• Punjabi Girl wins The Fillies Championship Stakes (Gr.1)
  • Sir Cecil wins The Colts Championship Stakes (Gr.1)
  • Sir Cecil wins The Kingfisher Ultra Derby Bangalore (Gr.1)
  • Desert God wins The Tetrasoft Inc. Bangalore St. Leger (Gr.2)
By Ikram Khan
Sunday 27 May 2018
Trainer Sharat Kumar leading Smile Stone (Naveen M Up), winner of The Managing Committee Gold Cup

A dozen it was for Smile Stone. The Sharat Kumar-trained game galloper recorded her 12th victory, coming up trumps in the Managing Committee Gold Cup run over a sprint. The eight-year-old, who stands tall at the winners’ enclosure at least once, be it summer or winter produced another quality effort while sending a message that age is just a number and it is the class which separates the men from the boys.

After his suggestive effort while negotiating a seven furlongs trip last week, his connections fancied him to score in what appeared an open race. And he did it in style in the hands of apprentice jockey M Naveen, who it must be mentioned has struck a good partnership with the gutsy performer.

 Chase Your Dreams, Booker Jones and Castle Key sprinted ahead before Justice Angel stole a march approaching the distance post. Even before the supporters of Justice Angel could raise a cheer, Naveen pushed Smile Stone into contention and the Sharath ward sped through to score in style. Justice Angel held on to secure the runner-up berth while the Kolkata challenger Occitan from the stables of James McKeown did well to finish third ahead of Life Awaits.
Padmanabhan schooled Isn`t She Lovely made a winning debut in the opening event,  the Southern Empire Plate run over a distance of seven furlongs. The fashionably bred daughter of Excellent Art out of the all-time great In The Spotlight looked a picture of fitness in the parade ring before she emerged a convincing winner.

The winner garnered good support while the odds on the favourite Air Command who had the benefit of a good forward run in winter shot up. Different League too was favoured and he produced a satisfactory effort to finish behind the winner, while Air Command finished last. It is clear that all was not well with the Arjun ward and the authorities will do well to seek an explanation.

The one-sided support for Knotty Ash in the Ministerial Plate was no surprise considering the fact that all the track reporters were bullish of his chances. The progeny of Gusto stormed clear 300M from home before making it a no contest at end. Into the Groove finished second ahead of Rajveer.

The Dominic-trained Smile Of Courage was heavily backed in the New Market Plate but the public choice after heading the field at the top of the straight lacked the gas in tank to keep going and eventually finished a poor fourth. Rankoutsider Scorching who was seen gracing the wrong end of the field in the 1100M dash produced a winning gallop close home to earn his winning bracket. Grey Hound gained the runner-up berth ahead of Angelic Love.

The Dharmaprakasha L S Venkaji Rao Memorial Cup was claimed by the seven to one shot Fair Game in the hands of Ahsan Qureshi. Ahsan had Fair Game going nice and easy in the second position as Attorney General bolted in the front and retired soon after negotiating the final curve. Fair Game shot ahead at this juncture and put the issue beyond doubt in the final furlong. Golden Bow ran on to take the second position ahead of Summer Dawn. 

Prasanna Kumar after leading in Knotty Ash struck again through Capricious who recorded his second straight victory winning the Brig R C R Hill Memorial Trophy in emphatic fashion. The winner made every post a winning one in the hands of leading pro S John. Poseidon comfortably beat the well backed New Moon to the second spot while Agenta caught the eye while finishing fourth.

Gold Mist was backed to the exclusion of rivals in the Holding Court Plate but the favourite found Imprimatur, another from Prasanna Kumar’s yard too hot to handle. Imprimatur was piloted by apprentice Tejeshwar who posted his first win. Mischief Flyer who tracked the winner for most part of the trip failed to quicken when the race came on a boil and ended third. 

Arjun Mangalorkar’s `doosra’ claimed the Astounding Plate run over a mile. Concept Win was the favourite in this event and was tipped to score. But it was the other who flashed home first, stablemate Casey producing a winning gallop to beat Ravishing Snow and Reverence who reportedly burst his blood vessels.