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CHAMPION SURAJ NARREDU BOOTS HOME FOUR
BANGALORE
By Ikram Khan
Friday 17 Mar 2017
Mr Arjun Sajnani & trainer Neil Darashah leading Dont Dilly Dally (Suraj Narredu Up), winner of The Prince Ardent Trophy Div-1

Well with two days to go, the championship for jockeys and trainers generated good interest amongst the railbirds and particularly the four pros. Suraj Narredu headed the jockeys table, three ahead of Srinath while Prasanna Kumar had a two point advantage against Neil Darashah. Suraj in no mood to surrender just killed it, booting home four while Srinath drew a blank and Neil recorded a double against the one led in by Prasanna to keep the kettle boiling on the final day.

Suraj was simply at his best on the penultimate day of the season. He first guided home the Neil Darashah schooled Don’t Dilly Dally in the upper division of the Prince Ardent Trophy pegging back the belated effort of the Rashid Byramji-trained Ultimate Magic who took a while to raise a gallop in the hands of Imran Chisty who appears to be struggling to match wits with the top `Knights’ on the circuit. Aeisir from Gregory Sandhu’s yard, who was fancied most in this event finished a tame third. It is clear from this race that the runner-up after her debut will not take long to shed her maiden status while Aeisir will need another run under his belt to display his potential.

Next on the lesser fancied Tax Free from young Azhar Ali’s yard who too enjoyed good moments under the warm summer sun recording his first treble, Suraj decided to play catch me if you can, hitting the front on the speedy Azhar ward. Srinath astride the public choice Iron Man who won his last start in emphatic fashion, tracked the leader closely till the dozen contestants negotiated the final curve. But the moment he asked Iron Man to quicken, he only found that the public choice lacked both the iron and steel to make a race of it and eventually finished in the ruck. Tax Free cruised home ahead of Blue Blazer who was quietly fancied by the right connections while Dagobert finished on purposefully at end to take the third spot.

In the plum event, the Bull Temple Trophy run over a mile, Escala despite running in less than a week’s time garnered the maximum support and that’s simply due to the fact that the Neil Darashah ward had clocked a smart time in his last winning effort. The followers of form and the time keepers were rewarded, the Neil ward justifying the favouritism in convincing fashion to help Neil gain one point and stay in the hunt for the champion trainer title on the final day.

Partnering the grey filly from his dad Satish Narredu’s yard in the lower division of the Siddaganga Plate run over a sprint, Suraj signed of in style, packing punch on the joint favourite to snuff out the start to finish effort of Romantic Helen in the final furlong. Tamara, another fancied runner piloted by Srinath performed below par and failed to make the frame.

In line for a `High-Five’ Suraj astride Amazing Desire in the concluding event, the lower division of the Hassan Plate met one better, Montenegro from Azhar Ali’s yard waltzing home in the hands of Janardhan Paswan. The fact that Montenegro had failed to make the frame in his three earlier starts and today he strode out like a champion calls for an explanation. It is time the men in charge at this centre come down heavily on the in and out running of horses and the improved performances rather than the stormy debates and arguments in the board rooms.

Earlier, Velu drove home the 20 to one shot Amazing Skill to victory in the upper division of the Hassan Plate. The Sandhu schooled Massive Dynamics who had won twice and finished second from his last two starts was the overwhelming favourite but it was just not Sandhu’s and Srinath’s day. The topweighted favourite found himself out of board after failing to raise a winning gallop at the top of the straight. Royal Rein finished a game second and is one for the note book.

The well fancied Alaina was the only winner Prasanna Kumar led in. The public choice proved too good in the upper division of the Kolar Plate. Duke Of Norfolk another from Azhar’s yard finished second ahead of Paradiso while Export Quality reluctantly made the frame.

After the Dominic schooled King’s Son shed his maiden status in the lower division of the Prince Ardent Trophy helping his trainer record his first win with a juvenile this season, Wind Striker from Azhar Ali’s yard dropped the biggest bombshell winning the lower division of the Kolar Plate in the hands of Janardhan Paswan. The Ganapathy schooled Wonder Woman back after a four-month lay-off was surprisingly fancied most by the connections but all that the `woman’ did was take a lot of good money down the drain.