The eminently forgettable Bangalore Winter Season came to an end with an extra day`s racing on Saturday. Racing continued to be largely unpredictable with, in and out running of horses being the norm. The Stipes failed to respond to the situation and the Stewards were busy with their own politics and the casualty was fair racing.
One thing that the BTC Management achieved was fleecing the common man and the stakeholders by demanding unreasonable amounts while not having the courage to ask its own members to even contribute a paltry sum of Rs 10!!! Stake money was cut significantly besides the owners asked to pay Rs 10,000 as a one-time charge for bringing a two-year-old into the premises and then to deposit Rs 20,000 as BTF money in advance. Racehorse owners and racegoers are a necessary nuisance for BTC. Racegoers had to pay money ranging from Rs 250 to Rs 500 to get entry into the race without the guarantee of a seat to sit. At the outside betting centres, the BTC charged Rs 50 to let punters into a dungeon, infested with people who smoked without a care in the world exposing the others to grave danger of catching up various diseases. This defined the lack of responsibility on the part of the BTC Managing Committee.
Be that as it may, the 1200 metres Brigadier Gerard Plate, a race for horses rated 60 and above, was won by lesser fancied Cuban Pete from the stables of trainer Sulaiman Attaollahi. For the record, the trainer had the most dubious distinction of his horses not running to their known form and violent fluctuations in form had the punters floored. Cuban Pete who had finished about 10 lengths behind the winner on the last occasion showed improvement when getting the better of favourite Galvarino close to home. Jockey Zervan kept Cuban Pete off the pace and the progeny of Kingda Ka came up with a sustained run in the stretch to snatch the lead in the final furlong and won with a measure of comfort from Galvarino who was bidding for a hat-trick. On the last two occasions when Galvarino won, it was under the charge of the trainer Prasanna Kumar but this time out, it raced under Azhar Ali. Set To Win rallied late to take the third position of Silver Dew.
Neil Devaney trained Green Channel who struck purple patch this season, extended her unbeaten run to four. Staring in the lowest category, Green Channel has not looked back after her gate manners improved, with champion apprentice jockey J H Arul striking a fruitful partnership having been associated with three successive wins of the mare. Neil Darashah trained Mountain Lion who had run third to Black Pearl in the Guineas at Kolkata was the favourite but the market fancy, after leading the field into the final furlong, had nothing to offer when Green Channel essayed a strong challenge. Arul was able to goad Green Channel to produce a good effort and the progeny of Green Coast skipped ahead to record her fourth win. Speedster ran on strongly to neck out Mountain Lion for the runner-up berth.
Irfan Ghatala trained Watchmystars who had let down more times than the number of times she had obliged, bounced back to winning ways in the 1200 metres Star Contender Plate, a race for horses rated 30 to 50. Trevor Patel who has been a nightmare for the punters by the poor quality of rides that he had dished out this season, brought Watchmystars with a late bid and the favourite managed to overwhelm the front-running Stone House with a measure of comfort. Casey was third.
Irfan Ghatala had a double for the day as earlier in the day, Imperial Blue had made an impressive debut in the 1200 metres Salute Her Plate, a race for maiden three-year-olds. Imperial Blue assumed command in the final furlong and the progeny of Be Safe skipped clear to win by a widening margin of three lengths over Muirfield. Southern Dynasty pinched the third place from Sir Phoenix.
Neil Devaney trained Definitive floored the chasers of the favourite with a powerful run in the final furlong to neck out favourite Star And Garter in the closing strides of the race to win the 1200 metres Set Alight Plate (Div I), a race for horses rated 15 to 35. Star And Garter who was once hailed as a possible classic contender, had never lived up to expectations but considering the poor quality of the opposition that she was facing, the Arjun Mangalorkar trained five-year-old mare was expected to have a bold show. Star And Garter went to the post as a heavily supported horse. Star And Garter got the lead with a ground-saving run along the rails in the final furlong but was floored by the late charge of long shot Definitive. Habanero too charged home late to finish a close third. Neil Darashah trained Cameleons Image was the medium of a big touch in the lower division of the race. The five-year-old mare was produced in the final furlong by apprentice jockey Chethan Gowda with a powerful effort which saw the favourite bounce clear to win by a margin of three lengths over late-rallying last start surpriser Commandpost. Ozark was third.
Dominic trained Four Wheel Drive had it easy in the 1400 metres Divine Light Plate, a race for horses rated 15 to 35. Jockey Akshay Kumar drove out the favourite to victory by bringing the fancied runner with a well-timed run in the final furlong. Chisox who was leading the fray could not withstand the challenge essayed by the eventual winner. Blazing Gold was third. The heavily supported Golden Memory was not well-positioned and finished a tame fourth.
The well-backed Nostradamus from the stables of trainer Dheeraj produced a powerful effort down the final furlong to clinch the 1200 metres World Sparrow Day Plate (Div I), a race for horses in the lowest category, the concluding race of the winter season. Gazebo Talk ran on to take the second position ahead of Legend Is Back. Sharat Kumar trained Altair came out of the maidens ranks in the 13th effort, getting the better of the quietly fancied Jai Vikram in the final 50 metres to clinch the lower division of the race. Arshad Asbar swiftly moved on Jai Vikram approaching the final bend and took charge at the top of the straight. Jai Vikram slackened close to home which enabled Altair to measure the front-runner in the closing stages of the race. Fierce Fighter was third.
Imperial Blue (Akshay Kumar up) winner of the Salute Her Plate
Altair (K Sai Kiran up) winner of the World Sparrow Day Plate (Div-II)
Four Wheel Drive (Akshay Kumar up) winner of the Divine Light Plate
Cameleons Image (Chethan Gowda up) winner of the Set Alight Plate (Div-II)
Watchmystars (Trevor Patel up) winner of the Star Contender Plate
Green Channel (Arul J H up) winner of the Serjeant At Arms Plate
Cuban Pete (S Zervan up) winner of the Brigadier Gerard Plate
Definitive (K Sai Kiran up) winner of the Set Alight Plate (Div-I)
Nostradamus (H M Akshay up) winner of the World Sparrow Day Plate (Div-I)