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Surya Lakshmi wins Speaker’s Cup in a thriller

By: Tippu Sultan   November 25 , 2012

Srinivas trained Surya Lakshmi who was favoured by the terms of the race, put up a determined bid to overhaul favourite Windsor Manor in the closing stride of the race to win the 1200 metres Speaker`s Cup, a handicap race for three year olds and over, the feature event of races held at Malakpet on Sunday. First season sire Lucifer Sam had his winner through Lucy Diamond.

Surya Lakshmi had been a winner of a classic over a mile and had been ambitiously campaigned over longer trips. There was no doubting her class as she had given hint of capability of making switch to sprints at the highest class in her last run where she had run a tremendous race. Windsor Manor had always been a speedy customer who goes at a good clip and often this has been her undoing along with her tendency to run out. However, in her last run over a scurry she had run straight as an arrow and had bolted in well clear of the rest and she was widely expected to give a repeat performance over six furlong trip as well.

Jockey S John had Windsor Manor lead all the way and though she got a number of horses racing behind off the bridle within the first two furlongs, she was perceptibly slowing down in the final furlong. Surya Lakshmi, who raced in about the fourth or fifth position into the straight, covered the leeway steadily in the straight. Under the forceful riding of Pradeep Chouhan, she managed to head the front runner at the post. Guiding Light finished third. It was a creditable performance by Windsor Manor as Surya Lakshmi was in receipt of five kgs from the former.

Chouhan is the most preferred rider for almost all the stables and as such, he has winning rides chasing him. Apart from the fact that he rides for the formidable stable of Vittal Deshmukh, the other trainers also don`t hesitate to entrust their best horses when the jockey is free of his commitment from the stable. Sans Craintes Stud Farm`s new stallion, Lucifer Sam, sired his first winner when Srinivas trained Lucy Diamond led all the way and easily held off the late rally of Fair Emperor in the 1100 metres Cordon Rouge Plate, a race for maiden two year olds in the hands of Chouhan. Favourite Ciel Bleu fought for her head for a while and there after lost interest in the proceedings to finish in a poor way.

The got abroad colt Vijays Champ has been proving his mettle over staying trips and he recorded an encore when measuring the front running Flying Spur in the 2200 metres Mica Empress Cup, a Category II race. Flying Spur attempted to win from the word `go` with Vijays Champ in chase while the rest raced a few lengths adrift. The battle was confined to the duo in the straight with Vijays Champ getting the better of long-time leader inside the final 100 metres. Handsome Hawk was a faraway third. This formed the treble that Chouhan had for the day.

Satyanarayana trained Silver Crown was strongly backed to win the 1200 metres Onnu Onnu Onnu Plate (Div I), a Category III race. The favourite ran into a troubled passage inside the final furlong and was in danger of being sandwiched between two runners but luckily for Silver Crown a gap emerged and John was able to push his mount through. Though Bribe Madi has broken clear, Silver Crown covered the leeway under the driving finish of John and won with a measure of comfort. Rank outsider Attenborough moved with raking strides in the final furlong from about the seventh position and strongly challenged favourite Street Magic who had just about managed to shake of the persevering Sheridan and necked out the public fancy in the lower division of the race. About half a dozen runners were within an arm`s length of each other.

Lesser fancied Victorious Sally chased Part Time Lover till the final furlong before bouncing ahead in the Hi-Tech Plate (Div I), a Category III race over five furlongs. Smashing Beauty came up with a big run in the closing stages of the race to snatch the runner up berth from favourite Queen of Habashe. John angled out favourite Bette Prior in nick of time as he was not getting enough room between Commanche Gold and Sun Bird and managed to save the day for the favourite with some aggressive riding in the lower division of the race.

Prasad Raju trained Fortunate found wings in the closing stages of the race to pip the front running Maharadhi on the post in the 1600 metres Chirala Cup, a Category III race. When Maharadhi shook off Silver Cruise inside the final 200 metres, it looked as though he would land the spoils. However, his hopes were put paid by Fortunate who had left himself with a difficult task but showed enough resolution to win.

Lesser fancied Royal Bird pulled off an upset win in the day`s opener run over a mile for horses in the lowest category. Golden Star led from the start but slackened in the final moments of the race which allowed Royal Bird to move up swiftly and take advantage of the tiring front runner and win with a measure of comfort.

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