• Punjabi Girl wins The Fillies Championship Stakes (Gr.1)
By Madhukar Bhagawan
Thursday 20 Jul 2017
Trainer L V R Deshmukh leading Vijays Joy (Rafique Sk Up), winner of The Madras Race Club Cup

Trainer L.V.R.Deshmukh had a profitable day saddling winners in half the day’s card of eight races including the feature of the day, the Madras Race Club Cup. Two of them were piloted by veteran R.J.Hannam while apprentice Rafique Sk partnered the other two. Vijay’s Joy (Stern Opinion-Jia Yoh Jia Yoh / Lumbini Stud) did well to take on the Class I field from start to finish and stay on well over the sprint trip in the Madras Race Club Cup. The grey gelding rushed to hit the front as the gates opened and settled well in front. Inside the last furlong the fancied stable mate Mr.Baahubali was up with a challenge along with Rahul’s Pet but Vijays Joy kicked on under Rafique Sk by a clear length and a half. Mr.Baahubali rallied on in second while Baashagar pipped Rahul’s Pet for the third place.

Apprentice Rafique Sk was astride the winner Cash For Rank (Varenar-Deeleecious) in the division I of the Ramappa Plate. Cash For Rank settled nicely in second behind Racing Ikon while Wonder Star moved up from the outside approaching the final bend. Once on the straight Cash For Rank grabbed the lead quickly and stretched out to extend the lead even as Back To Business who raced last after a lethargic start came with a big gallop to land the runner-up berth. Ice Cave and Racing Ikon both from the same stable finished third and fourth respectively. Ashwini was a non-starter in the race.

Veteran Hannam had earlier ridden a back-toback double through Paprika and Newport for trainer Deshmukh. Paprika (Tariq-Encouragement) jumped out well from the outermost draw and rushed towards the inner rails to build up a good lead. Vancouver started to bridge the gap in the last 100 metres but Hannam and Paprika touched the wire first by a short-head. On The Fire and Celtic Queen finished third and fourth respectively.

Newport (Phoenix Tower-Miss Serendipity / Manjri Stud) made a smashing debut in the lower division of the Welcome Plate. The favourite Heaven Can Wait went on a start to finish bid and came into the straight with a lead of over four lengths. The filly looked to be tiring out passing the distance post and Newport headed past easily to score. Royal Green also went past Heaven Can Wait to finish second.

S.S.Faisal Hassan’s Agilis (Stern Opinion-Another Reema) won the higher division of the maidens’ race. Agilis race a handy fifth with the front bunch till straightening for home. Passing the 300 metres board Agilis responded to the rider’s urgings and started to move up to the favourite Wild Wings who had by then shot to the lead. Collaring the favourite well before the post Agilis spared a length and a half at the finish. Valee Peaks and Glorious Grey finished third and fourth respectively.

A win that had eluded Faiyaz Shaikh trained Sefarina (Mr.Mellon-Shes Got The Look) in 48 starts finally came through in the division II of the Ramappa Plate. The 5 years old mare chased Bouncer till the last 300 metres and heading past, kicked on easily by two lengths. Time To Climb and Abracos moved together late to take the monor place in a close finish followed by Bouncer.

Sk Waseem Ahmed trained Green Image (Sussex-Citi Star) appeared late on the scene to snatch the race from the favourite Oh Dear in the Tintinnabulation Plate. Oh Dear was out in front from the start and was being ridden hard to stay ahead on the straight. Green Image racing in about sixth started to make a run from the extreme outside and the 5 years old came tearing down in the last 100 metres to get the better in the shadow of the winning post. Altruist and Masti filled the frame in that order in a close finish.

K.Satheesh trained Lavender (Hurricane Centre-R Valid Girl / AB Stud) was the only firm favourite to oblige in the day in the Look Of Eagles Cup. Biding time behind Strengthandbeauty and Caruba till the top of the straight, Lavender surged ahead readily and carried on well till the finish. Little Smart Heart managed to beat Strengthandbeauty for the second place with a late rally. White Gold finished fourth. Penumatcha’s Pride was withdrawn near the gates.