• Punjabi Girl wins The Fillies Championship Stakes (Gr.1)
  • Sir Cecil wins The Colts Championship Stakes (Gr.1)
By Ikram Khan
Saturday 20 May 2017
Trainer Neil Darashah leading Royal Sceptre (Vishal N Bunde Up), winner of The Karnataka Police Cup

After enjoying a good run in the opening week, the big bettors continued to have the better of exchanges on Saturday, the three top fancies winning the first three races to the delight of the big money investors with the bookies. It is true that the Bangalore Turf Club (BTC) have shunted out the bookies, the only racing club in the country to do so, but little they have done in terms of restricting the owners from placing their bets with the bookies who are operating from their many dens.

It is only the small punters who don’t have access to the bookmakers outside who punt on tote while a majority of owners are happily tallying their profit and loss accounts with the bookies on a daily basis. It is also no secret that the men who chose to shun the bookies are aware of this fact but they just cannot stop the powerful owners from making a choice or choosing from the two available options while the small punters is left with no choice but to patronise the tote.

The overwhelming favourite from Karthik Ganapathy’s yard Majestical won the opening event, the Lady Gibraltar Plate in a pulse-pounding finish from the second in demand at the betting ring, Thundersquall, Srinath astride the public choice stretching every sinew to gain the day from Mumbai’s talented apprentice S A Amit.

The Irfan Ghatala ward Zafrina was fancied most in the lower division of the Astounding Plate and the public choice justified the confidence of her supporters in the hands of Suraj Narredu. Golden Success too was fancied by a small group but the filly from Inyathullah’s yard found Zafrina too hot to handle at end. Cashmere impressed most while finishing third and is one for the notebook.

The upper division of the event was claimed by the 10 to one shot Cool Springs who edged out the favourite Girl With Pearl, a length separating the two at the wire. Flicka from Arvind Ganapathy’s yard  caught the eye while coming home third and it will not be long before this Arvind ward earns her cornbill this summer.

The Neil Darashah schooled Royal Sceptre won the Karnataka Police Cup in emphatic fashion from the favourite Magistero. The winner appears in fine nick and it will pay to follow him again when next saddled. Rafa who was also fancied in this event failed to display his true potential managing to only make the frame behind Ayrton.

The principal added attraction was considered a two-horse race, Siobhan and Gypsy, the top two market fancies in the Sir M Visvesvaraya Memorial Cup. Siobhan won the event in convincing fashion while Gypsy from Irfan Ghatala’s yard finished third behind Krieger who shocked most after a couple of listless efforts in winter. Now that Krieger is back into his own, this Arvind Ganapathy ward is certain to earn his winning bracket in the weeks ahead.

The talented and the highly rated Shaman who was considered a `moral certainty’ in the Southern Empire Trophy cantered home in the hands of leading pro Trevor Patel while sending out a strong message that he is a goodtype of colt in the classic mould and his progress is certain to evoke interest.

Suraj Narredu who recorded a fine treble booted home the Lokanath schooled Mariko who gained the top billing in the Kunigal Stud Plate and in the next event, the top gun partnered the four to one shot Tanoura from Neil’s yard in the Dupont Plate run over a mile. The latter is in fine form and is set to provide an encore.  Star Comrade lacks consistency and as such can never be a good betting proposition.