Donald Netto trained Born To Be was spot on for the 1100 metres Dodla Pratap Chander Reddy Memorial Million, the first race for two-year-olds, the opening day`s feature event of the Hyderabad Winter Season which got off to a delayed start on Thursday. The Pandemic had wiped out the monsoon season and the winter season started three weeks late much to the delight of the racing enthusiasts though most of them may have to wait for a long while before they get to watch the action live at the racecourse.
With this being the first race for the two-year-olds anywhere in the country, it was difficult to pick any horse with conviction. Ashwa Jauhar was the favourite based on the preparatory workouts. Jockey Suraj Narredu took Ashwa Jauhar on a start to finish mission but the progeny of Smuggler`s Cove ran out of gas approaching the final 100 metres. The progeny of Gusto, Born To Be who was lying in wait easily sailed past the front-runner for a comfortable win. Akido ran on late to edge past Ashwa Jauhar who barely managed to keep the third position from Galwan.
The Srinivas Reddy trained Ashwa Bravo could well be one of the best three-year-olds of this centre. The exploits of the Ashwa Bravo were so impressive during the last season that the breeders, the Poonawalla Stud Farm, have taken a share from the original owner Ravinder Pal Singh Chauhan. Suraj Narredu had an armchair ride to victory on the shortest-priced horse of the day in the 1400 metres Grand Entry Plate (Div I), a race for horses rated 40 to 65. Ashwa Bravo was settled in about the third position as Mind Reader set the pace. Ashwa Bravo had no problem in overhauling the front-runner with the jockey hardly having to stretch a muscle. Ashwa Bravo burst clear in the final furlong to win by a distance without having to be urged to do so. British Empress ran on late to neck out pace-setter Mind Reader to get the runner-up berth. The lower division of the race too went the way of favourite Lombardy from the stables of trainer Vittal Deshmukh. Lombardy didn`t put a foot wrong as she moved with raking strides in the home stretch to collar the front-running Galloping Gangster in the final furlong for an easy win. Premier Action was third while Dandy Man who was tardy at the beginning found his rhythm in the stretch to finish on the frame.
Hilton Sequeira trained Sitara had no problem in justifying the favouritism as she led all the way in the 1200 metres Deccan Star Plate (Div I), a race for horses rated 40 to 65 and easily held off Rapid Fire who gave a chase from the start. Rapid Fire weakened close to home and barely managed to keep the second position ahead of the late finishing Blazer. Conscious Gift failed to make an impression. Sreekant`s trainee Strategist won the lower division of the race quite capably with a powerful run down the final furlong to edge past the longtime leader Best In Show who drifted out under pressure. Strategist had the speed to overtake Best In Show to avoid potential interference. Dunkirk who was slowly away and was tailed off last gathered steam in the stretch and managed to get the second position despite being taken out by Best In Show. Max was a close fourth, with head, short head separating the one who finished behind the winner.
Favourite Good Connection failed to live up to expectations. Laxman Singh trained Hidden Hope who was also well supported in the betting chased Royal Romance well into the straight and despite drifting out, managed to stave off the strong bid of Good Connection. The latter was lugging in and Trevor Patel elected to push him on the inside of Hidden Hope but narrowly failed to steer the favourite home. Angel Tesoro ran on late to be a suggestive third.
Trainer Ananth Vatsalya had a good priced winner in Xfinity in the Own Opinion Plate, a race for horses rated 20 to 45. The three-year-old progeny of Sussex had enough speed to lead from the word `go` and skipped clear in the final furlong to win with ease from Amyra and Unstoppable. The fancied Fashion Universe flopped after staying in touch till straightening for home.
Suraj Narredu had to stretch himself to the full to get favourite Brilliant View to nail Four One Four in the closing strides of the race to win the 1100 metres Beginners Plate, a race for horses rated 20 to 45. The first two runners had pulled well clear of the rest in the straight so much so that the third-placed Capriconia was more than eight lengths adrift in the third position.
Brilliant View (Suraj Narredu up) winner of the Beginners Plate
Sitara (Akshay Kumar up) winner of the Deccan Star Plate (Div-I)
Lombardy (Trevor Patel up) winner of the Grand Entry Plate (Div-II)
Strategist (Irvan Singh up) winner of the Deccan Star Plate (Div-II)
Hidden Hope (Suraj Narredu up) winner of the Leading Srisailam Plate
Born To Be (A A Vikrant up) winner of the Dodla Pratap Chander Reddy Memorial Million
Ashwa Bravo (Suraj Narredu up) winner of the Grand Entry Plate (Div-I)
Xfinity (Afroz Khan up) winner of the Own Opinion Plate