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Adjudicate creates history of sorts with amazing win

  March 1 , 2020

James McKeown trained Adjudicate became the first horse in the history of Indian racing to win back-to-back Gr 1 Indian Turf Invitation Cup with a superlative performance at Mysore on Sunday. Veteran jockey Y S Srinath who is blessed with the perfect big match temperament rode a superb race; making all the right moves to get Adjudicate a trouble-free passage and the champion filly did the rest.

James had the best day of his brief training career as in the earlier race Trafalgar in the capable hands of jockey David Allan had lifted the coveted Gr 1 Maj P K Mehra Super Mile Cup, the other highlight of the day. Not since Burning Desire and Supreme Choice achieved the rare double of the Super Mile and the Invitation Cup in 1996 at Chennai has the Kolkata based horses have had such a big day.

Though there were some niggling doubts about Star Superior being as effective over the extended trip of a mile and half, he had maintained an unbeaten status after the loss in the Invitation Cup last year to Adjudicate. He had twice beaten Adjudicate at Kolkata to further enhance his reputation as a star performer. During the summer season, Suraj Narredu had said that Star Superior would not be racing over the mile and half trip and would be confined to shorter trips as he feared that the colt would find the extra furlong his undoing. However, the connections felt that the present condition of Star Superior and his continued superiority over Adjudicate who was perceived as the only danger in the absence of War Hammer strongly influenced the decision to stay with the Invitation Cup.

Though Star Superior may have won the Indian Derby, questions were once again raised whether Star Superior was a strong mile and a half horse as he has failed in his subsequent attempts over the same trip for the second time in a row. However, this would remain a subject for discussion as Star Superior was not defeated by the distance but by the fact that he hit the front too soon and the fast clip sapped the horse by the time the race came to the boil. He was the first horse to be beaten at the top of the straight. With the expected front-runners changing their strategy, the strongly striding Star Superior did not get the cover he needed. To make matters for the champion, Star Superior reportedly came back dead lame. The timing clocked by Adjudicate was two minutes 26.798 seconds and this is also the best for this distance anywhere in India and this puts everything in perspective.

Hyderabad challenger Consigliori initially hit the front and stayed there for the first furlong but it was clear that Pradeep Chouhan wanted to ride him in check as he was restraining his horse from freely in front. Star Superior who was in the third position was racing aggressively and Suraj Narredu had to let him hit the front. Star Superior led from the nine furlong marker followed by My Opinion, Consigliori, Speedster, Desert God, Anjeze, Wizard of Stocks, Paso Robles, Juliette, Trouville, Adjudicate, Square The Circle and Northern Alliance.

Passing the 1400 metres marker, Star Superior was joined by Desert God which meant that the former had to travel at a good pace to keep the lead. Star Superior looked beat inside the final 300 metres and Desert God shot ahead and raised visions of pulling it off. Srinath on Adjudicate who was bidding for his time came through the gaps that materialized on the inside as the horses swung out at the final bend. Adjudicate picked up tremendous acceleration having been helped by the pace of the race and by the final furlong had stormed clear. Adjudicate had sewn up the race long way from home. Juliette who came from way off the pace travelled the fastest of the lot among those coming from behind and managed to edge past the gusty veteran Desert Gold closer to home to get the runner-up berth. Anjeze ran on to take the fourth position. Paso Robles was fifth with Salazaar occupied the sixth position.

James McKeown could not have asked more from Adjudicate who has brought him fame and firmly established his position as a top trainer in the country. The erstwhile longtime assistant to Padmanabhan has climbed the ladder by the Gr 1 double he had on the day. ``I was pretty optimistic about Adjudicate providing me with the second Indian Invitation Cup in succession as the filly had worked to my satisfaction and looked very well in the paddock. Srinath is too experienced to give any instruction about how to ride the horse and the champion jockey gave a flawless ride to help me achieve a unique feat.`` Srinath said that the last workout that he gave to Adjudicate gave him a good feeling as she seemed to have improved since her last run at Kolkata. This was the fourth success in the Invitation Cup for jockey Srinath.

Though Adjudicate was by Multidimensional, she was bred at the Sohna Stud From. Ameeta Mehra of the Usha Stud Farm said: ``The Usha Stud had a pretty good weekend at the Invitation Cup weekend. It is clear that when it comes to classics, you need a Multidimensional.``

James McKeown trained Trafalgar was switched back to the mile-long distance after having won the Kolkata Derby over the mile and a half trip. Trafalgar had performed poorly in the Indian Derby having been a victim of the skirmish which saw him knocked back to the rear position early in the race from where he could not recover and give a good account of himself. Now with the Invitation Cup boasting of a solid line up, the trainer and the connections perhaps wisely decided to race him to his strengths and target the Super Mile and their decision was spot on. If one were to look back on the performances of Trafalgar, he had finished three lengths off War Hammer during the summer season over seven furlongs despite an interfered passage. In a strongly run race, Glorious Destiny led the field followed by Gift of Grace, Trafalgar with others spaced out behind. Favourite Prevalent Force and Vijay Singham were at the rear of the field. The inner track which seemed to have been inconsistently watered appeared to weigh on the jockeys who all raced four horses wide. Since those in front took the turn wide, it gave an opportunity for David Allan to slip Trafalgar on the inside. The progeny of Western Aristocrat fought out with Indian 1000 Guineas winner Gift of Grace and proved stronger in the end. Prevalent Force covered a lot of ground in stretch to finish third.

Darius Byramji trained Multifaceted who had flopped in the Gr 1 Sprinters Cup on Saturday made amends with an easy win in the Gr 3 Suresh Mahindra Multi-Million. Suraj Narredu had Multifaceted settled in the third position as My Queen went at a good clip in front followed by Tutankhamun, Snowdon and the rest. Multifaceted smoothly cruised past the front-running duo on turning for home and bounced clear to win with a measure of comfort over Tutankhamun who ran on strongly. Snowdon edged out Shesmyscript to save place money. Multifaceted clocked a record time of one minute 21.05 seconds.

The Mysore Race Club did an excellent job of organizing the two-day event though they were hosting the event for the first time. However, the only negative needs to be highlighted was the fact that whoever was entrusted to handle the track did not do a good job as the watering was inconsistent which resulted in horses racing close to rails packing up and this worked on the minds of jockeys who avoided the rails and it had a bearing on the results as the fields were unwieldy on a tight track. The watering was inconsistent. One hopes that the Mysore Race Club would not make the mistake of their counterparts in allowing amateurs to meddle with the track.


The Great Gatsby (David Egan up) winner of the HIS Highness Maharaja Sri Jayachamaraja Wadiyar Birth Centenary

Starry Wind (Imran Chisty up) winner of the Smt.Gayatri Devi And Sardar K.B.Ramachandraraj Urs Million

Aachen (C S Jodha up) winner of the Villoo C.Poonawalla Million

Multifaceted (Suraj Narredu up) winner of the Suresh Mahindra Multi-Million Trophy (Gr.2)

Trafalgar (David Allan up) winner of the Maj.P.K.Mehra Memorial Super Mile Cup (Gr.I)

Adjudicate (Y S Srinath up) winner of the Indian Turf Invitation Cup (Gr.I)

Vachan (Trevor Patel up) winner of the Kunigal Stud Million

Striking Memory (Darshan R N up) winner of the Malayan Racing Association Goodwill Trophy

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Total Comments : 1
Posted by Prashanth Ramachandramurthy on ( March 1 , 2020 )
"One hopes that the Mysore Race Club would not make the mistake of their counterparts in allowing amateurs to meddle with the track." - This is best I like...
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