There were no surprises in store in the 1600 metres Krishnaraja Wadiyar Cup, a terms race for four-year-olds and over, the feature event of Sunday’s races. The champion filly Lady In Lace made light of the opposition when taking the command with a furlong to go with her patented burst of acceleration to provide her Hyderabad based trainer Prasad Raju with a big race win at this centre.
Lady In Lace towered over the opposition so much in terms of the quality of her achievements that despite the presence of many formidable performers, the bookmakers were miserly in their odds. Jockey Suraj Narredu who has struck a fine partnership with the filly, had her eased in about the fourth position as Booker Jones did the customary front-running followed by Your Royal Majesty, Watchmyscript. The others followed a few lengths adrift of the favourite. Rounding the final turn, Suraj had the daughter of Chinese Whisper improve places quickly and the champion filly, settled the race in a matter of a few strides. Her powerful surge saw her sail past Booker Jones and Lady In Lace had something in race when winning from Watchmyscript who put up a valiant effort but found her adversary too strong for comfort. Shaman ran on from behind to take the third position ahead of Supreme General. Lady In Lace in all probability will be seen in action in the prestigious Maharaja’s Cup.
Padmanabhan trained Romantic Star bounced back with an impressive win in the 1400 metres Speaker’s Cup, a race for horses rated 60 and above. The big made daughter of Multidimensional physically looked to be in much better shape. She looked well filled up. Jockey Trevor Patel rode a good tactical horse, alerting the horse soon after jumping out to overcome the ring rustiness. And when the big made filly did not get galloping room on the inside, he kept her out of trouble in the rear before creating spaces for the filly to get into her rhythm. Trevor pushed Romantic Star along the rails and engaged Ultimate Warrior in a battle for supremacy. After a brief duel, Romantic Star skipped clear to record an emphatic win. Pinyada necked out the heavily supported Admiral Hatsu to save place money.
Why favourites lose, one reporter had asked this question to a top trainer some decades back. The trainer got angry and said that the horses should know. Historically it has always been an accepted fact that favourites lose because they are quoted at cramped odds. The connections perhaps imbibe the negativity of the odds to the horse as well. Nothing else can explain the pathetic performance of Annalease as an odds-on favourite as against the filly’s emphatic thrashing of the opposition in the June Plate (Div I), a race for horses rated 0 to 20. Quoted at nourishing odds, Annalease chased lesser fancied Smile of Courage deep into the straight before breaking the shackles in the final furlong to win by a widening margin of five lengths. Favourite Arya Stark was a well-beaten third. Gregory Sandhu trained Helenka was showing in workouts and the fact that the progeny of Excellent Art had run a fair race in her last outing in the winter season, pointed to her success in the lower division as most of the contestants had no credentials at all. Close to race time, there was rush of money on the filly. Jockey Shivakumar who is rarely seen on the winners, was able to take Helenka from the wide outside draw to the front within the first furlong. Helenka cruised into the lead at the top of the straight and made it a non-contest by winning by a distance despite being erased up long way from home. New Era was a distance behind in second position while Aqua Blessing was another distance behind in third place.
Sulaiman Attaollahi who had a lean patch thus far having saddled only one winner during the season had a confidently placed winner through Cerise Noire in the Everynsky Trophy, a race for maiden three-year-olds. Despite making her debut, the progeny of Win Legend came in for solid support based on the systematic preparation. Velocidad, with the experience of two runs, was another to corner the betting. Sun Power led the field into the straight with King of the Wind in hot pursuit along with Velocidad. Cerise Noise who did not have a brisk start due to the crowding of the field on the inside, was worked into a prominent position by Trevor who manoeuvred his way and brought the favourite into contention on the wide outside. Cerise Noire produced a powerful effort and covered up the leeway in a trice and bounced clear to win from Velocidad who staved off King of the Wind in the closing stages of the race to get the runner-up berth. Kanashni ran below expectations.
Irfan Ghatala trained Iris brought off a thrilling win over Bora Bora in the 1200 metres M N Prakash Memorial Trophy, a race for horses rated 30 to 50. Bora Bora led from the start with jockey Anjar Alam on Iris getting into a spot of bother at the top of the straight. However, the jockey reacted swiftly when he saw the vacant spaces along the rails and re-routed his charge. Irish picked up steam along the rails and though Bora Bora still held the fort, the fact that the latter drifted out under pressure enabled the favourite to prevail by a whisker. Panama who too finished wide on the track was third ahead of Optimistic Approach while Allsettogo appeared to be out for an airing.
Darius Byramji trained Set To Win who was running after nearly a year, was widely expected to win the lower division of the Flirting Vision Plate considering his breeding as also the fact that he had been subjected to good preparation and taking on a modest lot of horses in the lower category. Set To Win raced in earnest behind Perfectasther after being urged to get into a rhythm in the early part of the race and took over the running on turning for home. Sulaiman’s trainee Barog who went in chase of the favourite was able to overwhelm the front-runner in sight of the winning post. Zala Princess showed some zest when she made a strong bid in the final furlong but weakened close home and Bazinga pipped her for the third place.
Helenka (S Shiva Kumar up) winner of the June Plate (Div-II)
Cerise Noir (Trevor Patel up) winner of the Everynsky Trophy
Barog (R Marshall up) winner of the Flirting Vision Plate (Div-II)
Annalease (Yash Narredu up) winner of the June Plate (Div-I)
Iris (Anjar Alam up) winner of the M.N.Prakash Memorial Trophy
Romantic Star (Trevor Patel up) winner of the Speaker'S Cup
Lady In Lace (Suraj Narredu up) winner of the Krishnaraja Wadiyar Cup
Silver Dew (A Imran Khan up) winner of the Fire Haven Plate
Lycurgus (A Ramu up) winner of the Flirting Vision Plate (Div-I)