Trainer Imtiaz Sait`s 7/2 fancied runner, Winter Renaissance (C.S. Jodha-up) found the galloping shoes, after her numerous failures. The Courageous Cat mare won the 2,800m Queen Elizabeth II Cup, the prestigious event, in Saturday`s race card. Form horses otherwise ruled the afternoon`s eight-event card, which also witnessed trainer Vijay Singh`s top-rated filly, Aashna (Suraj Narredu) returning to the winning ways, leaving her Champagne Stakes conqueror, Sniper (S. John), gasping for breath. The Vijay-Suraj combinations reaped a good harvest, on the day, as the two professionals complimented each other, ending up with a treble apiece.
The victory of Winter Renaissance was hardly talked about after the running of the Queen`s Cup, the debate catered around the performance of the 5/4 favourite, Raees, the winner`s stable-mate. The up and downward swinging of odds of the two stable-mates had also served the notice before the start of the race. More importantly, Raees was ridden to his strength, pillar-to-post, yet he was simply demolished and his below-par performance will always remain a mystery.
For the records, Raees showed the way to the Renaissance till about a furlong from home and retired from the fray, after the stable-mate took over to fend the a strong challenge from the top-weighted Azzuro (Hindu Singh), who jumped on the scene late. The weakening Raees, on the other hand, crashed out to ultimately place last, nearly 15 lengths behind the winner.
In the Million race, the verdict between Aashna and the 1,400m Champagne Stakes winner, Sniper, left the students of form nothing much to munch about.
The extra furlong separated the two stable-mates by more than four lengths after Win Legend Filly had lost to Sniper by about three lengths when at 2-1/2kg weight disadvantage. The second placed Home Of The Brave (C. Alford), also ran true to his potential.
The 1,200m Malayasia Cup, the other baby race in the card, was easily claimed by Venezia (Suraj), who, after placing third behind Coup de Grace, in the in the Juvenile Stakes, was ridden half-heartedly, third, behind the western India challenger, Adjudicate, in the Alokananda Stakes. The Western Aristocrat daughter had an easy measure of trainer Jasbir Singh`s Kefira (Mohit Singh). Needless to say that the future performance of all the named youngsters will be keenly watched.
The 2,000m Hyderabad Race Club Trophy was also keenly contested between Vijay`s (Suraj) and Arti Doctor`s two in-a-two winner, Namid (Prashant Dhege). The former was powered to victory after Namid`s start-to-finish efforts nearly paid off. In the same race, the top-weighted Germanicus (B. Mahesh) was a good third and the horse needs watching.
The expanding odds of Apalachee (John) did send wrong signals about his winning chances in the 1,400m French Cup, but the Patrick Quinn`s charge put paid all such doubts. The Multidimensional colt galloped up with the Vikash Jaiswal`s 6/4 favourite, Outrider (Imran Chisty) till 250m from home. The 6/1 chance was taken to the front inside the last furlong to score a decisive victory over the favourite and a quietly fancied Shafiq Khan`s charge, Dark Gold (Ashhad Asbar).
Results also went by form, in the two divisions of the 1,200m Portugal Cup. The upper division was claimed by trainer Javed Khan`s 12/10 favourite Highland Prince (app. R.S. Bhati), who score a back-to-back victory, with an equal ease while an addition equipment, the tug-strap, did wonders to trainer James McKeown`s failed favourite, Mahasuvi (app. P. Vikram) who had an easy measure of the Raunak Banerji`s Spallanzani (Asbar).
Trainer Robert Gowli`s five-year-old Mellow Fellow galloped to a narrow victory, Vijay`s Victoriana (C. Jodha) James Nobu (app. Vikram) in the 1,200m Philippines Cup, thanks to the power-packed riding of jockey Chisty.