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Mark My Day prevails in Shamlal Gupta Cup

By: Tippu Sultan   November 21 , 2022

Satheesh trained Mark My Day made it a profitable start-to-finish dash in the 1400 metres Sri Shamlal Gupta Memorial Cup, a race for horses rated 40 to 65 which featured the opening day`s races of the Hyderabad Winter Races held on Monday at Malakpet. Form horses held sway making it an enjoyable outing for those who place their trust in the market fancies.

The winter season got off to a delayed start because of the refusal of trainers to put entries in support of their demands which included an increase in stake money and the removal of the prospectus condition that all entries must run in the handicap races. Following fruitful negotiations, the season started but three days of racing were lost. The club has strong views on the condition that all entries must run and believes that this step has been introduced for the good of the sport and that one must give a try to see the efficacy of the system and not outright reject it. At the moment the small trainers may feel let down but one has to wait and see whether the new prospectus condition ends up being a blessing or not. The second demand becomes infructuous as three days stake money has been lost and whatever hike the club may consider would have been self-accruing.

Mark My Day was well-backed to oblige in the Shamlal Gupta Cup (Div I). The favourite was taken on a start-to-finish mission by substitute jockey Kiran Naidu. Mark My Day came under threat in the final furlong from Makhtoob who flattered to deceive. Though Makhtoob produced a good effort, the distance went against the chances of the Ravinder Singh trainee. Sun Dancer ran on to take the third position. Lesser fancied Shazam got the better of front-running Drd in the final 100 metres to win the lower division of the race. The race had an open look about it as none of the runners looked outstanding. Royal Grace was the favourite with all the other runners at long odds. Long shot Drd led the way only to be overhauled in the final furlong by Shazam who went on to win with a measure of comfort. Royal Grace could do no better than finish third, necking out Mirana in the process.

The season`s first race for two-year-olds went the way of heavily supported Laxman Singh-trained Proud Mary who had no problem in winning the 1200 metres Grace Hanovar Plate. The one-sided betting on a debutant itself was a clue to those seeking guidance from the market that Proud Mary appeared to be the best-prepared horse to make a winning debut. Jockey Kiran Naidu took Proud Mary to the front from the start. The progeny of Lord Admiral had an uncontested foray in the front and expanded the lead to a widening margin of seven lengths at the finish. Bleue Dali who gave a chase to the front-runner managed to retain the runner-up berth by a whisker from the late rallying Truth who pushed Voyager to the fourth position. Santa Barbara was withdrawn at the gates.

Donald trained La Mirage had twice placed second in the last two efforts before the monsoon season ended and looked ready to break the maidens` ranks in the 1400 metres Medak Plate (Div I), a race for horses rated 20 to 45. Backed to the exclusion of the rest on the basis of the imposing form, La Mirage did not encounter any opposition en route to a runaway win in the hands of jockey Suraj Narredu. La Mirage led from the start and went on to win without coming under any pressure. There was a fight for the minor placings with Ivanhoe clinging on to finish second ahead of Clefairy who wan ran on well towards the closing stages of the race. The odds drift made no difference to the fortunes of Srinivas Reddy trained Miss Solitaire who broke the maiden`s ranks in her second run in the lower division of the race. Avancia who came in for good support in the betting ring was taken on a start-to-finish mission but closer home, and Tcould not keep the lead in the face of a strong challenge from the favourite. Acrobat ran on strongly to finish a close third.

After recording a hat-trick of wins, Vittal Deshmukh trained Mysterious Angel had twice finished third but appeared a good prospect to win the 1800 metres Cabaret Plate, a race for horses rated 40 to 65. Mysterious Angel was backed down spiritedly with the odds quoted on Pleroma shooting up. The stablemate of the favourite Campania had lost by a whisker to Akido on the last occasion and was a live danger to the field. Campania, in the hands of jockey Afroz Khan, held sway from the beginning till the shadow of the post. Mysterious Angel essayed a strong challenge down the final furlong after covering the leeway conceded. Campania was not inclined to give up but the favourite managed to overhaul the front-runner in the dying moment of the race and won by half a length. Last start winner Akido ran on to take the third position ahead of Pleroma who raced keen in the early part and had no reserve energy to carry his fight to the post and weakened to finish fourth.

Srinivas Reddy trained The Thunder recorded an encore in the 1200 metres Himayat Sagar Cup (Div I), a race for horses rated 20 to 45. Temptations who had recorded an impressive win last time out albeit over seven furlongs was strongly backed to prove his worth once again. However, the sharpness of the trip went against Temptations who despite covering ground on the front-running The Thunder fell short by a shade less than length. The Thunder had won over six furlongs last time out with a speedy display and he repeated the act without coming under pressure. Bellagio nosed out Blast In Class to save place money. Temptations should make amends when he races over a slightly longer trip. The lower division of the race too saw the second favourite winning at the expense of the heavily supported favourite Crimson Rose from the stables of trainer Hilton Sequeira. Crimson Rose took a good jump but jockey Akshay Kumar chose to pull him back to the second position and let Only My Way to call the shots. Only My Way looked vulnerable in the closing stages of the race but the lead conceded made a critical difference as the favourite fell short by a mere head despite an all-out effort on the part of Akshay Kumar. Angel Tesoro was third. Jockey Aneel rode the winner.

The 1600 metres Hidden Bloom Plate, a race for horses in the lowest category race looked like a minefield as it was difficult to spot any horse with conviction as a potential winner. Donald Netto trained Akash showed vast improvement when taking charge from longtime leader Ar Superior deep in the stretch and sped ahead to win the race from late rallying China Town at nourishing odds. Akash thus came out of the maidens` ranks in his 15th attempt. Silver Lining got the better of the tiring Ar Superior to come into the money. Barring Sweet Melody who had won one race from 30 attempts, the rest of the participants were all maidens.

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