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Courage finally makes it over a sprint

  June 8 , 2019

Arjun Mangalorkar trained Courage who was campaigned over middle distance races all through his career made an interesting switch to sprint and managed to win the race for the first time in the 14th start of his career! Considering the fact that his last win was over a mile, the connections were perhaps enthused by his encouraging effort over a sprint in the first start of the season and the trainer successfully pitched him in the fray for the 200 metres Civil Services Cup, a race for horses rated 60 and above.

The progeny of Western Aristocrat out of a Derby winning mare Abs Fabs justified the expectations with a resolute win with a powerful surge in the final furlong which saw the five-year-old get the better of the front-running favourite Saint Petersburg in the closing strides of the race. Aeisir who had back to back wins in winter finished on strongly to nose out the favourite to grab the runner-up berth.

Saint Petersburg who was running over a suitable trip of six furlongs was made the firm favourite with the much-hyped Cerise Noir enjoying the status of being the second favourite. Courage had his share of supporters. Trevor Patel had Saint Petersburg lead all the way but in the final furlong was under pressure to keep the lead as Courage was looming large. Under the strong riding of jockey Suraj Narredu, Courage got the nod in the shadow of the post. Aeisir showed some flourish when relegating the long-time leader to the third spot. Cerise Noir who lost considerable ground at the start is best ignored till she shows some semblance of form she showed as a juvenile.

Darius Byramji trained Aeolus pulled off a thrilling win in the 1400 metres Royal Challenge Plate (Div I), a race for horses rated 30 to 50 in what was the most absorbing race of the day. Aeolus who had beaten Shesmyscript easily at Bangalore before racing during the Invitation Cup weekend had seen his rating jump from 36 to 60 at Hyderabad. Now given a more sensible rating of 46, Aeolus chased Constantinople into straight before jockey Zervan got busy on the favourite. Aeolus went storming clear and shaped to win with a measure of comfort but began to falter close home. Ambrosio who was also well supported in the ring was initially outpaced but in the final furlong covered enormous ground. These two went past the post locked together. Aeolus had held on to win by the shortest margin possible. Akita Pro managed to get the designated third position from the pacesetter. The lower division of the race had a poor lot of horses in the fray and Orenda who was backed to the exclusion of the rest managed to save the day thanks to a strong finish by jockey Sandesh which saw the progeny of Dean`s Kitten edge out Supernormal by the proverbial whisker. Supernormal was third more than five lengths adrift. While Aeolus clocked one minute 25.08 seconds Orenda timed one minute 27.28 seconds. The division of the races as is done in Bangalore is unfair to good horses as they are all grouped together. Like in Hyderabad, the divisions should be done in such a way that the best horses are evenly distributed, and these horses are not denied their share of wins.

Prithviraj trained Incitatus had the benefit of a good forward run and the solid support in the ring for the six-year-old to win the 1400 metre Star Supreme Plate, a race for horses rated 15 to 35 was not misplaced. Suraj Narredu rode a patient race on the favourite, waiting with Incitatus till turning for home and then getting busy. Incitatus responded well and stormed clear in the final furlong to win the race by a margin of over three lengths. Amazing Angel made a late rally to occupy the second position ahead of Ultimate Power while the pacesetter Jayadratha weakened to finish sixth.

The victory of Incitatus should have boosted the support for Md Khan trained Starry Grad who had beaten the former when the two had clashed last time out. However, Prodigal who had dropped his jockey at the start in his last outing was backed spiritedly to win the 1200 metres Meydan Plate, a race for horses rated 15 to 35 even at cramped odds. Adventurer came in for big support to eventually close at a much shorter price than he was quoted at when the prices opened in the ring. Starry Grad was allowed to run at odds of five to 1. Prodigal led the field into the straight before succumbing to the onslaught of Starry Grad who steadily asserted his superiority in the final furlong. Adventurer began to gain ground when the cause had been lost and had to settle for the third position.

Trainer Sulaiman Attaollahi had a disappointing day as three of his fancied runners failed to make it to the winner`s enclosure. Constanza was strongly favoured to win the 1200 metres Prince Khartoum Trophy, a race for maiden three-year-olds but the favourite was unable to withstand the flourish shown by Prasanna Kumar trained Commodus in the final stages of the race. On The Trot nosed out the fancied Donna Bella to save place money.


Orenda (A Sandesh up) winner of the Royal Challenge Plate (Div-II)

Commodus (Trevor Patel up) winner of the Prince Khartoum Trophy

Incitatus (Suraj Narredu up) winner of the Star Supreme Plate

Courage (Suraj Narredu up) winner of the Civil Service Cup

Stari Grad (Prashant P Dhebe up) winner of the Meydan Plate

Aeolus (S Zervan up) winner of the Royal Challenge Plate (Div-I)

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