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Sir Cecil prevails in Colts Championship Stakes

  June 24 , 2018

Padmanabhan trained Sir Cecil fought off a strong battle with Star Superior and prevailed in the Gr 1 Colts Championship Stakes, the second classic of the season, the feature event of Sunday`s Bangalore races. Sir Cecil did not win as expected but it must be said that Star Superior was a worthy adversary and hence the close finish was not entirely unexpected.

Sir Cecil had won all his outings so easily that he had not been tested thus far. He won his lead up race in a common canter and this was for the first time he had somebody to beat. Star Superior was relatively more experienced having run twice at Mumbai and was having his fifth career start. Star Superior had won his lead up race in a faster timing than Sir Cecil in identical conditions and hence the odds offered by the bookmakers did not suggest of the closeness of the contest. The Poonawalla brothers who bred the horse had brought back half share in the horse at a substantial price after seeing the classic potential of the horse. The contest was expected to be keen if only because the mile-long trip was a leveller.

After initial hesitancy when Neeraj`s attempt to settle the horse was not going to help matters, he raced the favourite in the second position after Hyderabad challenger Barnabas went ahead after a little skirmish between the three horses. Sir Cecil tracked Barnabas into the straight before stepping up on the accelerator and immediately established a good cushion. Star Superior, under a strong riding by Suraj Narredu, went all out but could not overhaul the front-runner who held on to win by a head. Hyderabad`s Rikki Tikki Tavi was some lengths adrift in the third position.

Of the seven horses that contested in the race, barring the first two placed horses, the rest were all outstation horses. Both these horses will have another match race in the Derby next month as the fillies don`t measure up to the colts. It will be interesting to see who progresses more from here though the extended trip is expected to suit Sir Cecil more than Star Superior.

Irfan Ghatala trained Shesmyscript made a winning debut in the 1400 metres Fantabulous King Plate, a race for maiden three-year-olds. Summer Palace who had twice finished second best was backed with conviction to go one better, but the favourite flopped miserably after racing a handy second into the straight. Royal Resolution who led the field into the final furlong was overhauled by Shesmyscript who moved up from about the fourth position at the final bend with a flourish. Shesmyscript then bounced clear and easily held off the late rally of Tyto Alba who struggled in the early part of the race to pick up speed and when he got into the rhythm, the race was in the safekeeping of the eventual winner. Excellent Memory ran on to finish third ahead of Royal Resolution.

Sandesh who had been finding winners hard to come by, finally broke the ice driving out After Hours to contain the challenge of Scarlet Princess to land the spoils in the 1600 metres Sweet Memories Trophy, a race for horses rated 15 to 35. Unlike on other occasions, Sandesh was alert, keeping his horse a handy second behind She`s Stylish before pushing the fancied runner to take charge at the top of the straight. The progeny of Steinbeck skipped ahead but was hard-pressed to contain the challenge of Scarlet Princess who was ridden aggressively by Trevor. After Hours held on to win by a head. Favourite Setaglow made no show and was a tame third.

Gregory Sandhu brought off a good touch on African Emperor who slammed a modest lot of horses in the 1400 metres Justice P Medappa Memorial Trophy (Div I), a race for horses rated 30 to 50. Call Me May Be led the field into the straight but she could not sustain her lead past the final furlong as African Emperor who shadowed her, sailed away to record an emphatic win. Color of Gold edged out the long-time leader Call Be May Be to grab the runner-up berth. Last start winner Grecian Light was fourth.

Shesmyscript (S Zervan up) winner of the Fantabulous King Plate

After Hours (A Sandesh up) winner of the Sweet Memories Trophy

African Emperor (San. Kumar Paswan up) winner of the Justice P.Medapa Memorial Cup (Div-I)

Sir Cecil (Neeraj Rawal up) winner of the Colts Championship Stakes (Gr.1)

Starry Wind (V R Jagadeesh up) winner of the Alekona Trophy

Snowdon (Neeraj Rawal up) winner of the Dupont Plate

Royal Rein (N B Kuldeep up) winner of the Justice P.Medapa Memorial Cup (Div-II)

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