Prasanna Kumar trained War Hammer who ended the winter season as the best three-year-old of this centre, kept that reputation intact with a facile win in the Gr 3 Karnataka Juvenile Million, a terms race for three-year-olds, the feature event of Sunday`s Bangalore races. Since War Hammer was taking on formidable opponents from the other parts of the country, his performance was of more than ordinary interest if only for determining if he will make the classic cut. He has come out with flying colours from this race.
The support for War Hammer firmed up with Missing You who was almost the joint-favourite in the ante-post betting losing supporters significantly in the betting ring. Hunt For God came in for significant support to end up as the horse to challenge the favourite as per the market expectation. Jockey Suraj Narredu had Missing You in front from the word `go` and the Poonawalla Multi-Million winner led for the most part of the trip before being overwhelmed inside the final 100 metres. Missing You had the task cut out as there was intense pressure from Blazer, Mystic Bay, Hunt For Gold and Trafalgar who were closely tracking the front-runner. The complexion of the race changed once Trevor Patel brought War Hammer from the rear position on the wide outside. The progeny of Air Support covered the leeway with menacing strides and stormed clear to record an emphatic win by more than two lengths. Mystic Bay managed to keep the second position from late rallying Trafalgar who after being pulled out of a tight spot, flew home. The Kolkata challenger surely should improve on this effort and put up a game show in the Colts Championship. Mystic Bay who was running only for the second time in his career and hence lacked experience did well though it remains to be seen how he will tackle the longer trips. Missing You was relegated to the fourth position. The filly should be better off for this run. Hunt For Gold encountered traffic problems and her jockey Neeraj Rawal could not drive out the filly aggressively to get the deserved position on the frame.
Arjun Mangalorkar trained Impavid who too enjoys a high reputation as a colt to reckon with in the classics, recorded an impressive win in the 1600 metres Brig R C R Hill Memorial Trophy. Impavid was driven out aggressively by jockey Sandesh to get the better of the front-running Blue Moon in the final furlong. The progeny of Air Support got better at the finish to win by a shade more than two lengths. Hyderabad challenge Exclusive Blue who lost a favourable position early on and trailed the field finished with a purpose to save place money. The winner clocked a smart time of one minute 37.26 seconds.
Pesi Shroff trained Wizard of Stocks looked a cinch in the 1600 metres Glorious Colours Plate, a race for maiden three-year-olds especially after his fine forward run at Mumbai. Backed to the exclusion of the rest, Trevor held Wizard of Stocks in the midfield. The progeny of the first season stallion Speaking of Which pounced on the front-runner in the stretch and stormed clear in the final furlong to win by a margin of four lengths. Francis Bacon and Invicta got the second and third positions. Wizard of Stocks too clocked a good time of one minute 37.38 seconds which should be considered as significant as he was only breaking the maidens` ranks.
Jockey S John whose long suspension had affected his confidence as well as his ability to quickly get into shape, had a welcome win coming through the well-backed Standout in the 1200 metres Bergamo Plate, a race for horses rated 30 to 50. John has problems in containing his riding weight and the suspension ensured that it took him considerable time for him to get rides in races. Standout led from the start and hung on grimly even as San Bernardino made a late dash only to find the front-runner escape to victory. Bold Move was third.
Since three-year-old Slovenia was running in an ordinary handicap race, she was made the firm favourite to win the 1200 metres Prabalo Plate, a race for horses rated 15 to 35. The racing form of Slovenia was not encouraging enough for the filly to warrant such massive support. Harmonia who had won impressively win in winter and then was given an outing was well supported to pull it off. Jockey Pradeep Chouhan had Harmonia track Slovenia well into the straight before getting busy. The progeny of Excellent Art easily collared the front-runner and went away for a big win by a margin of more than five lengths. Ashoka The Great ran on displace Slovenia from the runner-up position.
The 1600 metres Belmont Park Plate, a race for horses in the lowest category, also had a false favourite in Apollo Bay who was backed to the exclusion of the rest. Apollo Bay had shown no form in the winter and he had no business to be running as an on money favourite. Winx who had some form to go by was next in demand. String of Pearls shaped to bring off a big upset as the six-year-old mare shot ahead in the final furlong and had a good cushion. Winx who warmed up to the task in the final furlong, produced a strong gallop close home to edge out the long-time leader to land the spoils. Princess Amu was third. Apollo Bay who was under pressure to keep pace well before the final turn was not spotted at the busy end.
K P G Appu had a long-priced winner through Zafrina who produced a winning burst in the final furlong to win the 1100 metres Iflookscouldkill Plate, a race for horses in the lowest category. Jockey Amyn Merchant rode the winner. Queen Isabella came up with a late flourish but narrowly failed to collar the front-runner. Favourite Arrogance failed to pick up speed and ended up as a poor third.
Wizard Of Stocks (Trevor Patel up) winner of the Glorious Colours Plate
Zafrina (Amyn Merchant up) winner of the Iflookscouldkill Plate
Standout (S John up) winner of the Bergamo Plate
Impavid (A Sandesh up) winner of the Brig. R. C. R Hill Memorial Trophy
War Hammer (Trevor Patel up) winner of the Karnataka Juvenile Million (Gr.3)
Harmonia (P S Chouhan up) winner of the Prabalo Plate
Winx (T S Jodha up) winner of the Belmont Park Plate