Trainer Suleiman Attaollahi`s 2/1 favourite, The Sovereign Orb (Hindu Singh-up), just about managed to beat the topweighted fancied runner, Awesome One (Neeraj Rawal) and Dandi Satyagraha (Vinay Jaiswal), a long-shot, in Thursday`s feature event, the 1,200m Bangalore Turf Club Cup. The verdict between the three runners was a mare short-neck and short-head but it could have gone either way, thanks to the troubled passage encountered in the home straight by the aging Awesome One, and of course, the change of rider – from Akshay Kumar to Vinay Jaiswal – on Dandi Satyagraha.
The two challengers to the favourite had their own tale to tell but The Sovereign Orb, who was a close fourth and in a box seat, behind the early leaders, Monfortino (Sujit Paswan), Full Volume (app P. Tejeshwar) and Legendary Striker (app Hasib Alam) was quick to grab the lead, turning for home. The favourite, however, came under immense pressure, about 100m from winning-post when the seven-year-old, Awesome, got into his galloping rhythm and Dandi Satyagraha produced a menacing run, on the wide out, from the tail-end of the field.
The afternoon also witnessed horses like Adornicas, Third Avenues and Rasina Stars running true to their potential and their victory hardly came as a surprise. Third Avenue (App Tejeshwar), in the 2,000m Acrider Handicap, recorded another win, his third in-a-row. The four-year-old was easily available at 5/2, thanks to a massive wagering on the top-weighted Eastwood (Neeraj) who went to the start as a 2/1 favourite. Eastwood`s efforts, however, found the going tough nearing the home turn, leaving another fancied runner, Monteville (Hindu), who was on a start-to-mission, in command. About 200m from home Third Avenue was brought into the contention from the rear of the four-horse field to go past the longtime leader without much of pressure.
Adornica (Nikhil Naidu) in the curtain raiser, the 1,400m Moon Forest Handicap was the other one who received a heavy support in the betting. Backed down from 3/1 to 6/4, the Harvinder Bath-trained mare was ridden off the pace as Blue Origin (H. Rahul) called the shots. Brought on the wide out in the home run, Adornica found the going easy while beating another late-finishing D Yourplayyourway (Imran Chisty) – a coming winner.
Vijay`s Rasina Star (Trevor) was the other form-horse who was out for airing in the 1000 Guineas but won the 1,200m Aristotle Handicap – a no whip allowed race – the way she liked. Allowing Sheer Force to make the running, till the final turn, the three-year-old quickened to score by about six lengths. The Top Class daughter is a pure sprinter and she may strike again.
Vijay`s another three-year-old, albeit debutant, Atlantic (Trevor), had to be fully stretched to beat brother`s, Bharath`s, Salvador (Sujit Paswan) in the 1,200m Alaskan Handicap. Salvador was third along rails and so was Atlantica but in sixth or seventh berth as Swift Lady (Arman Khan) and the western India migrant High Spirit (Tejeshwar) were at the helm. Salvador shot ahead 150m from home and but was soon joined by Atlantica who scored in camera-finish after a brief tussle.
Trainer Javed Khan`s Magneto (Chisty) who was outclassed by Monteverdie after recording an impressive victory, scored again to claim the 1,600m Scarlet Prince Handicap. Ridden off the pace as lead changed half-a-dozen times, Magneto zigzagged his way up on the wide out to take the measure of Odin (Trevor) and Roka (Tejeshwar).