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Akashima swamps opposition in Godolphin Million

By: Tippu Sultan   February 17 , 2020

Vittal Deshmukh trained Akashima looked outstanding in the field contesting for the 1400 metres Godolphin Barb Million, a terms race for three-year-olds, the feature event of Monday`s long card of 11 events especially after the filly had run Smashing Blue close in her last run. Despite a little clumsy ride by jockey Ajeeth Kumar, Akashima swamped the opposition with great deal of ease.

Amyra went on a start to finish mission with Akashima settled in about the sixth position. In his anxiety to move up swiftly on turning for home, Ajeeth Kumar forced his way on the inside of Coastal Cruise even making contact. Akashima was so good for the field that in a trice, she covered the leeway and had the race sewn up a long way from home. Artemis Arrow snatched the runner-up from the long-time leader Amyra.

Laxman Singh trained Rikki Tikki Tavi who had lost his way and hadn`t won for 728 days found his winning rhythm when he staved off the challenge of Exclusive Blue in the hands of jockey David Egan to win the 1600 metres Dr M A M Ramaswamy Memorial Cup, a terms race for four-year-olds and over. Egan settled Rikki Tikki Tavi in about the fifth position as King Maker led well into the straight. Egan managed to work his way through the middle and brought Rikki Tikki Tavi into strong contention inside the final furlong. He drove out the favourite aggressively to contain the challenge of Exclusive Blue and late-rallying Nayadeep.

Leo D`Silva trained Elmira had it easy against the opposition especially after the fancied runner Moringa reared up at the start and lost considerable ground in the 1100 metres Pleasure Hunt Plate (Div I), a race for maiden three-year-olds. Elmira shot off like a scalded cat and ran freely in front, enjoying a break of more than five lengths over the rest and won by a margin of over three lengths without coming under pressure. Jockey Ajit Singh was astride the winner. Spicy Star ran on to edge out Fleur to get the runner-up berth. Moringa who recovered from the bad start did well to finish fourth, a neck behind Fleur. Donald Netto trained Appenzelle justified the favouritism in the lower division of the race, storming clear inside the final two furlongs to win from Lamha who struggled hard to pick up speed but failed to do so and had to settle for the second place ahead of O`Sheehan by a neck.

K Satheesh trained Ice Warrior who had been a listless performer for the last 392 days produced a winning performance over the extended trip of 1600 metres in the Seven Hills Plate (Div II), a race for horses rated 20 to 45. After Mind Reader ran freely in front and weakened going into the final furlong, Ice Warrior, favourite Barbosella and Sun Dancer joined issue. The first named pulled away, in the end, to record a comfortable win over Barbosella with Sun Dancer weakening to finish third. The upper division of the race was also claimed by another Satheesh trainee Solo Winner in the hands of apprentice jockey Jitendra Singh. Red Snapper attempted runaway tactics and led by more than five lengths with Bedazzled in the second position and favourite Solo Winner another five lengths adrift in the third place. Red Snapper managed to keep the lead deep into the stretch but tired out closer to home which enabled Solo Winner to overhaul the front-runner in the closing strides of the race with a strong effort down the final furlong. Tiger of the Sea ran on to take the third position.

Secret Command had always run more than 10 lengths behind the winner on eight occasions but his last run was a significant improvement because he had come 1.3 lengths of the winner and that perhaps was a good enough reason for the connections to back him to the exclusion of the rest in the 1100 metres King`s Crown Plate (Div II), a race for horses rated 20 to 46. Star Racer was the other horse in demand. Jockey Pradeep Chauhan, who was astride the favourite, had Star Command in front and he came under intense pressure to keep the lead in the final furlong first by Air Salute and later by Star Racer who finished with a rush. However, Secret Command held on to win by the proverbial whisker while Sputnic took the third position. Air Salute weakened to finish off the frame. Star Racer is yet to break the maiden`s rank in 20 outings.

Faiyaz Ali Khan trained Makram brought off an upset in the 1100 metres MCEME Rolling Trophy (Div II), a race for horses rated 40 to 65. In what appeared an open betting affair, long shot Makram floored the opposition with a powerful run down the final furlong in the hands of apprentice jockey Afroz Khan. Incredulous was held up at a critical stage of the race and jockey Mukesh Kumar had to switch him to the rails but the fancied runner could only finish a close third, with Ashka Ashka Askha who rallied late on the wide outside snatching the runner-up berth. Arc of History who led until overhauled by the opposition closer to home weakened to finish a close fourth. Vittal Deshmukh trained Yours Forever who had performed in the past brilliantly over the scurry won the upper division of the race quite capably. Favourite Sitara shot into the lead inside the final furlong but she didn`t look a winner because she was not quickening away from those closing. Yours Forever produced a big run from the mid-group and easily overhauled the favourite inside the final 100 metres and then held off the late-rallying Rapid Fire.


Elmira (Ajit Singh up) winner of the Pleasure Hunt Plate (Div-I)

Ice Warrior (Nakhat Singh up) winner of the Seven Hills Plate (Div-II)

Appenzelle (Kiran Naidu up) winner of the Pleasure Hunt Plate (Div-II)

Secret Command (P S Chouhan up) winner of the King`S Crown Plate (Div-II)

Makram (Afroz Khan up) winner of the M.C.E.M.E. Rolling Trophy (Div-II)

Akashima (P Ajeeth Kumar up) winner of the Godolphin Barb Million

Solo Winner (Jitendra Singh up) winner of the Seven Hills Plate (Div-I)

Yours Forever (Surya Prakash up) winner of the M.C.E.M.E. Rolling Trophy (Div-I)

Rikki Tikki Tavi (David Egan up) winner of the Dr. M. A. M. Ramaswamy Memorial Cup

Gusty Note (A A Vikrant up) winner of the King`S Crown Plate (Div-I)

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