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Moon Dancer records a gutsy win

By: Tippu Sultan   September 8 , 2019

Satyanarayana trained Moon Dancer clung on tenaciously to thwart the late bid of Isabella to win the 1200 metres Soli And Gool Poonawalla Memorial Gold Cup, a race for horses rated 75 and above, the feature event of Saturday`s Hyderabad races. Apprentice jockey Afroz Khan excelled booting home a profitable treble.

Isabella who had won well over six furlongs last time out and Moon Dancer who had won over an extended trip after a longish break were the two strong market fancies. The speedy Prospero led the field with Moon Dancer in a handy second position while Suraj Narredu was unable to get a favourable position on Isabella early in the race which was to prove the downfall of the favourite. Deep in the stretch, Moon Dancer tackled the front-runner and surged ahead even as Suraj was working his way on Isabella. Moon Dancer had a few lengths lead going into the final furlong and this held the fancied runner in good stead as Isabella finished with a rush only to miss the berth by a neck. Apprentice jockey Rohit Kumar rode the winner. Prospero stayed on to finish third.

Suraj once again found himself on the losing horse in the 1200 metres Army Cup, a race for horses rated 40 to 65. Favourite Marinetti once again let down with a timid performance. Versailles who was handily placed by apprentice jockey Afroz Khan took over the running approaching the final furlong and at one point looked vulnerable to the challenge of Aon Aon Aon but the front-runner produced that bit extra to pull away. Aon Aon Aon was second ahead of Pontius Plate who led early before weakening to finish third.

Anant Vatsalya trained Lockhart made an excellent rally in the stretch to nail the long-time leader King Maker on the post in the 1600 metres Delage Plate, a race for horses rated 40 to 65. Apprentice jockey Surya Prakash had King Maker lead by several lengths in front and the lesser fancied runner had a useful lead going into the final furlong. Lockhart who began to make a good rally from behind closed with a rush in the hands of apprentice jockey Afroz Khan and managed to snatch the verdict. Durango rallied late to be a suggestive third. Afroz Khan who is enjoying a good run completed riding 20 winners with this win.

A similar finish ensued in the 1800 metres Star Haven Plate, a race for horses 20 to 46 with apprentice jockey Surya Prakash finding himself beaten in like manner. Actually was again taken to the front by apprentice Surya Prakash and the front-runner looked vulnerable inside the final 300 metres when the hard-ridden Nazariya drew level and put his neck in front. However, Actually fought back and both these horses went stride for stride with Akshay Kumar managing to get Nazariya to pull off a win by a whisker in the closing stride of the race. Buttonwood who was backed with conviction to oblige had too much ground to cover in the stretch and could only rally to finish third.

After two desperately closely finishes, apprentice jockey Surya Prakash managed to drive out fancied Amazing Script to a facile win in the Half A Crown Plate (Div I), a race for horses rated 20 to 45. Amazing Script chased favourite Darshish well into the straight before overhauling the front-runner inside the final 300 metres. Amazing Script then stretched away for a facile win over Crimson Fire who made some rally in the straight. Brush The Sky was third while Darshish finished a tame fourth.

Leo D`Silva trained Linewiler finally found the winning post after coming frustratingly close on a couple of occasions and pulled off a thrilling win over Safra in the 1200 metres Sweeping Success Plate a race for maiden three-year-olds. Fancied Mehrzad led aggressively and had the charge deep into the stretch before Safra surged ahead. Linewiler was ridden hard by jockey Akshay Kumar to bridge the gap and the favourite covered the leeway briskly and managed to nail Safra at the post. Star Racer was third followed by Green Turf while Mehrzad weakened to finish off the frame.

Apprentice Afroz Khan signed off the day booting home his third winner of the day through Stormy who held off the strong challenge of Halo`s Princess to win the 1600 metres Red Rufus Plate, a race for horses in the lowest category. Afroz managed to push Stormy through a gap inside the final furlong to get the lead but looked vulnerable when Halo`s Princess came home with a strong effort. However, Afroz was able to extract something extra from the lesser fancied runner who managed to pull through to win by a shade less than a length. Favourite Turf Emperor was never in the hunt and could only finish a tame third.


Lockhart (Afroz Khan up) winner of the Delage Plate

Nazariya (Akshay Kumar up) winner of the Star Haven Plate

Amazing Script (Surya Prakash up) winner of the Half A Crown Plate (Div-I)

Linewiler (Akshay Kumar up) winner of the Sweeping Success Plate

Versallies (Afroz Khan up) winner of the Army Cup

Moondancer (Rohit Kumar up) winner of the Soli And Gool Poonawalla Memorial Gold Cup

Stormy (Afroz Khan up) winner of the Red Rufus Plate

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