• Punjabi Girl wins The Fillies Championship Stakes (Gr.1)
  • Sir Cecil wins The Colts Championship Stakes (Gr.1)
By Ikram Khan
Saturday 18 Mar 2017
Mr Zeyn Mirza & trainer Irfan Ghatala leading Capo De Capi (P Trevor Up), winner of The Bangalore Juvenile Million (Gr.3)

On the final day of the winter season the Irfan Ghatala-trained Capo De Capi emerged one of the top contenders in the campus winning the Bangalore Juvenile Million, the final plum of the season in emphatic fashion. The fact that the fashionably bred Serious Spender out of Caprese colt from the Kunigal Stud Farm was pitted against some of the impressive fast start winners didn’t bother the quality youngster who performed like a seasoned campaigner cruising past the even-money favourite Lady Barrington before striding home in style.

The fact that the `Lady’ from Padmanabhan’s yard who looked light and had lost considerable weight after her debut victory did not stop the followers of form from betting big on the favourite who at end was lucky to finish second ahead of Angel Power.

You cannot keep a good man down for long was again proved right by top gun Srinath who booted home four winners after a bad day at the office on Friday. Srinath won the first two races on Shivalik Boy and Kings Kid before he packed punch on Chicago and El Fenix to the delight of his supporters.  

Lady Barrington was backed to the exclusion of her seven rivals in the Million.Capo De Capi too had a fair share of his supporters who sweared by the tall son of Caprese after his pleasing effort in a mock race. In the classic mould, the Vijay Mallya owned colt settled nice and easy all through the seven furlongs trip before Trevor reminded him of the task ahead at the top of the straight and the Ghatala ward stormed through to send a strong message that he has the ability to challenge Apache Sunrise in the summer classics.

Gregory Sandhu schooled Lightning Strikes recorded his second straight win snuffing out the challenge of the favourite Saladin piloted by David Allan in the Leading Stud Trophy.  The winner at a crucial juncture encountered rough passage but the moment he got the opening he was looking for, the winner in the hands of Trevor bolted through to retire home a convincing winner. Saladin, it must be mentioned stumbled after the start and needed to travel wide all through the race, but the fact remains that Lightning Strikes was the better horse on the day.

After finishing runner-up twice David Allan packed punch on another favourite Tinderella and this time he got the desired verdict, edging out Admiral One to win the Champion Trainer Trophy. Champion apprentice jockey Ryan Ahmed had the lesser fancied Admiral One in front from the word go before losing out at the shadow of the winning post.Lamrei finished powerfully at end to snatch the third place from Tanoura.

Srinath`s power-packed finish enabled El Fenix down the lesser fancied Honour close home in the upper division of the Leading Owner Trophy run over a distance of seven furlongs. Honour in the hands of Imran Khan took charge and shaped like a winner in the final furlong before Srinath’s exemplary saddle artistry gained the day for the Sandhu ward.  The fancied Eragon was never in the hunt.

Jockey Shoban Babu scored a rare win on Fair Game in a tight finish from favourite Hector in the lower division of the race. Fair Game slipped into the lead on entering the straight, and then gallantly pegged back the belated effort of the public choice Hector at end. Majestic Style ran on to finish third.

Earlier Suraj Narredu astride the top fancy Ninon from Neil Darashah’s yard was dislodged after Ninon shifted violently approaching the first curve in the Champion Jockey Trophy. . The race was won by Prasanna Kumar-trained Jersey Beauty and that sealed the issue for the champion trainer crown, Prasanna on top of the table.

Azhar Ali-trained Chicago was forcefully ridden by Srinath to get the measure of Celestial Storm in the closing stages of the race in the upper division of the Totalizator Cup. Chicago was strongly fancied to provide an encore and the five-year-old mare did not disappoint. Fioroloco ran on to finish third.

A medium of a good gamble, the Faraz Arshad-trained Game Guy after a benefit of a forward run won the lower division of the event in the hands of Raja Rao,thwarting the bid of Cool Springs by a neck. It is good to see some small trainers pull of good gambles and Faraz deserves all credit for this one.  

Neil Darashah-trained Midnight Sky came in for big support despite the recent form being inconsequential in the mile long Leading Tipster Trophy for horses in the lowest class. Midnight Sky let down huge expectations. The race was won by Kings Kid who established a winning lead in the final furlong and was not unduly troubled by the late flourish of Reverberating.

Another driving finish by Srinath enabled Britto-trained Shivalik Boy to get the better of Arziki in the day`s opener, the Somanathpur Plate.