• Ruffina wins The Sprinters Cup (Gr.1)
  • Azzurro wins The Dr M A M Ramaswamy Stayers Cup (Gr.1)
  • whomakestherules wins The Maj P K Mehra Memorial Super Mile Cup (Gr.1)
  • Kangra wins The Indian Turf Invitation Cup (Gr.1) in record timing
By Madhukar Bhagawan
Sunday 28 Jan 2018
Mr Berjis Minoo Desai & trainer M Srinivas Reddy leading Mahateji (Fergus Sweeney Up), winner of The Golconda Derby Stakes (Gr.1)

M.Srinivas Reddy trained Mahateji (Multidimensional-Blue Sky / Usha Stud) completed a Classic double, winning the Golconda Derby Stakes (Gr.1) on the winter track at Malakpet, Hyderabad. The Usha stud bred filly had won the Golconda Oaks on this track a little over three weeks ago and she did the local lot proud by reproducing that gallop in the plum of the season.

Somerset won the early battle with Kambaku and set out well in front to cut the wind. As they passed the half way stage Eternal Angel had moved to be a clear third followed by Nicaragua, Air Strike, China Millenium, Mahateji, Zelus, Treasure Striker, Shaman and Romantic Star in that order. As they rounded the final turn the field got compressed and the eleven runners were covered in just about four lengths. Eternal Angel went for it first in the home stretch and led till approaching the distance board. Srinath brought Air Strike with a gallop from the inside to get to the lead and was looking good when Fergus Sweeney timed his move to a precision on Mahateji and the filly raised a scorching gallop to storm ahead by a length for the top honours. Nicaragua and Romantic Star closed in late to take the third and fourth place respectively. The race favourite Shaman raised some hopes on entering the straight but soon fizzled out of the contest.

Jockey Suraj Narredu reached a personal milestone of riding 1800 winners when he stormed home with M. Sathyanarayana trained Dream Catcher (Green Coast-Florshien) in the Secretariat Cup. The 4 year old gelding that had won his last two starts in the lower class was installed as a short priced favourite among the eight runners in the highest class justified that support. Suraj held Dream Catcher along the rails in fourth behind Paprika, King Of Pop and Ambitious Approach. On entering the straight Dream Catcher came up to challenge the leader and stormed ahead. Ambitious Approach was in chase right through the final furlong but could only be the runner-up. King Of Pop made it to the money in third while Paprika completed the frame.

Trainer Sathyanarayana had earlier scored through Moondancer (Excellent Art-Pleasure Hunt / Poonawalla Stud) in the opener of the day, the Aristocrate Plate. Moondancer turned out to be the most impressive winner of the day. The 4 year old shot to the front from draw one and looked to be on a ‘stroll’. Jockey Trevor even tried to keep his mount in check when he showed keenness to take a big lead passing the 800 metres. Inside the last 400 metres Moondancer was literarily on a hack canter to left the rest cold behind. Dream Catcher has won six of its eight start and should be a force to reckon with till beaten.

R.H. Sequeira trained Trump Girl (Pinson-Premier Perception) opened her account with a start to finish bid in the Deccan Prince Plate. The grey filly was the smartest out of the gates from the outermost draw and rushed to lead the pack. Retaining the leeway in the straight Trump Girl stretched out easily to win uncontested. Amazing Script was in chase from the start and lost out the runner-up berth to Meka’s in the closing stages. Drogan finished fourth.

L.D’Silva trained Supremo (Green Coast-Supreme Discovery) bounced back to win the Squanderer Plate. The 4 year old raced fourth while Prince Caspian went on a start to finish bid followed by Sea Castle and Batur. Jockey Arshad Alam started to work his way on Supremo as they approached the final furlong and the bay colt responded with a resolute gallop to storm ahead. Batur was closing up on Prince Caspian but failed to make it to the runner-up berth in a photo finish. The race favourite could only finish fourth.

Laxman Singh saddled a double in the day to get to the top of the table among the trainers. Dance Oh Dance and Mozambique were the victors from the stable. Dance Oh Dance (Lord Admiral-Dance N Celebrate), a winner in the lower class scored an encore in the Peddapalli Plate. The filly got to chase the leader Highly Acclaimed within the first furlong of the 1200 metres sprint and surged ahead as they headed past the 300 metres board. That’s My Class was up with a strong challenge from the inside but jockey Fergus Sweeney used his riding skills to extract that extra from his filly Dance Oh Dance. Kireeti was a faraway third followed by Highly Acclaimed. Starlight and Warrior Supreme were non-starters in the race.

 Debutante Mozambique (Western Aristocrat-Jahanara / Nanoli Stud) made a winning start in the Sikander E Azam Plate. Racing a handy fourth till into the straight, Mozambique started to raise a gallop when Neeraj Rawal worked his way and stormed past the leader Indian Aristocrat inside the final furlong. While the winner drew clear, Sarvatra edged out Good Opinion for the second place. Indian Aristocrat completed the frame.

S.S. Faisal Hassan trained Sunday Carnival (Carnival Dancer-Sunday Dreams) scored an easy win in the Artistic Tribute Plate. The gelding was quickly off the gates from an outward draw and got down to track Market Leader. Surging ahead on top of the straight, Sunday Carnival stretched out easily under Akahay Kumar. Indian Dreams rallied from the wide outside to take the second place while Man Of The Series and Prep One finished third and fourth respectively.

Handsome Boy (Whatsthescript-Canadian Girl) from trainer L.V.R.Deshmukh’s stables pulled off an upset to open its account in the Storm Trooper Plate. The 15-1 shot raced towards the rear of the field till well into the straight and with a flying finish flashed past Charlie Brown to wrap it off. Mountain Of Light was third in a close finish followed by Novaturient.

The biggest upset of the day came through K.S.V.Prasad Raju’s Royal Gift (Green Coast-Singing Speed) in the concluding race of the day, the Race Club Plate. The filly took a good jump and jockey Nilesh Rawal took her to the front to lead. Once on the straight Royal Gift enjoyed the lead and extended it as the winning post came closer. Sefarina and Cashel finished second and third in a close finish followed by Conroy.