• Punjabi Girl wins The Fillies Championship Stakes (Gr.1)
  • Sir Cecil wins The Colts Championship Stakes (Gr.1)
By Ikram Khan
Friday 17 Feb 2017
Mr N Chandrashekar Rai, Mr Sarosh Mody & trainer Prasanna Kumar leading Fire Glow (P Trevor Up), winner of The S. Rangarajan Memorial Trophy

It is tough for one good horse to give six kilos and a beating for another good horse. This is what happened when the Fillies Championship Stakes winner of the summer season Common Wealth was asked to do in the S Rangarajan Memorial Trophy run over a mile. The Arjun Manglorkar ward pitted against Fire Glow who went down fighting to the 1000 Guineas Proserpine in his first start this season was shouldering six kilos more than the vastly improved Prasanna ward and that made the task of Common Wealth difficult. Leading pro John too compounded the issue, failing to provide the Arjun ward a clear run, getting into a pocket at a crucial stage and this made the task of Fire Glow and Trevor simple at end.

The manner in which the Chandrashekar Rai owned Fire Glow won made it clear that on this day Common Wealth needed a pair of roller skates to match strides with the Prasanna ward and that the six kilos weight proved decisive at the end. Fire Glow it must be mentioned is at his best and it will pay to follow him again when next saddled.

“ He is a good horse and we were confident that he would come home a winner and I’m most satisfied with the turn of foot he displayed at the distance post,” said Chandrashekar Rai while lauding the effort of Trevor who judged the pace to a nicety.

The principal added attraction, the Kumararajah M A M Muthiah Trophy was claimed by the second in demand at the betting ring, Lightning Strikes from Gregory Sandhu’s yard who had finished second behind Fire Glow in his last essay. The Irfan Ghatala schooled Ark Royal gained the maximum support in this event but he met a tartar in Lightning Strikes who streaked ahead at the top of the straight before putting the issue beyond doubt in the final furlong. The Aggarwals, Rajan and Gautam are enjoying a good run this season, Sandhu leading in more than 10 winners and a couple more in his bag.

Streak Ahead, a goodtype of youngster from the Kunigal Stud Farm brought the smile back on the face of Arjun, making a impressive winning debut in the Katil Plate. The winner after tracking the Sulaiman youngster Angel Power for most part of the sprint trip quickened well and sent out a message that he has the ability to scale up the ladder in the months ahead. Automatic from Irfan Ghatala’s yard was one other impressive runner in this event. The son of Lord Admiral, Automatic dropped his rider Anjar Alam and bolted on the way to the starting gates but that did not stop him from finishing on fastest at end despite Anjar injudiciously chopping and changing course all through the six furlong journey. Automatic after this run under his belt will be hard to down next time out.

The upper division of the Classic Story Plate produced a shock result, rank outsider Internal Affair from Narayan Gowda’s yard making every post a winning one in the hands of Shivakumar. Stablemate Wreking made it 1-2 for Narayan. The favourite Summer Star raced in patches and eventually failed to make the frame. Artorius performed fairly well while finishing fourth and it will not be long before this Faraz ward will earn his cornbill.

The lower division of the event too floored the followers of form, the unfancied PrinceAzeem producing a winning gallop in the hands of Raja Rao. Tree Lounge finished second ahead of Helios who appears to have regained form and fitness and appears ready to strike it rich when saddled next.

Six Degrees it appears is only going 360 degrees, each time she is fancied to score. The favourite from Arjun’s yard who gained the top billing in the upper division of the Longchamp Plate failed to snuff out the challenge of the Dominic-trained Santorini Star. The Aravind Ganapathy ward Star Line too had her fair share of followers but she could not even save place money, Blue Sonic beating her with an half-hearted effort from jockey Mallikarjun close home. Blue Sonic is ready and with the benefit of this run will help Prasanna add one more to his tally when saddled next.

The Narayan Gowda schooled Island Pearl won the lower division of the event, apprentice Praveen pushing her home ahead of Grey Hound. The favourite Mistress Of Spice finished a tame third.

The topweighted China One from Darius Byramji’s yard who always loses a couple of lengths at the gates and the Mahesh-trained Rapid Advance were fancied most in the Amazing Grey Plate but it was another outsider Atlantis who gained the day in the hands of Suraj Narredu. The grey Zubaida did well to finish a suggestive third and is one for the notebook. It will pay to avoid China One until he learns to jump level from the gates.