Hilton Sequeira trained Lamha had the first run on her opponents and held on gamely in a close finish to clinch the 1600 metres Raja Mahboob Karan Memorial Cup, a race for horses rated 40 to 65, the feature event of the second day`s Hyderabad Monsoon Races held on Monday. Barring Lamha who was a long shot, the other races of the day saw fancied runners dominating the finish.
Apprentice jockey Abhay Singh had Lamha chase Beauty Flame well into the straight before shooting ahead inside the final 300 metres. Lamha looked vulnerable when favourite Icicle gained ground along the inside with the handily placed City of Blessing and Fire Power charging home with powerful efforts. However, Lamha managed to find a little bit extra while winning by a head over City of Blessing. Fire Power was a neck behind in third position while Icicle who flattered to deceive ended up a close fourth.
Vittal Deshmukh trained Superstellar who was considered to have a strong chance produced a winning run down the final furlong to easily land the spoils in the 1200 metres Royaston Rock Plate, a race for maiden three-year-olds. Stablemate Bien Pensant managed to take charge on turning for home but was found wanting when Superstellar produced blistering of foot. The Thriller ran on to take the shirt spot. Favourite The Thunder did not pick up speed when the race came to a boil and finished in the ruck.
Sequeira trained Princess Daka was so superior to the field that the strong support in the betting ring to win the 1200 metres Falaknuma Cup, a race for horses rated 20 to 45 was justified. Jockey Akshay Kumar could relax with the favourite in any position that the horse took. Inside the final 300 metres. Princess Daka picked up speed on the wide outside and by the final furlong, had gone away from the reach of the rest to win as she pleased. Grand Duke was second ahead of Advance Guard.
Jockey Akshay Kumar managed to drive home Lifes Song to victory over City of Bliss in the1200 metres Firecrest Plate, a race for horses rated 40 to 65. Life Song found herself shuffled back because of the frenetic pace at which those in front went. City of Bliss who had a commanding lead going into the final furlong, shaped like a winner when Life Song made her bid from way off the pace. The fancied runner, however, proved too good in the end as Lifes Song covered the ground with a blistering turn of foot and won more easily than the verdict suggested.
Donal Netto trained Costello was another horse who flattered to deceive in the 1200 metres Kothagudem Plate (Div I), a race for horses rated 20 to 45. Costello who shot into a big lead approaching the final furlong appeared to have sealed the race but under a driving finish by jockey Suraj Narredu, favourite Gregor Clegane covered the ground with menacing strides and won rather easily in the end. Do A Deer ran on suggestively when finishing a noteworthy third. Suraj Narredu also had the winner of the lower division. Hard To Toss who was quoted at cramped odds, travelled handily all through the race as Suraj sat confidently in about the second or third position as Ok Boss did the front-running. Suraj released the breaks on Hard To Toss in the stretch and the favourite wasted no time in overhauling the front-runners and sped away in the final furlong to win by a widening margin of three lengths over Malaala and Plethora.
Akshay Kumar ended the day with a treble, booting home Vittal Deshmukh trained Starwalt to victory in the concluding race of the day, the 1400 metres Anab E Shahi Plate, a race for horses in the lowest category. Some of the horses that Akshay gets to ride are so superior that they can win from any position, whatever category they may be running. Starwalt was one such horse who was loitering in the rear but covered enormous ground in the straight to eventually overhaul the front-running Exponent by a comfortable margin making one wonder how this horse could be running against such inferior horses in the bottom class. For the record, Starwalt had failed to break the maidens` rank in his 12 efforts and made his 13th one a winning one in the manner of a higher-class horse. Astronaut was third.