• Punjabi Girl wins The Fillies Championship Stakes (Gr.1)
  • Sir Cecil wins The Colts Championship Stakes (Gr.1)
By Ikram Khan
Sunday 08 Jul 2018
Mr Sarosh Modi & trainer G Nityanand leading Dancing Dragon (P Trevor Up), winner of The Maharaja's Gold Cup (Gr.2)

It was unfortunate that Neil Darashah could not lead in the new Maharaja of the summer season, Dancing Dragon. Trainer Nithyanand performed the honour after the star performer justified the confidence of Neil who rated him the best at this centre.

The fact that Dancing Dragon was in receipt of six kilos from the classy Lady In Lace in the prestigious Maharaja’s Cup tilted the scales in favour of the winner who has remained unbeaten from his last five starts. The 2200 metres trip was within the compass of the winner while the `Lady’ from the city of nawabs is not at her best negotiating anything more than 2000M.

Dancing Dragon started the favourite before the supporters of Lady In Lace punted big on the Hyderabad mainhope and the top two in the mega event ended joint favourites at (2/1) minutes before the nine contestants came under the starter’s flag.

Ultimate Warrior, it was who brought the field into view followed by the Mumbai hopeful Temerity before Lady In Lace shot ahead and assumed command at the distance post. Leading saddle artiste Trevor Patel  at this juncture setalight Dancing Dragon and the in-form champion produced a stunning gallop to edge out Lady In Lace close home. Sana piloted by Sandesh finished a creditable third ahead of Temerity. Sandesh then lodged an objection against Suraj Narredu, the rider of Lady In Lace for bumping and closing the gap along the rails in the final furlong. It was a valid protest taking into account that Lady In Lace rolled on to Sana and was found lugging in. But the stipes overruled the objection on the count that Sandesh had not stopped riding and thus it made no difference to the outcome of the verdict.

Trevor who recorded a hat-trick, earlier beat Suraj astride Lady Barrington in a pulse-pounding finish on the Dominic-trained Bora Bora in the upper division of the R M Puttanna Memorial Trophy. Tracking the runaway leader Emidio for most part of the 1100M dash, Trevor packed power on Bora Bora while Suraj powerfully drove Lady Barrinngton and after a ding-dong battle both flashed past the post locked together before Trevor and Bora Bora gained the day by the shortest of margins.

In line for a hat-trick, Trevor on the favourite Mansuetude again pegged back the effort of Suraj astride Gypsy to complete the `trick’ in the P V Shetty Memorial Cup run over a sprint. Tamara finished a fair third ahead of Aeisir.

In the lower division of the R M Puttanna Memorial Trophy, the Sulaiman Attaollahi schooled Malawi confidently piloted by Sandesh made every post a winning one pegging back the favourite Helenka from the stables of Gregory Sandhu. The runner-up who was drawn badly (12) in the sprint event and was piloted by lesserlight Shivakumar in defeat was not disgraced and lives to fight another day. Alberetta as expected finished third ahead of Mint.

Sandhu had earlier dropped a bombshell, Look Out from his yard stunning the railbirds in the Pendragon Plate run over a distance of seven furlongs. The friendless winner partnered by apprentice jockey Syed Imran paid a rich dividend of Rs 708 on a tenner at the tote window. Touch Your Destiny from Dominic’s yard finished second ahead of the favourite Noble Splendour.

In the opening event, the Dominic-trained Wings Of Desire was the public rage on the strength of his impressive showing on his debut, second behind Anfia, but the half-money favourite failed to match strides with Lady Legend who made a winning debut in the hands of Sandesh.  Candlelightqueen who was strongly fancied for place by the Prithviraj camp ended third ahead of Tio Rico.

The four to one shot Smile Of Peace helped Dominic record a double, edging out the favourite Rhapsodyein Queen in a thriller. While the apprentice jockey Mohd Asif Khan displayed a lot of pluck on the winner, the seasoned Irvan Singh failed to provide the required saddle assistance