Trainer S S Attaollahi Sovetskaya (Trevor Patel Up), winner of The Garden City Trophy
Sovetskaya (Burden of Proof-Soviet Lake), a hat-tricker last winter, bounced back to winning ways with a thumping victory in the Garden City Trophy, at Bangalore on Saturday. The celebrated white, black V silks of Dr.& Mrs.Vijay Mallya was prominent on the day, winning three races, with Alcazar, Sovetskaya and Cirque Du Soleil. The first named is trained by J.S.Dhariwal while the other two by Suleiman Attaollahi. Young Patel Trevor was astride all of them.
Sovetskaya was racing in wait, in about 5th or 6th position as the field rounded the final turn and when they straightened up, was pulled out to be given a clear path. Trevor reminded his mount of the task with a couple of cracks and the 4 year old picked up speed instantly to breeze past the front runners, to score an imposing victory in a smart timing. Quick Enough got to the second position and held on from the late finishing Show Time.
Cirque Du Soleil (Burden of Proof-Circus Maid) lifted the higher division of the Air Force Cup in a thrilling three way finish. Sussex Downs was the first one to take the initiative on the home stretch and Cirque Du Soleil moved swiftly to join alongside and surged forward. Diamontile started to get closer in the last 150 metres and Sussex Downs was also not letting it go without a fight. Cirque Du Soleil held on by a ‘neck’ from Diamonite while Sussex Downs was third, half a length adrift.
Alcazar (Burden of Proof-Alhambrah) wrapped up the lower division, earlier in the day. Racing in close attendance with the front runners, Alcazar took charge on top of the straight and extended the lead to almost six lengths, getting into the last furlong. Ice Stone had fallen back from a prominent position early in the race and started improving places on the straight. Alcazar was weakening towards the closing stages even as Ice Stone started to bridge the gap but still managed to pull it off.
The shortest priced runner of the day, Icelander went down rather tamely to Final Countdown (Royal Gladiator-Acquest) in the higher division of the Master Key Plate. The winner was up in front from the start and came in about two lengths clear in to the final run. Apprentice Indrajeet Singh, for whom this was the first win, looked confused not to find any challenge coming up from behind even looked back 250 metres from home. Suraj Narredu in the meanwhile was caught napping, expecting the front runner to wind up. Icelander did not raise a gallop as expected when Suraj started to ride out and the favourite lost out by half a length, taking with him a lot of money down the drain. A steward’s enquiry has been ordered into the riding of Suraj Narredu in the race.
Suraj, who was on another raging favourite, Sebright (Mathematician-Good Life), in the lower division, gave a perfect ride to give trainer Irfan Ghatala another victory. Racing a handy third till the final bend, Sebright surged ahead smoothly and stayed well to keep at bay the only worthy challenger Excelent Design. Tic Tac Toe was a long way back third. Triple Victory was withdrawn before the race after she turned out to be troublesome near the gates.
The 3 year old Serengeti (Sussex-Supreme Fantasy) from trainer B.Puttanna’s yard earned her maiden win in the Mount Joy Plate. Cheque Discounter was on a start to finish mission with the favourite Serengeti coming along near the 700 metres. On the home stretch Mudassar Nazar, the rider of Serengeti had to work hard as Cheque Discounter in front was in no mood to give up and was kicking on. Serengeti finally managed to surge ahead by half a length at the finish much to the relief of her supporters. Cheque Discounter was given a feeble ride right through the last furlong and should be cinch in similar company when raced again. Midtown Delight was a non-starter in the race.
The strong handling of P.S.Chouhan enabled Hidayat Khan’s Catamaran (Midtown-Cats Affair) to win the Malaprabha Plate. The well backed Scenic Blast led all the way from the word ‘go’, coming into the final run with a clear two lengths in front. Catamaran began to narrow the gap steadily and collared the leader in the last 50 metres. Blue Star and Hillstone filled the frame.
Words of Wisdom (Placerville-Time and Time), who has not done anything worthwhile over the last one year, came out to win the Trombay Plate, the last race of the day. Franco Fransisco Da Silva was quick to push Words of Wisdom to the front and assume command within the last 300 metres. Cowboy Cal, on whom a lot of money came during race time, was given a horrid ride by the jockey. With two furlongs left, Cowboy Cal was along the inner rails and the rider instead of looking for a split there, started to pull out and came away from almost six horses in front. When asked to quicken, Cowboy Cal came flying but fell short by the proverbial whisker at the wire. Had the rider dared to look for opportunities along his original path, the result would have probably gone the other way.