Darius Byramji trained Cosmos pinched the verdict from Royal Crystal in the concluding strides of the 1400 metres Madras Race Club Trophy, a race for horses rated 75 and above, the feature event of the second day`s races of the Bangalore Winter Season held on Saturday. Cosmos who had been a prolific performer was totally ignored in the betting ring because of the sharpness of the trip but the daughter of Multidimensional produced a stunning burst of speed in the final furlong to pull off a surprise win defying the back-breaking weight and the expectations.
There was no doubting the class of Cosmos who had a career record of five wins from eight outings prior to this race. Barring the first win of her career which came over seven furlongs, the rest of the wins had been over extended trips, the last win coming over a mile and half trip over My Opinion at Chennai. Golconda Derby winner Royal Crystal who had a pull in weights and the unreliable Cerise Noir were the market fancies.
The speedy Into The Groove led the field from the start with Cerise Noir, Royal Crystal in proximity while Cosmos was tailed off last. Into The Groove battled on resolutely in the stretch but Royal Crystal managed to surge ahead inside the final 100 metres even as Cerise Noir failed to make an impression. Royal Crystal was being hailed as a winner but Cosmos who covered ground on the wide outside with raking strides put paid to the hopes of the favourite, nailing the public fancy on the post to win as a long shot. Into The Groove stayed on to take the third position with Automatic filling up the frame. Cosmos was too classy for the opposition.
Three good quality three-year-olds were in the fray for the 1600 metres Kokkarebellur Plate, a race for maiden three-year-olds. The three debutants albeit with the benefit of a mock race were in the fray with Padmanabhan trained Lord Frankel being the favourite ahead of the heavily supported Antibes. Christopher Glen though fancied was at long odds. Sporting Memories set a decent clip even as Trevor Patel settled Lord Frankel in about the fifth position travelling four horses wide with Christopher Glen who was closer to the rails for the company while Antibes was a couple of lengths adrift. Christopher Glen measured Sporting Memories in the final 100 metres with Christopher Glen snatching the lead with Lord Frankel looming large. The duo fought a stiff battle for supremacy before Lord Frankel snatched the verdict. The ``temperamental`` Antibes who warmed up to the task late finished with a rush to be only a neck and head behind the winner. The first three placed horses surely have scope for further progress as this was their career`s first run and that too over a mile.
Another impressive debutant of the day was Neil Darashah trained Night Secret who had it easy in the lower division of the Antar Gange Plate, a race for horses rated 15 to 35. The well-bred Night Secret had no takers in the betting ring as a flood of money came pouring on Pradeep Annaiah trained Rule of Engagement with the ante-post favourite Tartufo drifting out in the odds.
Though there is no official betting during the races, the illegal channels are fully operational apart from the betting that takes place in England and other places as the signals have been purchased by a company from abroad. The club is charging a hefty Rs 500 per day but the response has been rather lukewarm with the punters preferring to take the race time feed from William Hill TV for free.
Be that as it may, Night Secret who took charge within the first furlong stayed put there without coming under pressure. Rule of Engagement was handicapped by the wide outside draw and had the services of apprentice Arul. He had a difficult task on hand but he did well to bring the horse into contention but the front-runner was too good. Handsome held on to the second position ahead of Rule Engagement. The upper-division of the Antar Gange Plate went the way of Padmanabhan trained Jack Ryan who swamped the favourite Caracas with a measure of comfort. Jockey Imran Khan who rode the runner up reported that he had lost the whip in the final furlong.
Sulaiman Attaollahi trained Katana had no problem in winning the 1200 metres Aihole Plate, a race for maiden three-year-olds. Cherokee Moon had no answer when Katana swooped on her in the final 300 metres. Katana went on to win easily. Cherokee run held on to the second position ahead of Silverita and Ultimate Choice with a nose each separating these placed horses.
Nisus was the shortest-priced winner of the day marked by lesser fancied runners dominating. Backed to the exclusion of the rest, the Prasanna Kumar trainee Nisus put daylight between himself and the rest to win by a widening margin of four lengths over Electra and Karadeniz. This was the third straight win for the three-year-old colt by Gusto.
Jockey Trevor Patel who had a lucrative day with four winners rounded off the tally on Padmanabhan trained Rorito in the concluding race of the day, the Bangarpet Plate, a race for horses rated 30 to 50. Rorito was driven out aggressively to contain the challenge of Jain Sahab and Grey Channel who charged home with big strides despite the lackadaisical effort on the part of jockey Shelar. The Stipendiary Stewards have reportedly opened an enquiry into the running and riding of Grey Channel who could have been the winner with an enterprising ride by the jockey.
Irfan Ghatala trained Donna Bella who had been consistently figuring on the board obliged in the hands of jockey Suraj Narredu in 1200 metres Bidar Plate, a race for horses rated 30 to 50. General Patton led from the start but in the final furlong was sorted out by Donna Bella who went ahead to with a measure of comfort. Anne Boleyn was held up at a crucial stage of the race and could only finish third.
Night Secret (A Imran Khan up) winner of the Antar Gange Plate (Div-II)
Katana (Trevor Patel up) winner of the Aihole Plate
Jack Ryan (Neeraj Rawal up) winner of the Antar Gange Plate (Div-I)
Lord Frankel (Trevor Patel up) winner of the Kokkarebellur Plate
Nisus (Trevor Patel up) winner of the Air Force Trophy
Cosmos (Irvan Singh up) winner of the Madras Race Club Trophy
Donna Bella (Suraj Narredu up) winner of the Bidar Plate
Rorito (Trevor Patel up) winner of the Bangarpet Plate