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Candy Girl prevails in Asaf Jah VIII Memorial Cup

By: Tippu Sultan   September 11 , 2023

Satheesh trained Candy Girl proved an exception to the general pattern of the horses from the stable winning mostly as long shots. Candy Girl was the even-money favourite overwhelmed the opposition in the 1400 metres Asaf Jah VII Memorial Cup, a race for horses rated 40 to 65, the feature event of races held at Malakpet on Monday. The horses from Satheesh`s yard have a habit of pulling off nasty surprises. The Stiping needs to be more aggressive than what is prevailing now because there have been glaring cases of professionals taking things for granted.

The ridiculously easy manner in which Srinivas Reddy trained Mandela won the 1600 metres Mahabubnagar Plate (Div II), a race for horses rated 20 to 45 is a clear pointer. Mandela had flopped as a favourite last time out, the jockey Aashad Asbar preferring to go at scorching pace in front, much to the undoing of the favourite who packed up in the stretch and finished poorly. This time out, the pattern of running was the same but jockey Akshay Kumar dictated the pace that was to his advantage. Mandela led by lengths without expending energy and in the stretch spurted clear to win by a widening margin of four lengths which was in complete contrast with the way it was ridden last time out. If one were to check the fractions for each 200 metres, one would get an idea of how things can be manipulated to the disadvantage of the horse. Brooklyn Beauty was second and she in turn was another four plus ahead of Se My Attitude. Exclusive Spark who had finished ahead of Mandela on the last occasion, was a hopeless fourth. The lower division of the race went the way of long shot Lady Danger from the stables of Magan Singh Parmar. Lady Danger won from a fast-finishing Redeem Our Pledge whose run was suggestive of better things to come next time out. Honourable Lady, last start winner, came from way off the pace and finished third ahead of favourite Role Model from Satheesh`s yard. Role Model was prominent when the horses took the final turn but soon ran out of steam to lose the race well before the race came to a boil.

Coming back to the success of Candy Girl, the four-year-old filly was backed to the exclusion of the rest. Jockey Akshay Kumar who was astride two of the most well-backed horses took the favourite on a start-to-finish mission. Candy Girl enjoyed an uncontested lead and skipped beyond the reach of the rest to win by a widening margin of five lengths over NRI Sport. Long shot Ivanhoe ran on late to take the third slot. The well performed Hugh Capet who was running after a long lay off needed the run and ended up fourth.

Leo D`Silva who is enjoying a good season, led in two winners. Royal Grace scored a dramatic win in the 1400 metres Belager Plate, a race for three-year-olds and upwards. Royal Grace was slowly off, was last till taking the final turn. Jockey Afroz Khan did not wait to get a path along the inside but swung the horse wide. Royal Grace raced the widest of all in the 14-horse field. Despite all these troubles, Royal Grace flew home to eventually win by a widening margin of three lengths. Painted Apache too made ground from the rear to take the second position ahead of Amyra.

Earlier in the day, Leo had another winner through Reigning Beauty in the 1400 metres Hussain Sagar Cup, a race for horses rated 20 to 45. Hilton Sequeira trained Miracle Mary opened at a short price but the odds drifted ominously close to race time. Perhaps the market expected her failure as Miracle Mary lost all her chances at the gate itself with a lethargic beginning. Reigning Beauty produced a winning effort down the final furlong to win as she pleased by a margin of five lengths over London Bell and Hoping Sky. Miracle Mary was a poor fourth.

Nilesh Rawal trained Calisson had run a close third in his maiden outing and as such, had good credentials to win the 1200 metres Mount Pleasant Plate (Div I), a race for maiden three-year-olds. The favourite though was Great Giver who had been consistently figuring on the board but finding the winning post elusive in his seven outings. Calisson led from the beginning and went beyond the reach of the rest in the final furlong to win by over six lengths. Windsor was second while Great Giver was a big disappointment, finishing a dismal third. Dali`s Destiny was the favourite to win the lower division but the favourite flopped miserably. Lesser fancied Rising Tycoon produced a winning effort in the final furlong to get past fancied Assured Success to record a comfortable win. Bold Beauty held off Thunder Knight to save place money.

The 1100 metres Nice Fella Plate, a race for maiden three-year-olds, was to be held on Sunday but was postponed by a day due to heavy underfoot conditions. Subha came in for one-sided support. Subha was pushed aggressively by Afroz Khan to take charge from the start but had no answer when Kenna swooped on her in the straight. Kenna went on to win easily. Subha held off Shadow Fax to get the runner-up berth.

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