Sulaiman Attaollahi trained Tehani pulled off a thrilling win over an unlucky Fast Pace to claim the Gr 3 Karnataka Race Horse Owner`s Association Mysore 1000 Guineas, the first classic of the season at Mysore on Friday. Dr Cyrus Poonawalla was a few days earlier at Sandown Park in the UK where his stallion prospect Chindit had won the race in a similar tight finish. And he took the trouble to be present at Mysore and he was rewarded for his presence by Tehani, the talented daughter of Excellent Art who fought off Auspicious Girl and later held off the late flurry of Fast Pace to record a hat-trick of wins. The latter was handicapped by her jockey Vivek G losing his whip well before the race came to a boil which had a bearing on the result.
Tehani had everything going for her as she had won over a mile-long trip on the same track pretty impressively and as such, the trip was not going to be an issue for her. However, this time out she was taking on good quality horses in Auspicious Queen who had run second in the Bangalore Derby and Fast Pace who was involved in a blanket finish a fortnight earlier. Tehani went to the post as a strong favourite ahead of Auspicious Queen while the rest were all quoted at generous odds.
Pradeep Chouhan pushed Golden Peaks to the front when the starter dispatched the field for the mile-long trip with Suraj Narredu keeping Auspicious Queen a handy second ahead of Fast Pace, Royal Aristocracy, Tehani, Neziah, Aralina, Irish Rock Star and Momentous following in that order. Golden Peaks held the lead well into the straight with Auspicious Queen exerting pressure on her while the up-and-coming jockey Vivek astride Fast Pace lost his whip inside the final two furlongs which hindered his effectiveness. Akshay Kumar brought Tehani into contention with a trouble-free run on the inside of Auspicious Queen. The favourite had her head in front with about 50 metres left in the race even as Auspicious Queen faded out of the reckoning. Closer home, Vivek gathered Fast Pace for one final assault. The progeny of Western Aristocrat responded well and closed menacingly only to find the winning post coming frustratingly a stride earlier. Tehani escaped to victory while Fast Pace was unlucky to have lost a race which was hers for the asking much to the frustration of her trainer Prithviraj who has come close to winning a classic but has run out of luck on a couple of occasions. A short neck and half a length separated the first three placed horses. Aralina was fourth.
Y S Srinath had the presence of mind to push Sheeba when he sensed danger from the fast-finishing Tom Cruiser to ensure that the fancied runner managed to have her head in front at the all-important end in the 1200 metres Original Vel Racing Trophy. A flood of money came on Seoul who was never in the hunt. Gold Crest led the field with Srinath settling Sheeba in the second position till turning for home. When asked for an effort, Sheeba quickened well and looked set to emerge a comfortable winner. Srinath appeared to have eased the horse and had to desperately drive out the horse when Tom Cruiser came home with a big effort. Luckily for Sheeba, the winning post came before she could be overwhelmed. Srinath dismounted from the horse soon after crossing the post and officially it was announced that the horse had returned lame. Gold Crest stayed on to finish third.
Neil Devaney trained Win My Luv looked good to win the 1600 metres Dr M A M Ramaswamy Trophy, a race for horses rated 60 and above. The odds on Win My Luv expanded more than even money only because there was spirited support for Jewel Thief. In the event, Win My Luv who led from the front was hailed a winner a long way from home as jockey Vivek G had the race sewn up a long way from home without having to extend his horse as Jewel Thief had no chance of covering up the deficit in the straight. Gold Kite was third.
The quietly supported Aquila D`Oro won the 1200-metre Panchgani Plate (Div I), a race for horses rated 20 to 45 from late finishing Natural One. The Vishal Yadav-trained Aquila D`Or led from the start and had a winning lead by the final furlong which helped the front-runner when Natural One came home with a powerful burst of speed. Red Hills was third. The trainer of Natural One, Vinesh V Naik put an objection against the winning jockey stating that the apprentice had used the reins to whip the horse and that cost him the race. The frivolous objection was overruled in no time. Michael Eshwer trained Sunshine Coast obliged as a strongly fancied runner in the lower division of the race. Sunshine Coast had a winning lead going into the final 200 metres and despite a strong finish by Ochre in the hands of raw apprentice Abhishek Mhatre, the front-runner had enough cushion to go past the post comfortably ahead. Dream Machine headed Mystic Divine to save place money.
Narayan Gowda trained Mystical Merkabah came from the clouds in the homestretch to snatch the 1600 metres Psychic Strength Plate (Div I), a race for horses rated 20 to 45 from Peluche who too rallied from way off the pace. Katana who led from the beginning had a good lead going into the final furlong. However, the finishing efforts of both Mystical Merkabah and Peluche from impossible positions pushed Katana to the third spot. Vikram Appachu trained Benghazi obliged a huge punt in the lower division of the race. Benghazi showed up on the wide outside inside the final 300 metres and sped away for a win by a widening margin of eight lengths over favourite Eco Friendly and Je Ne Sais Quoi.
On a day of gambles, Girinath trained I Can came in for one-sided support to win the 1400 metres Sidapur Plate, a race for horses in the lowest category and the six-year-old gelding readily obliged winning by over five lengths in the hands of jockey Kiran Rai to record his first win in eight starts. Star Azeem and Emeraldo occupied the next two spots behind the winner.