Irfan Ghatala trained Wind Stream proved overwhelmingly superior in the Gr 2 Abaran Bangalore 2000 Guineas, the second classic of the season on Saturday. The expected match race between Wind Stream and Super Storm failed to come off as the slow pace of the race threw things topsy turvy ideally suiting the winner.
Trainer Irfan Ghatala leading in Wind Stream (Suraj Narredu up), winner of the Bangalore 2000 Guineas.
Wind Stream and Super Storm appeared to have been well matched judging by their past performances. Super Storm is a horse who relishes a fast pace as he takes time to warm up. The slow pace set up Shivalik Star suited Wind Storm. Super Storm struggled to pick up speed and was even relegated to the fourth slot which was definitely against the run of expectations. If Shivalik Star had not been operated for a wind problem, his credentials would have become imposing by now. The progeny of Shamardal had won his last outing over seven furlongs after winning a few races over sprint and was running over a more suitable trip of mile.
Shivalik Star set a modest pace followed by the one paced Unforgettable, Wind Stream, Super Storm, Simpleton and Shivalik Pride who was sluggish at the start. The order remained the same as the field took the final bend. John on Unforgettable gave a hard time to the front runner but the front runner was in mood to yield. In the meanwhile Wind Stream came up with sooth acceleration and got the measure of the front runner inside the final furlong. Shivalik Star battled on resolutely to retain the runner up berth from Unforgettable who came up with a second wind to be a close third ahead of Super Storm. Super Storm did not show his wonted burst of speed as he did not relish the slow pace of the race. The winner clocked a modest time of one minute 40.23 seconds. The first four finishers are well matched and the Derby should be confined to them though not necessarily in the order they finished in the Guineas.
Trainer Dominic had winners of both divisions of December Plate, a race for two year olds. Agostini was strongly backed to the win the upper division with Czar of Romance having his share of supporters. Agostini led from the start but it was clear in the straight that he was only leading on sufferance as Czar of Romance who was traveling well within himself. Czar of Romance steadily gained ascendancy and sailed away to provide South African jockey Martin Wepner his second win in India. Agostini just about managed to save the second spot ahead of Charlatan. Earlier Wepner had his first winner through Solitaire Royale who won the lower division of the race in tremendous fashion. Strengthandwonder did the front running till he was eased from that position by Solitaire Royale who improved briskly to essay a strong challenge on turning for home. The latter quickened instantly and went sailing clear to win pulling up by five lengths. Beauty And Truth gained some places in the straight to finish third.
Trainer Ganapathy and visiting jockey Liam Jones recorded their first win of the season when Own Asset barely managed to survive by the skin of his teeth over late finishing Saganaki in the 1600 metres Galloping Acres Stud Plate, a race for horses rated 60 to 85. Own Asset was backed spiritedly to land the spoils. The progeny of Rebuttal tracked Mi Amor into the straight before Liam Jones pushed the favourite to take charge. Own Asset broke into a useful lead which held him in good stead. State Secret who was running after a longish gap first gave him a scare but when he shook off the lesser fancied runner, Saganaki came menacingly close to toppling him.
With the benefit of a race run where he had gone down narrowly, Esteban seemed a cinch in the 1200 metres Kumararajah M A M Muthiah Trophy (Div I), a race for horses rated 40 to 65. Esteban was none too well positioned as Ultimate Fantasy led the way followed by Volcano and Amalfi in close proximity. Rounding the final turn, Volcano shot ahead and shaped to cause an upset but faltered closer home. Esteban moved up with a big run on the wide outside and managed to get his act together before it was too late and managed to edge out Amalfi who had headed Volcano with a few strides left in the race. Thunderbay planted at the gates. However, ownermate Whistle Jacket made amends in the lower division of the race under the forceful riding of DaSilva to stave off the strong rally by Rich Celebration. Wind of Soul could not sustain his momentum in front and was beaten to the third slot.
Sans Frontiers who hadn`t impressed in his three runs in summer was made the firm favourite to win the 1400 metres Star Luminary Plate, a race for horses rated 20 to 45. Cheque Discounter who had run a great race last time out as an unfancied runner led the field with jockey Vaibhav struggling to settle the favourite who raced keen in second position. Though Cheque Discounter came off the rails, he still proved good enough to win from late finishing Bank on Me who nosed out Sans Frontiers for the second slot.
The day`s biggest upset came in 1200 metres Premium Spirit Plate where long shot Bebo found wings and sped away for a start to finish win over Day Trader and Raaga. Favourite Star of Desire ran below par.
Favourite Abbas Dreams had it easy in the 1400 metres Nelamangala Plate, a race for horses in the lowest category, with an emphatic start to finish mission. Samovar was a well beaten second.