Forest Flame towered over her contemporaries so much so that the moment the acceptances were published for the Gr 2 Bangalore 1000 Guineas, the first classic of the season; it was a foregone conclusion that the daughter of Leitir Mor would not even face a semblance of a fight en route to her victory. Predictably, Forest Flame put daylight between herself and the rest as he powered away from the opposition to win by a widening margin of seven lengths, with her pilot Trevor Patel hardly having to move a muscle on the Sulaiman Attaollahi trainee.
There were just eight runners in the fray and nobody had credentials to be running in a classic in the normal course. There were many maidens in the fray with a rating less than half of that of Forest Flame. The second-placed Antibes who is still a maiden is rated at 23 and the fact that she finished second-best seven lengths adrift itself tells the story. Such an opposition was not expected to trouble Forest Flame who is the highest rated filly at this centre. The formality of going through the motions was completed and the one satisfying note for the connections was the fact that the soft underfoot conditions did not affect her striking acceleration in any way.
Flamingo Road did the job of pace-setting with Perfectimagination in the second position ahead of Rani Jindan, Allabouther, Aztec Queen, Forest Flame, Amalfi Sunrise and Antibes. Rounding the final turn, Perfect Imagination led briefly before Forest Flame took charge with a ground-saving run. Forest Flame showed so much class that jockey Trevor Patel had only to do the steering job. Forest Flame left the field stranded and provided the jockey with one of the easiest wins of his career in a classic. Antibes ran on to take the second position ahead of Rani Jindan who was another seven lengths plus adrift.
Trainer Sulaiman said that he was mighty pleased with the performance of Forest Flame though the filly did not beat any formidable opposition. ''The important thing was that the filly was giving problems and had not put on condition in the manner that I was expecting. I had to skip the lead-up race because of these issues. The filly will now be head to take part in the Gr 1 Indian 1000 Guineas,’’ said the elated trainer who has done a wonderful job of keeping the temperamental filly in top shape for the plum events.
For Chaduranga Kanthraj Urs who owns the horse in partnership with the Zavaray Poonawalla family, this was the first classic success that he was enjoying. ''We were pretty confident that Forest Flame would overwhelm the field and our confidence was all the more after Golden Oaks a top-class field last week,’’ Kanthraj added.
Earlier in the day, another trainee of Sulaiman, Cerise Noir had recorded a thrilling win over Automatic in the 1200 metres Hyderabad Silver Vase, a race for horses rated 75 and above. The front runners led by Areca Legend and Silver Ikon went too fast in the front for their own good and packed up when the pressure was on them in the home stretch. Psychic Strength who came through the shortest way home had the lead going into the final furlong with Cerise Noir making rapid progress along with Automatic who was unleashing a powerful burst of speed on the wide outside, from the rear of the field. Closer home, Cerise Noir managed to edge out Psychic Warrior and held off the threat of Automatic by a neck to get the sixth win of her career. Automatic had the class to win in this set but all his career wins have come over longer trips and he is yet to win over a sprint. Into The Spotlight who was tailed off last got the fourth position beating the fast tiring horses.
Prasanna Kumar trained Galvarino attracted big support to close as a strong favourite and the five-year-old readily justified the favouritism in the 1200 metres Mandya Plate, a race for horses rated 30 to 50; with a blistering run in the final 350 metres to record an easy win by five lengths over late-rallying The Response. Port of Beauty was third ahead of Anne Boleyn. Jockey Akshay Kumar had little to do on the winner who was too good for the field.
Another horse to justify the spirited support was Neil Devaney trained Green Channel who won readily the 1200 metres Linganamakki Plate, a race for horses in the lowest class. The last two efforts of Green Channel was pathetic but the filly had shown good improvement during the beginning of the season and had done well in a mock race. Green Channel readily justified the expectations to lead all the way and provided jockey S John who was returning to riding a race after a longish break with a comfortable win. Anakin gave a strong chase but found the front-runner unrelenting. Indian Star who had attracted significant support warmed up too late and covered plenty of ground to neck out Anakin to get the runner-up berth.
Neil Darashah trained Christopher Wren who had created a fine impression when narrowly failing to get the better of Lord Frankel made amends with a smashing win in the 1400 metres Belur Plate, a race for maiden three-year-olds. Srinath, who has been retained yet again by the Manjri Horse Breeders settled Christopher Wren in about the third position as War Song did the pace-setting. Inside the final two furlongs, Cavallini had the lead but the three-year-old colt slackened going into the final furlong. Christopher Wren covered the leeway on the front-runners with ease and sped away to win by a margin of over four lengths. Livisilla ran on well to take the second position ahead of stablemate Amazing Blaze. Both these horses are capable of striking early.
Srinath was also successful on Padmanabhan trained Legendary Princess who benefitted by the good forward run to stave off the strong bid of Marco Polo to land the spoils in the 1400 metres Krishna Raja Sagara Plate, a race for horses rated 15 to 35. Gazebo Talk attempted runaway tactics leading by lengths from the start but going into the final furlong, he ran out of his reserves. Legendary Princess rallied well to take charge and managed to keep the challenge of Marco Polo at bay. Augustina ran on to take the third position ahead of the longtime leader Gazebo Talk.
Prithviraj trained Michigan Melody came in for noticeable support in the 1200 metres Brahmagiri Plate (Div I), a race for horses rated 15 to 35. Several horses were in the betting with last start winner Splash heading the charts. Michigan Melody who took over the running at the top of the straight spurted ahead to win comfortably from Stroke of Genius. Welcome Surprise failed to live up to expectations and was a tame third. Splash ran way below par and finished down the field. Prithviraj had mixed luck as his other heavily supported runner, Raven Rock lost close to home in the lower division of the race to Cherokee Moon who had the benefit of a race run. Raven Rock led deep into the straight before the strongly ridden Cherokee Moon managed to sail past the tiring front-runner. Handsome Rocky was third.
Green Channel (S John up) winner of the Linganamakki Plate
Christopher Wren (Y S Srinath up) winner of the Belur Plate
Cherokee Moon (Suraj Narredu up) winner of the Brahmagiri Plate (Div-II)
Legendary Princess (Y S Srinath up) winner of the Krishna Raja Sagara Plate
Cerise Noir (Akshay Kumar up) winner of the Leading Tipster Cup
Forest Flame (Trevor Patel up) winner of the Bangalore 1000 Guineas (Gr.2)
Galvarino (Akshay Kumar up) winner of the Mandya Plate
Michigan Melody (S Zervan up) winner of the Brahmagiri Plate (Div-I)