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Desert God scales a new high with Leger win

By: Tippu Sultan   October 21 , 2019

Padmanabhan trained Desert God proved that he is invincible over long-distance races by giving a drubbing to his rivals in the Gr 2 2800 metres Golconda St Leger, the last classic of the season at Malakpet on Monday. Jockey Akshay Kumar settled the jockeys` championship stakes in his favour by booting home a treble, taking his lead over Suraj Narredu to seven.

Desert God was not allowed to run freely in front and possibly the thinking of some of the trainers was that if they could disturb the rhythm of the champion horse, he could be put in a spot of bother. Three horses tried to act more like spoilers by hitting the front and forcing Sandesh to keep Desert Gold behind but in the end, they ended up in distress. First Mark My Word led before Egyptian Prince took over with Point To Prove also trying to unsettle Desert God. The relay pacesetting had no effect on Desert God as Sandesh was not perturbed by the activity in front as he waited with the champion before taking charge approaching the final bend. Thereafter it ceased to be a race with Desert God coming home in solitary splendour by a widening margin of nine lengths without being asked to extend himself. Reunion who was ridden off the pace took the second spot ahead of Nimble Mind. Mark My Word and the long-time leader Egyptian Prince finished down the field.

Desert God who is already the highest stakes earner in the history of Indian racing with over Rs 8 crores in earnings, achieved another feat by this win. He equalled the record of Elusive Pimpernel who had 16 black-type races to his credit. The most durable horse in Indian racing Desert God who has logged 100s of miles on the racetrack has lost none of his zest and seems to be enjoying his outing on the racetrack.

Hilton Sequeira trained One One One was backed to the exclusion of the rest in the 1200 metres Faridoon S Chenoy Memorial Plate, a race for horses rated 40 to 65. The favourite readily obliged the huge expectation of the punters by overhauling the pacesetting Max at the top of the straight and then winning by a widening margin of four lengths over second favourite Shaquille. Max stayed on to finish third.

In a tight finish, long shot Yanga from the stables of trainer Ravinder Singh prevailed in the 1600 metres Dundoo Ekambar Memorial Trophy, a terms race for four-year-olds and over. Be Sure and Wave Rider were the market fancies but the latter lost steam in the stretch and was out of contention long before the race came to the boil. Be Sure went ahead in earnest in the straight and led deep into the straight before being overwhelmed in the closing strides of the race. Air Strike and Yanga pounced on the front runner with the latter managing to get the nod at the post. Be Sure was a head behind the runner-up.

Satheesh trained Classy Guy had come down in the scales and looked ready to strike in the 1100 metres Classic Style Plate (Div I). There was support for Augenstern and Dimension to cause a flutter. Apprentice jockey Jitendra Singh took Classy Guy on a start to finish mission and the favourite just about held off the flourish of Augenstern despite going wide in the final stages of the race. Farmville was third while Dimension gave a poor account of himself. Srinivas Reddy trained Mehrzad attempted runaway tactics in the lower division of the race and had a useful lead going into the final furlong but faltered thereafter to be easily cornered by favourite Esteva. Star Racer came from a long way back to occupy the second position.

Akshay Kumar drove out the fancied Charlie Brown to victory in the 2000 metres Mystical Plate, a race for horses rated 20 to 45. Charlie Brown assumed command in the final furlong and stormed ahead. Ajmal Birju showed late flourish and came up with a big effort but it was not good enough to overhaul the front-runner who held on to win by a shade less than a length. Favourite Brave Warrior could barely manage to keep the third position by necking out Symbol of Star`s.


Yanga (B R Kumar up) winner of the Dundoo Ekambar Memorial Trophy

One One One (Akshay Kumar up) winner of the Faridoon S Chenoy Memorial Plate

Esteva (Akshay Kumar up) winner of the Classic Style Plate (Div-II)

Desert God (A Sandesh up) winner of the Golconda St.Leger (Gr.2)

Charlie Brown (Akshay Kumar up) winner of the Mystical Plate

Classy Guy (Jitendra Singh up) winner of the Classic Style Plate (Div-I)

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