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.
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