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The Leader strikes form; swamps opposition

By: Tippu Sultan   December 10 , 2012

Shezad Abbas trained The Leader who has never been a model of consistency suddenly struck form in splendid fashion in the 1400 metres Jockey Purtu Singh Parmar Memorial Cup, a Category II race, the highlight of races held at Malakpet on Monday. The Leader stayed in touch with the front runners unlike in the past when he would warm up after the cause had been lost and had the race sewn up long way from home. This was one of the best performances of The Leader in a long time. Imran Khan who rode The Leader was astride three other winners namely Sprint Saloni, Kings Cruise and Dark Avenger.

Trainer S K Kassam, deputising for Shezad Abbas, leading in The Leader (Imran Khan up), winner of Jockey Purtu Singh Parmar Memorial Cup.

The feature event looked very competitive with half a dozen horses having a fair chance of pulling it off. Castle Town was the identified favourite. Corvette set a good pace and led the field into the final furlong but at this time, The Leader showed tremendous acceleration to leave the rest stranded. Lumiere Blanche who chased Corvette into the straight went wide in the straight but nevertheless ran on to nose out Rosemead who despite a slow start finished on strongly. Ruffiano was a close fourth.
Prasad Raju trained Montego Bay made a brilliant rally in the final furlong to nail the front running Transition at the post to win the 1200 metres Anmol Ratan Plate, a Category III race. When Transition broke clear, Montego Bay had considerable leeway to cover but the fancied runner picked up speed significantly and was able to measure the front runner before the front runner could escape to victory. Exclusive too rallied well to be a suggestive third.

Jockey Imran Khan drove out Sprint Saloni to victory in the 1100 metres Crack Regiment Plate (Div I), a race for horses in the lowest category. Classic Crown tried desperately to measure the front runner but Sprint Saloni had enough reserves to slip away. Mr Glorious whipped around at the start and dropped apprentice jockey Vikas. The lower division of the race was won by Inspiring Tunes who shot through the rails and just about survived to win from late rallying Deccan Queen by a whisker. Favourite Lady of Grace who received one sided support, failed to make any impression. Both the divisions of the race saw horses which had run innumerable times and unable to find winning mark. When there is pressure on space, it is horses which belong to this class that needs to be sent out and not performing horses merely because they have touched age of retirement as defined by the club only to accommodate younger horses.

Greek Star`s forceful finish helped the two year old colt to prevail in the 1000 metres Own Vision Plate, a race for two year olds. Kohinoor Punch was the favourite but close to race time there was inspired support as many deserted the favourite because he had run out in his last run. In the end the inspired support for Fair And Square turned out to be more in desperation rather than with conviction as the horse ran very green and was a beaten cause well before the race came on the boil. The slow start undid Kohinoor Punch`s chances as he had to be brushed to cover the leeway. Though he came through the middle and stayed glued to the rails and appeared to have gone into an unassailable lead, he lost by a whisker to Greek Star in the bob of heads. Most of the runners in the fray were very backward and should not have been running.

Trainer Donald Netto leading in Kings Cruise (Imran Khan up) along with owner P Ashok, the winner of Haridwar Plate (Div I).

Vittal Deshmukh trained Vijays Winner who had let down as favourite last time out, made amends winning the 1800 metres Zurbaran Plate, a Category III race. Jockey Tograllu made his move on Vijays Winner early in the straight and established a useful lead which held him in good stead as Green Bay along the rails and Great Warrior came up with menacing runs close home.

Donald Netto trained Kings Cruise took control of the proceedings with a furlong left in the race and sprinted away from the rest to win the Haridwar Plate (Div I), a Category II race from favourite Alberton Star who found foot when the cause had been lost. Young Sapper was a well beaten third. Even as favourite Arabian Dancer ran into traffic problems along the rails, last outing winner Winning Strides showed lot of zest to go sailing clear with a furlong out to win the lower division of the race. Though Divine Ganges and Fine Racer came up with powerful runs, the front runner had enough reserves to win with a measure of comfort.

Imran Khan drove out Dark Avenger for an easy win in the 1400 metres Satavahana Cup, a Category III race to finish the day on a fine quadruple. Favourite Rocking Racer did the front running with Dark Avenger racing well within himself in second position. Imran had Dark Avenger steadily increase the momentum in the straight and let his horse to stride out in the final 200 metres. Dark Avenger sped away to win by a widening margin of five lengths.

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