Laxman Singh trained Big Brave recorded an encore in the 2000 metres G V Rao Memorial Cup, a race for horses rated 42 to 62, the feature event of Monday`s Hyderabad races. Jockey Suraj Narredu guided the free-striding Western Aristocrat progeny to victory in a race where jockeys were not allowed to carry whips which is a big handicap given the fact that our jockeys rely more on the whip than on persuasive tactics.
Big Brave had swamped the opposition last time out and was widely backed to repeat the performance especially since he races up with the pace. That`s My Magic who had shocked the favourite Bradfield College in his last run was another to get good support though the second favourite gave a dismal account of himself, never in with a chance. Suraj Narredu had Big Brave chase front-running Exclusive Striker well into the straight before spurting with the favourite. The progeny of Western Aristocrat changed gears as it were and established what turned out to be a winning lead. Ulysses who did not get a clear run approaching the final bend and had to be pulled wide to get a clear run came home with a late burst of speed but fell short in the end. Golden Fortune was third.
Jockey Nakhat Singh outrode champion jockey Akshay Kumar in the 2000 metres Sangam Plate, a race for horses rated 26 to 46. Nakhat Singh settled Solo Winner in the rear group before alerting the fancied runner to pick up momentum in the stretch. Buttonwood who too was strongly backed to win was also in contention inside the final furlong after pace-setter Ashwa Arjun weakened. The duo fought out the final furlong with Solo Winner producing that bit extra to prevail by half a length at the finish. Yogastha ran on to take the third place ahead of the tiring Ashwa Arjun.
Akshay Kumar did not have things his way as he was on the beaten horses in tight finishes. Lockhart shaped like a winner when he shot ahead inside the final furlong in the 1400 metres Wishful Thinking Plate (Div II), a race for horses rated 26 to 46. Wings of Eagles had many lengths to cover but the progeny of Hymn came home with a rush in the hands of jockey B R Kumar. The duo fought out the final 100 yards with Wings of Eagles snatching the verdict in the final stride of the race. Drogan was more than four lengths adrift in the third position.
Faisal Hassan trained Top Saga received one-sided betting to win the 1100 metres Step Aside Plate, a race for maiden two-year-olds. Jockey Akshay Kumar took Top Saga on a start to finish mission but closer home, the favourite failed to tackle the challenge of long shot Spice Up who overwhelmed the favourite with a measure of comfort. Khloe ran on well from behind to snatch the runner-up berth from the favourite.
Hilton Sequeira trained Riddari provided a comfortable win for jockey Akshay Kumar. Riddari took over the running in the stretch and had no problem in steering clear of Semper Fidelis to win the 1200 metres Starry Scene Plate, a race for horses rated 42 to 62. Guiding Force was third.
Akshay Kumar who had a double for the day had a miraculous win on the heavily supported Golden Hope in the 1400 metres Musical Morn Plate, a race for horses rated up to 30. Golden Hope appeared a lost cause when the favourite began to gain ground on long shot Joy of Giving who had stolen a march and appeared to be in the vicinity of the post. To compound the problems for the favourite, he also went wide. Joy of Living looked like having pulled through but the photo showed that in the bobbing of heads, the favourite had indeed prevailed by the proverbial whisker.
C V G K Kishore trained Razor Wind was backed with such conviction that from a higher quote, the six-year-old mare became a firm favourite to win the 1100 metres Olympic Flame Plate, race for horses rated up to 25. Jockey Sai Kumar went at a scorching pace in front and just about survived to win from stablemate Trumph Boy who nearly spoiled the near year party for the connections! All Star General was a close third with Aalishaan another neck behind in the fourth position.
Spice Up (Nakhat Singh up) winner of the Step Aside Plate
Riddari (Akshay Kumar up) winner of the Starry Scene Plate
Wings Of Eagles (B R Kumar up) winner of the Wishful Thinking Plate (Div-II)
Solo Winner (Nakhat Singh up) winner of the Sangam Plate
Golden Hope (Akshay Kumar up) winner of the Musical Morn Plate
Big Brave (Suraj Narredu up) winner of the G V Rao Memorial Cup
Razor Wind (P Sai Kumar up) winner of the Olympic Flame Plate