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Kangra scrapes home in Catalyst Bangalore Derby

  February 11 , 2018

Sulaiman Attaollahi trained Kangra continued her amazing run in the classics by winning the Gr 1 Catalyst Properties Bangalore Derby, the star event of the Bangalore Winter Season with a fighting performance on Sunday. Despite her energy sapping and her legs almost giving way, the filly dug into her reserves to hold on to the lead to win from the late rallying Star Carnation. Golconda Derby winner Mahateji ran on to finish third ahead of Dr Logan. Favourite Prevalent Force who was subjected to second Derby run in a week`s time beside the ordeal of travel and a tough race at Mumbai, came back in extreme distress and needed medical help.

Prevalent Force was the most accomplished runner in the fray, but the question mark was about his poor performance at Mumbai and the fact that he was running in a week after running at Mumbai. Since many horses in the past had performed under similar circumstances, Prevalent Force was widely believed to redeem himself despite the obvious handicaps. Zenon was another who had also participated in the Indian Derby who was in the fray though no one gave him even an outside chance to pull it off.

Psychic Warrior who was the designated pace-maker for Prevalent Force went at a good pace but with none following him, Trevor Patel on Kangra could settle the filly in second position unmindful of what the front-runner was doing. Trevor was pretty sure that there was no possibility of the front-runner springing a surprise and that he would rapidly fall back when the race came to the boil. Nanhipari, Zenon raced up with the field while Srinath chose to keep Prevalent Force in about the fifth or sixth position unlike on the last occasion when Prevalent Force raced in the rear. Mahateji, Star Carnation, Lord of the Sea, Kambaku were all spaced out several lengths adrift of the pace-setter.

Trevor pushed Kangra to take over the running on turning for home and the progeny of first season stallion Western Aristocrat bounced clear and established what turned out to be a winning lead. Zenon went in chase of the eventual winner, but he appeared to be hopelessly one-paced. It was left to Star Carnation to produce a strong acceleration in the final furlong to come within reach of Kangra, but the winning post was sighted before the Oaks winner could be caught up with. It was not that Star Carnation was flying at the finish. The front-runner was faltering rapidly which made it look that the runner-up came home with a blinding run. Mahateji stayed on to take the third position ahead of Dr Logan. Prevalent Force fell behind after racing into the straight quite comfortably but went into distress under pressure and Srinath had to give up much before he would have thought he would. Prevalent Force had to be administered drips to help overcome distress. It was a pity that Prevalent Force who had reeled off six wins in a row including two Derby triumphs was subjected to a gruel racing schedule which was despairing, to say the least.

The Nanoli Stud Farm bred Kangra proved to be a versatile horse, winning two Guineas and then proving her worth over the mile and a half trip by winning the Oaks and then surprising everyone with a repeat win in the Derby. Very few had reckoned that she would be a Derby winner at the start of the season, but the transformation has been amazing just as the deterioration of some of those considered as classic hopefuls. It remains to be seen if the connections decide to take her to Kolkata for next month`s Indian Turf Invitation Cup which will be held in the first week of March without all the attendant frills associated with racing carnival due to the financial crisis brought about by the draconian GST.

Irfan Ghatala trained Watchmyscript came from the last position at the final bend to score a magnificent win over Mauritania in the 1600 metres Bangalore Racecourse 155th Year Commemoration Trophy, a terms race for four-year-olds and over. Costal Del Sol who was the highest rated horse in the fray was made the favourite after his encouraging second to stablemate over a mile-long trip despite not having won for 477 days. Mauritania was next in demand. David Allan had Mauritania lead in front and the progeny of Excellent Art had a good lead going into the final furlong. But he began to falter when Watchmyscript came home with a powerful run from way off the pace and easily overhauled the front-runner for an easy win. Costa Del Sol was third more than four lengths adrift of the runner-up.

Botswana Colt showed out in the paddock parade and was backed with conviction to win the 1400 metres Exhilaration Stud Plate, a race for horses rated 45 to 65. Glittering Gold who had run a fair race in the Guineas also came in for spirited betting, but she was fractious and was withdrawn at the gates. Botswana Bolt easily overtook Nagarjuna in the straight and skipped clear to win easily from Cold Frontier who covered lot of ground to be a suggestive second. Capo De Capi who was also in serious betting, failed to accelerate when needed most and was a tame third.

Srinath was at his aggressive best on Sagrada as he drove out the fancied runner to a thrilling win over El Fenix in the 1600 metres Hyderabad Silver Vase, a race for horses rated 60 and above. El Fenix appeared to have stolen the race when the six-year-old gelding established a good lead over the rest. Sagrada who had considerable leeway to cover responded to the urgings of Srinath and managed to get the nod in the final stride of the race. Fair Game nosed out Super Start to get the third position.

Rajesh Narredu trained Star Superior made an impressive winning debut in the 1400 metres Mysore Race Club Trophy, a race for maiden three-year-olds. Tyto Alba who came in for spirited betting ended up as the tote favourite with the odds on the pre-race favourite Peluche expanding. Tyto Alba led the field into the straight but once Star Superior began to get into her rhythm in the straight, there was no stopping the progeny of Excellent Art from winning. Peluche made a valiant bid but ran green under pressure and in the end, failed to get past the long-time leader Tyto Alba and had to settle for the third place.

Prithviraj trained Golden Bow produced a good burst of speed in the final furlong to storm clear and win the 1200 metres Hampi Cup, a race for horses rated 15 to 35. Quick Action came up with a late run to occupy the second spot. Brunesco headed Wings of Fortune to get the third place.

Sharat Kumar trained Why Should I shot ahead inside the final 200 metres and held on to win the 1100 metres T B Hanumantharaj Memorial Trophy, a race for horses rated 30 to 50 from fast-finishing Amazing Love. The latter who was inconvenienced by the wide outside draw was left with plenty of leeway to cover and despite a strong effort, fell short in the end. Agneeta necked out favourite Celtic Mist to get the third place.

Narayan Gowda trained Soviet Union who hadn`t won for 637 days, came in for big betting in the 1100 metres Chamundi Hills Cup, a race for horses rated 15 to 35. Soviet Union got a stranglehold of the race in the final furlong to win the race easily from Able Master who was a neck better than A Crown.

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