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Opening day’s racing favours punters
Review: By: Tippu Sultan
July 21 , 2022

After the mayhem suffered by punters right through the Bangalore Summer Season, the opening day’s races of the Hyderabad Monsoon Racing Season offered a ray of hope, with fancied runners ruling the roost in the majority of races that were gone through on Thursday. Racing went on expected lines as form held true. Donald Netto trained Lagos justified the favouritism staving off the strong challenge of late rallying New Look in the day’s feature event, the 1200 metres Osman Sagar Cup, a race for horses rated 60 to 86. Suraj Narredu rode the winner.

The odds don’t always don’t identify the best horses in the fray but what it does is to group the horses which could be potentially seen at the busy end. One good thing about racing at Malakpet is that most owners try their horses, with gambling not being the predominant motto. As such, one can expect good racing, with merited horses calling the shots. Merit holds the key which is a blessing in Hyderabad compared to centres like Bangalore which have lost their gloss due to deterioration in the way races are managed.

Be that as it may, Lagos who is a prolific winner had been well prepared to deserve to be favourite ahead of the rest. Suraj Narredu had no problem in taking the speedy Lagos to the front from the word 'go’ and the favourite had a firm grip on the race all through. Lagos had a decisive lead going into the final furlong and though New Look was shadowing Lagos a few lengths adrift, the latter got into a rhythm only when the cause had been lost and her finishing effort brought her within reach of the front-runner at the post. Chuckit was third.

Jockey Akshay Kumar drove out Falcon Edge to neck out the long-time leader NRI Sport in the dying moments of the race to land the spoils in the 1400 metres P M Bokdawalla Memorial Cup, a race for horses rated 40 to 65. NRI Sport held sway for the most part but Falcon Edge produced a stunning run from way off the pace to eventually neck out the front-runner. Royal Grace held off Miss Little Angel to get the third slot. Favourite Blue Origin was in with a chance till the final furlong but the favourite failed to find any extra gear when the race came to a boil and faded out of contention to end up a disappointing ninth.


The betting trend suggested an easy win for Vittal Deshmukh trained Nugget who on the basis of extensive preparation was considered as a cinch in the 1100 metres Con Amore Plate (Div I), a race for maiden three-year-olds. Nugget was quoted at very cramped odds. However, Nugget did not win as expected but had to be fully driven out all the way in the stretch by jockey Pradeep Chouhan to get the better of Malibu who battled on resolutely in front. Clefairy came up with a late charge to finish a close third. Srinivas Reddy trained The Sensation was the preferred horse in the lower division of the race. The Sensation was not hard-pressed to justify expectations though under pressure he drifted out slightly under pressure before being corrected. The Sensation was so superior to the field that he spared a shade less than four lengths at the finish to Ivanoe who was the only horse who made some ground from behind. Desert Sultan was third.

Leo D’Silva trained Bangor On Dee readily justified expectations with an easy win in the 1200 metres Adilabad Plate (Div I), a race for horses rated 20 to 45. Akshay Kumar on the favourite managed to get his horse to overhaul the front-running Visionary. When Exotic Dancer came up to challenge the favourite, it looked as though both these horses will carry the fight to the post. However, Exotic Dancer weakened to fall behind while the long-time leader finished on to snatch the runner-up berth in the end. The lower division of the race too was claimed by the same combination of Leo and Akshay. Ayr who was at cramped odds, produced a winning run down the final furlong to win the race as he pleased. Vision of Roses was second ahead of Costello.

Srinivas Reddy trained The Image was an impressive winner of the day, winning the 1400 metres Scarlet Prince Plate, a race for horses rated 20 to 45. The Image cruised into the lead inside the final 300 metres and went storming ahead with jockey Akshay Kumar not having to exert a muscle to boot home his fourth winner of the day. The Image eventually checked in by a widening margin of five lengths over True Icon. Archangels was third.

Classy Dame from the stables of trainer Satheesh proved too good in the 1200 metres Tenacity Plate, a race for horses in the lowest category. Classy Dame chased NRI Secret into the straight before surging ahead halfway down the straight. Despite drifting out under pressure and finishing almost on the outer rail, Classy Dame still managed to win by a widening margin of four lengths in the hands of apprentice jockey Jodha. Turning Wheel ran on to get the better of a tiring NRI Secret to get the runner-up berth.

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