singh trained Tactical Gain.

rio bravo bangalore

Sriram Komandur's charge Rio Bravo put up a brlliant performance while annexing the Hyderabad Silver Vase, the feature event in Saturday's race card at Bangalore. This was his fifth win in a row since he first won during the summer season eight months ago. The handicapper has been pretty tough on Rio Bravo, but this stout galloper has been defying the penalties and winning his races in very workmanlike fashion. It is believed that he is a very tough horse to train and can not be pushed in the morning track work. Rio Bravo was hard pressed to get up in the final fifty metres to down Alekona in his previous start. Most seasoned race goers had opined at that time that the handicapper had finally got the measure of this horse. The fact that Alekona came out and easily won his next two starts made Rio Bravo the obvious first favorite in today's feature.

Rio Bravo was amongst a total of seven acceptors for this race. His main opponents seemed to be Flaming Lamborgini and Carabinieri, both of whom had been handicapped at the bottom of the scales and were set to receive a fair amount of weight from him. All three of them had their own group of supporters and Rio Bravo reached the start as the 2/1 favorite. Suraj Narredu was riding him for the first time, replacing his regular partner Vivek who had won with him on four earlier occasions. Lava set a fast pace for this race followed by Flaming Lamborgini, Stone Of Destiny and Carabinieri while Rio Bravo was seen being niggled to keep in touch with the front runners. The first horse beat in this race was Carabinieri, who started to drop out of the race at the bend. It was Flaming Lamborgini who took over the proceedings and skipped away from the tiring Lava and Stone Of Destiny, while Suraj Narredu brought Rio Bravo on the wide outside and was seen making free use of the whip. In his customary style, Rio Bravo started gaining on the front runner and got the measure of Flaming Lamborgini in the final hundred metres.It ceased to be a contest thereafter .It was a popular victory for the sporting owners of Rio Bravo, and his trainer announced that the horse shall be given a well deserved rest till the summer season.

Suraj was earlier seen to advantage on the Darius trained Rimpuche who lifted the Glass House Trophy. This was a terms race over a sprint for three year olds, where the winners of a race were set to concede weight to the maidens who were participating along with them. The betting was confined to Scenic Melody (Alnasr Alwasheek-Forest Fantasy) and Rimpuche (Penine Ridge-Smarlee). The first one was fashionably bred and had the services of Prakash in the saddle, but was making his reappearance on the race track after a gap of more than three months. The second one had recent form. There was great anticipation before the start of the race but the final result was an anticlimax. Rimpuche sat in a comfortable second position and quickened nicely to get the measure of the front running Little Splendour. Imperial Dream finished the fastest to be a respectable third. The well bred Scenic Melody was seen plodding in the end and finished a tame fourth thus gulping down a lot of money.

The maidens race was split into two divisions. Trainer Babu Rao had accepted with two well performed yougsters Flair Queen and On A Roll, and they found themselves as hot favorites to win their respective divisions. Appu was declared to ride both these horses. In the opening event, Flair Queen was backed down to half money but had no answers when Samar Singh's Nearco Master went to the front and refused to allow any of his opponents to come near him. Hall Mark came from fourth position and occupied the second slot ahead of Flair Queen. Simple ran an unextended fourth. The other division saw Appu taking On A Roll to the front and easily accounting for first timers Spicy Star and Spark Of Class. Spicy Star can be earmarked for an early success.

Prakash ridden Southern Chieftain was another horse which was backed to the exclusion of his rivals. Prakash took a good jump on this horse and sat in box seat behind My Friend Paul with the rest of the field led by lord Of Illusion following at a respectable distance. The moment Southern Chieftain was popped the question by his jockey, he started to send distress signals and faded away from the scene. Alchesaye in the hands of Mallesh Narredu came with a menacing run and challenged the front running My Friend Paul in the last fifty metres. The two of them were locked together as they passed the winning post. The judge declared My Friend Paul as the winner. The verdict was just a nose. Ever So Clever came from behind to occupy the third slot. Lord Of illusion was reported to have burst his blood vessels during the race .

The last race saw the appearance of the got abroad Leagues Apart from Padmanabhan's yard. He was backed as though there is no tomorrow. The fact that a very mediocre apprentice called Sunil Kumar was riding this horse made no difference to his supporters. They also chose to ignore the fact that the fashionably bred horse was unsound and was seen sporting bandages in the parade ring. All those who wagered on him paid a heavy price as he was seen struggling at the rear of the field. Mystic Star and Luckynumberslevin fought out the finish before the latter put his neck in front at the all important end. Anoosheek ended third ahead of Gift A Diamond. This win with Luckynumberslevin gave his trainer Amit Caddy a double for the day since he had won earlier in the afternoon with Reborn. Amit Caddy shared the day's professional honors with Suraj Narredu.