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Paprika confounds followers of form

By: Tippu Sultan   January 22 , 2018

Vittal Deshmukh trained Paprika whose performance last time out was questionably poor, did the same yet again with a dramatic improvement when swamping the opposition in the 1200 metres RCTC Plate (Div I), a race for horses rated 58 to 78, the feature event of Monday`s Hyderabad races. Such shocking results were the order of the day with form horses taking back seat and horses with no formidable credentials ruling the roost. It is a pity that such erratic form fluctuations are accepted by the unquestioning authority.

Paprika had always been a speedy customer. But last time out, the five-year-old mare did not show speed or any interest in the race and finished down the field. After that such dismal run, it was to visualize a total transformation in the performance capabilities of the horse. City of Wonders enjoyed the status of being the favourite. Paprika was back to her ways, taking control of the race from the start and winning as she pleased from Kalinda and Green Image. The ones who had some form performed poorly. City of Wonders finished last. The racing incident report had stated that the authorities had opened into the running of Paprika in the previous instance and punters are wary of backing such horses because they are not sure whether aberration was forced by circumstances or man-made. The image of racing is not going to improve any bit if such incidents recur especially when these horses belong to top stables which have an additional responsibility of carrying the trust factor. The lower division of the race was won by Leo D`Silva trained Dancing Leaf who simply left the field standing in the final furlong. Dancing Leaf came from way off the pace with such a rattle that in a trice she had drawn clear of the front-running Pentagon and breezed away for an outstanding win. Dancing Leaf was also at higher odds as consistency is not a virtue with locally based trainers or their horses.

Laxman Singh trained Super Dart was backed heavily to make a winning debut in the 1200 metres Northern Dancer Plate (Div I), a race for maiden three-year-olds. Super Dart had the control of the race from the start and skipped clear beyond the reach of the rest in the final furlong to record an impressive win. Wings of Angles and Long Range occupied the next two slots. The lower division of the race saw Vittal Deshmukh trained Alexander The Great let down huge expectations yet again. On the first occasion, the horse had run green and if one expected the run benefit to help, it didn`t. In fact, the horse behaved worse than the previous time. The favourite was sluggish from the start and cut an erratic course and his jockey Neeraj Rawal went wherever his horse took him. Though Alexander The Great covered ground in the final furlong, it was not good enough to ensure a better berth other than the third place. Exclusive Shanghai and Rapid Fire fought out a thrilling battle in front, with the bobbing of heads going in favour of the former.

Faisal Hassan trained Royal Dynamite came home with a big rush in the hands of day`s successful jockey Akshay Kumar to get the better of front-running Palisades Park to win the 1100 metres Starry Scene Plate (Div I), a race for horses rated 42 to 62. Favourite Dream Girl too closed with a powerful effort to snatch the runner-up berth from the long-time leader. The lower division of the race too fell to the same combination, with Platinum leading from the start and encountering no resistance from the rest. Undu Undu Undu Undu managed to edge out Symbol of Gold for the runner-up position.

Satyanarayana trained Apowerx was trusted to win the 1100 metres Falaknuma Plate, a race for horses rated 26 to 46 but the favourite flopped miserably after leading from the start and well into the straight. The race was won by longshot Vallee Bloomer from Exclusive Symbol.

Satyanarayana trained Good Taste who was running after 177 days, very nearly pulled up an upset in the last race of the day, the 1400 metres Common Land Plate, a race for horses rated up to 50. In the battle of two long shots, Prasad Raju trained Charlie Brown staved off the strong bid by Good Taste to land the spoils at fancy odds. Mountain Light necked out Carnival Express for the third slot.


Super Dart (Deep Shanker up) winner of the Northern Dancer Plate (Div-I)

Royal Dynamite (Akshay Kumar up) winner of the Starry Scene Plate (Div-I)

Exclusive Shanghai (Imran Chisty up) winner of the Northern Dancer Plate (Div-II)

Paprika (Akshay Kumar up) winner of the R.C.T.C Plate (Div-I)

Vallee Bloomer (Deep Shanker up) winner of the Falaknuma Plate

Dancing Leaf (Arshad Alam up) winner of the R.C.T.C Plate (Div-II)

Platinum (Akshay Kumar up) winner of the Starry Scene Plate (Div-II)

Charlie Brown (N Rawal up) winner of the Common Land Plate

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