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Mea Culpa provides Usha Stud 339th Classic success

  January 5 , 2019

Classic No 339 for the famed Usha Stud Farm was reached on Saturday when the daughter of Multidimensional, Mea Culpa asserted her supremacy in the Gr 2 Bangalore Oaks, the third classic of the season, on Saturday. The Arjun Mangalorkar trainee who had run below par in the South India 1000 Guineas at Chennai proved that run was an aberration when easily tackling the opposition to provide jockey Neeraj Rawal with yet another classic success.

Mea Culpa could well be what the filly would be saying after beating the opposition with ridiculous ease because she had faltered badly in the South India 1000 Guineas which was the reason she was not considered as a strong candidate for this race. Mea Culpa had run a tremendous race albeit more than a distance behind Sir Cecil in the Mysore Derby in excellent timing. Her lack of performance in the Guineas came as a surprise but not her improvement over the more suitable trip of a mile and a half. Neil Darashah trained New Moon who had run some consistent races was the firm favourite, backed to the exclusion of the rest as it was difficult to spot the winner before the race given the credentials of each of the contestants who had one flaw or the other.

Aravind Ganapathy trained Play Safe took over the job of setting the pace followed by Hammersmith, Mea Culpa, Superb Success, Sakura, Shesmyscript while Silver Dew brought up the rear. Approaching the final bend, jockey Imran Khan on Play Safe increased the momentum which caused a chain reaction with the other jockeys too moving up to take a striking position. Blue Moon looked beat the moment Mea Culpa showed up on her outside. Play Safe was not inclined to give up easily and battled on resolutely in the stretch before Mea Culpa got the better of her inside the final furlong. Mea Culpa then went on to win by a shade more than a length. There was a cluster finish for the third place with Superb Success nosing out Hammersmith to save place money. Blue Moon finished off the frame. Suraj Narredu said that the filly was beautifully positioned but gave up too easily. ``She lacked experience going into this race and also, she did not stay the trip.``

Arjun Mangalorkar who enjoyed his second success in this event which incidentally were both through the progeny of Multidimensional said: ``I was pretty confident that the filly will fare well over the Oaks trip especially considering the fact that she did pretty well in the Mysore Derby in terms of having finished in a cluster for minor placings. The horses which ran with her have done well subsequently. In Chennai, she failed because the pace was slow and, in the end, it became a three-furlong sprint which did not suit my filly. Over the gruelling trip of a mile and a half, Mea Culpa performed at her best. Possibly, the Bangalore Derby could be her next target.``

Satish Narredu trained Tutankhamun bounced back to winning ways, avenging his defeat at the hands of Mauritania in the 1400 metres New Year`s Cup, a terms race for four-year-olds and over. Mauritania was subjected to a veterinary check at the gates before being loaded into the gates. Mauritania did not show the patented speed, and this allowed Tutankhamun to dictate the pace with Mauritania in the second position. In the stretch, Tutankhamun who performed to his best ability, skipped away to go beyond the reach of the rest. Mauritania held off Subah Ka Tar and Star Carnation to get the runner-up berth.
Aravind Ganapathy trained Balter showed out in the paddock parade but the fact that he was essaying a sprint could have been the reason why the progeny of Dean`s Kitten ran at lucrative odds despite impressive workouts. The race had an open look about it with Cuban and Jersey Legend being fancied ahead of Balter who had the services of top jockey David Allan. Balter did not show speed from the gates but the jockey patiently worked his way up and brought the lesser fancied runner on the wide outside. Balter responded to the urgings of David Allan and picked up speed with a furlong left in the race and measured the front-running Constanza and Cuban with ease and stretched away for an impressive win. Jersey Legend ran on to edge out Constanza to take the runner-up spot. Cuban weakened to finish fourth. Constanza who finished third is a horse to watch and she would be the one to beat if she gets an additional furlong to race.

Irfan Ghatala trained Amazonite who had advertised her readiness to strike duly obliged in the 1200 metres Cordon Bleu Plate (Div I), a race for horses rated 15 to 35. Sharat Kumar trained Happy Dancing came in for big betting to displace Amazonite as the favourite. Steak Ahead led the field deep into the straight before Srinath managed to drive out Amazonite to take charge. Master of War ran on to finish third. Happy Dancing had all the chances but lacked the speed for a sprint. Longshot Agnar from the stables of trainer Pradeep Annaiah brought off a big upset in the lower division of the race. Dominic trained Habanero was backed to the exclusion of the rest to win the race. Jockey Trevor Patel had Habanero take over the running from the front-running Bold Runner with a furlong left in the race and the favourite had the lead going into the final stages of the race. However, Agnar who was totally ignored in the betting ring because of the presence of Tauseef Ahmed in the saddle flew home to neck out the favourite in the final moments of the race-winning out of turn. Bold Move was a close third.

Satish Narredu trained Siyouni who had run a forward race last timeout, readily obliged in the 1200 metres Dr K T B Menon Memorial Trophy (Div I), a race for horses rated 30 to 50. Suraj Narredu swiftly brought Siyouni into a striking position from the outside draw and was lying in wait to take charge in the stretch. The progeny of Stern Opinion quickly asserted her supremacy in the run in for home and won with a great deal of ease from late-rallying Reczai who was in receipt of sustained betting in the ring. Wild Wild Angels took the third position ahead of Alberetta who performed below expectations. Dominic trained Rosebrook won the lower division of the race in a thrilling finish, with Suraj Narredu ridden Interesting just about failing to overhaul the front-runner. Interesting and Rosebrook were both heavily fancied. The latter got the first run on her opponent and had an edge going into the final furlong. Interesting looked like collaring Rosebrook but the latter produced that bit extra under a strong ride by Trevor and prevailed by a whisker. Ahearttoremember who did all the front-running stayed on to take the third position.

K P G Appu trained Premier Premises made it a start to finish dash in the 1100 metres Murdeshwar Plate, a race for horses in the lowest category. Glorious Days was the firm favourite, but the four-year-old filly was not positioned well enough to make an impact on the result. Kruger Park and Scorching occupied the spots behind the winner.

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