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David Allan guides Well Connected to thrilling win

  July 21 , 2019

A splendid piece of riding by jockey David Allan ensured that Well Connected converted what appeared a hopeless task at one stage to a splendid win in the Gr 1 Kingfisher Ultra Bangalore, the richest race of the Indian Racing Calendar in front of the packed house at the Bangalore Race Course on Sunday. The persevering effort of the jockey ensured that the Padmanabhan trainee nailed Impavid on the post in an event that lived up to the pre-race hype of being a two-horse race. Knight Templar showed a tremendous improvement to be a game third.

Both Well Connected and Impavid enjoyed support in equal measure, but the presence of jockey David Allan ensured that punters preferred the latter more. Well Connected who appeared to have worked up after being saddled was led to the gates without the jockey. Jockey Sandesh had no hesitation in taking Impavid to the front as the horse is known to relish such a tactic being a big made horse who would find it tough to work his way in a crowded field. Well Connected raced in about the fifth position but those who had backed the filly perhaps were a worried a lot when the filly went off the bridle fell behind approaching the final bend.

Impavid kicked clear in the straight with only Knight Templar in proximity while Well Connected had a lot of ground to cover on the front-runner who appeared to be sailing to victory. However, David and Well Connected were not inclined to give up. The persevering effort of the jockey got the desired response from Well Connected who found her bearings in the final furlong and came home with a brilliant turn of foot and got the nod in the closing stride of the race. Knight Templar stayed on to take the third position ahead of late rallying Southern Ruler who is yet to win a race. The crowd went berserk with chants of David who undoubtedly has become the darling of the crowd for the consistency with which he has been winning races on this track.

Trainer Padmanabhan said that he was thrilled with the performance of Well Connected who has recorded three straight wins. ``I think the filly needs a break now. The Indian 1000 Guineas would be her obvious target. I am also impressed with my other ward Knight Templar who finished third and he has immense scope for improvement in the coming months.``

David Allan said that the filly had a lot of ground to cover in the stretch and she was game for it. Zavaray Poonawalla who bred the filly and owns a share in the horse said that the victory could be attributed to the incredible riding by jockey David Allan.

Prasanna Kumar trained Knotty Ash had the field stranded in the highly competitive BTC Anniversary Cup, a terms race for four-year-olds and over. The progeny of Gusto had recorded two impressive wins over a sprint and carried the rousing form over the extended trip to record a hat-trick of wins. It was difficult to back any horse with conviction though on form Knotty Ash deserved greater support. However, Hyderabad challenger Corfe Castle ended up as the favourite. Jockey Anthony Raj who has struck a fine partnership with Knotty Ash exploited the innermost draw and took the lesser fancied runner on a start to finish mission. On turning for home, Knotty Ash kept expanding the lead and went beyond the reach of the rest by the final furlong. Only Prevalent Force made a late bid but the leeway was too much to cover. Last start winner Automatic finished third ahead of Lady Legend. Corfe Castle, Mauritania, Cavallo Veloce, the fancied runners, failed to work a favourable position early in the race and made no show under soft underfoot conditions as a fair amount of rain in the preceding races ensured that the going was to be tricky

Jockey Sandesh drove out Padmanabhan trained Crack of Dawn to a resolute win over Musterion in the 1400 metres Hyderabad Cup (Div I), a race for horses rated 15 to 35. Electra who was running after a longish gap of 135 days albeit having the benefit of a mock race was backed more strongly than Crack of Dawn who had gone down fighting last time out. King of Shadows and Mr Humble led the field as the market fancies settled behind these horses next to each other. On entering the straight, Suraj could not get an opening on the outside of these horses as Crack of Dawn took this position and Electra had to wait for a while to get a clear run along the rails. In the meanwhile, Crack of Dawn surged ahead but looked beat when Musterion came up with a spirited bid. However, Sandesh`s aggressive effort ensured that Crack of Dawn held the lead and stretched it one length at the finish. Electra was third ahead of late-rallying Duxton.

Sulaiman Attaollahi trained Constanza had run against some good quality horses and as such, he looked too good for a modest field that lined up for the 1200 metres Indian Pattern Committee, a race for horses rated 15 to 35. Constanza was quoted at cramped odds and the same was justified as Trevor had the favourite lead all the way. Constanza won with a great deal of ease from Kimera and Habanero.

Irfan Ghatala trained Lycurgus was splendidly ridden by jockey, Pradeep Chouhan to beat favourite Velocidad in the 2000 metres Kolkata Cup, a race for horses rated 30 to 50. Velocidad hadn`t won for 372 days but since his last win had come over the trip, he was expected to improve on his eye-catching effort of the last run over a shorter trip. On the other hand, Lycurgus who also hadn`t seen the post for 406 days appeared to have been well prepared to have a big show in this race considering the fact that the jockey was pulled up for not using the whip for more than two times even when the horse responded to the whip on the last occasion when the run was suggestive. As if on cue, Chouhan made free use of the whip to get Lycurgus to warm up but desisted from using the whip in the latter part of the race when the second favourite got down to fight the favourite. After an absorbing duel, Lycurgus managed to put his head in front in the shadow of the post and won by a shade over a length. Nitromax who aggressively took over the running approaching the final bend weakened to finish third.

Sakura has always proved to be an exciting proposition when she is in a mood to gallop. Often her efforts have been too late to be productive. However, in the 1400 metres Mumbai Cup, in the presence of her Mumbai owners who rarely make their presence on the Bangalore track, she put her best foot forward as she came from way off the pace in the hands of jockey Srinath to floor a host of horses which were battling it out in front. Sakura swept past the field on the wide outside in her patented fashion to win in great style from Air Command, Carona Del Corsa and Ice Floe who finished in a line. The defeat of overwhelming favourite Multifaceted once against highlighted the fact that penalties in Bangalore for impressive wins have acted as spoilers when they race next time out. Rarely have the horses defied big penalties. For Srinath who was back in action after a shoulder operation kept him out of action all these days, it was a welcome win.

Jockey Zervan stole a march on Speaking of Stars at the top of the straight and this held him in good stead as he held off the challenge of debutant North Winds who went miles wide in the stretch and raced on the edge of the grass track in the 1600 metres Mystical Million, a race for maiden three-year-olds. With there being no pace in the race, Zervan took Speaking of Stars to the front within the first furlong and this paid ample dividends. Mighty Red was third ahead of the market fancies Hokkaido and Nicollini. There was a great deal of hype of Nicollini despite the filly racing for the first time and the daughter of Jacqueline by Epsom Derby-winning Australia failed to make an impression. For breeder Ameeta Mehra who is expecting a great deal from her first season stallion Speakingofwhich, this was an encouraging win recorded by the progeny of the new stallion.


Constanza (Trevor Patel up) winner of the Indian Pattern Committee Cup

Crack Of Dawn (A Sandesh up) winner of the Hyderabad Cup (Div-I)

Lycurgus (P S Chouhan up) winner of the Kolkata Cup

Sakura (Y S Srinath up) winner of the Mumbai Cup

Speaking Of Stars (S Zervan up) winner of the Mystical Million

Knotty Ash (Antony Raj S up) winner of the B. T. C. Anniversary Cup (Gr.2)

Well Connected (David Allan up) winner of the Kingfisher Ultra Derby Bangalore (Gr.1)

Saint Petersburg (Trevor Patel up) winner of the Admiral Henry John Rous Trophy

Find (Antony Raj S up) winner of the Hyderabad Cup (Div-II)

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