Vittal Deshmukh trained Lombardy had it easy in the 1600 metres Gr 2 Golconda 1000 Guineas, the first classic of the season held at Malakpet on Monday. Lombardy had finished behind Forest Flame and Golden Oaks in the Gr 1 Poonawalla Breeders` Multi-Million and that form had a bearing on the running of the classics at other centres and as such, Lombardy was not expected to find it hard to assert her supremacy over the local rivals. Perhaps for the first time in recent times, there was no outstation participant.
The classics were mired in controversy after the club withdrew the added money for the classics citing Pandemic and then took the unprecedented step of cancelling these races when a legal notice was sent about the breach of terms. The Hyderabad Race Club has adequate reserves and building a huge clubhouse at considerable expense and as such, it came as a surprise to everyone that the club was cribbing about giving the promised stake money. In the event, the races were reframed with added money of Rs 5 lakhs thus lowering the stature of these classics where the winner almost got almost the same amount as that of a maidens` race.
Lombardy took on some inexperienced rivals in the Guineas. Jockey Trevor Patel could get the liberty of relaxing Lombardy right at the rear of the field as stablemate Guest Connections did a friendly job of setting the pace. Downtown Gal who chased the front-runner surged ahead midway through the stretch but could not sustain the effort when Trevor brought Lombardy with a well-timed run. Lombardy shot ahead inside the final furlong and had something on hand when winning by two lengths over late finishing Mirana who edged out Downton Gal to get the second position. The rest of the runners in the fray did not matter.
Leo D`Silva trained Blazer had advertised his readiness to strike with a good forward run on the last occasion and that expectation materialized in the 1200 Malvado Plate (Div I), a race for horses rated 40 to 65. Blazer assumed command inside the final furlong and provided an easy win for jockey Akshay Kumar. The fancied NRI Elegance fell back to the rear after jumping out well and as such, the late rally by the six-year-old mare was bound to go in vain. Lockhart ran on late to save place money. Akshay Kumar drove out Donald Netto trained Celeritas to victory in the lower division of the race. After Sitara led from the start and led deep into the stretch, Celeritas took charge and surged clear. Favourite Her Legacy and Mr Shanghai had a considerable leeway to cover on Celeritas which proved to be a herculean one. Mr Shanghai, with a late dash, managed to edge out Her Legacy for the runner-up berth.
Suraj Narredu had to drive out aggressively favourite Catalina from the stables of trainer Srinivas Reddy to win the 1100 metres Bakranangal Plate, a race for maiden three-year-olds. Bruno showed a lot of speed from the gates to dart into the lead and refused to give up despite a strong challenge from the favourite. However, closer to home, Bruno slackened and Catalina managed to gain the upper hand. Bruno held off Total Darc to save the second position.
Sreekant trained NRI Magic readily justified the strong expectations with a start to finish win in the 1200 metres Royal Plate (Div I), a race for horses rated 20 to 45. NRI Magic had the speed and stamina for such an effort with Mind Reader and Blazing Speed occupying the next slots on the frame. Trainer Sreekant also led in the winner of the lower division of the race. Blazing Jupiter who was strongly backed to win, assumed command inside the final furlong and sped away for an easy over the late rallying stablemate Star Racer and Solo Winner.
Laxman Singh trained Lightning Power won against the run of expectations with an easy win in the 1800 metres Palampet Plate (Div I), a race for horses rated 20 to 45. From a forward position, Lightning Power bounced clear in the final furlong and won easily from the fancied duo of Advance Guard and Fashion Universe. Lesser fancied Sweet Melody from the stables of trainer Satheesh won the lower division of the race despite drifting out of a straight course in the closing stages of the race in the hands of jockey B R Kumar. Eagle Bluff and Dillon disputed for the minor placings.