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Monteverdi upsets in President of India Gold Cup
Review: By: Tippu Sultan
September 10 , 2023

Vijay Singh trained Monteverdi won the Gr 2 President of India Gold Cup, a terms race for four-year-olds and over, the feature event of Sunday’s races in appalling conditions. The penetrometer reading at the beginning of the race day was 5.9 cms. It rained heavily during the running of the previous races and especially before the running of the prestigious event which also led to power failure, delayed start and heavy water accumulation on the track. Under such circumstances, it would have been wise to have moved the event to the next day. However, the authorities went ahead with the day’s feature event but postponed an ordinary maidens’ race to the next day.

All the five runners in the fray were outstation challengers highlighting the lack of depth in the local circuit as far as staying horses are concerned. Monteverdi was the least fancied of the horses that were in betting consideration. La Reina, Fire Power and Arc De Triomphe were more or less quoted at equal odds with Monteverdi at long odds. Monteverdi perhaps relished the underfoot conditions as well as the tactical ride by Suraj Narredu which ensured the success of Vijay Singh's trainee. The trainer was recording his second success in this event having won this race 35 years ago on Brave Dancer. The race though has lost the pre-eminent status that it once enjoyed.


Kalamisti bolted to the front from the word 'go’ and had a break of over 10 lengths followed by Monteverdi. There was another widish gap of those behind which enabled Monteverdi to get a healthy uncontested lead. Fire Power, Arc De Triomphe raced in proximity. La Reina was slowly off and did not find her bearings and was beaten cause from the jump out. Suraj Narredu pushed Monteverdi to take charge even as Kalamisti faded out midway through the race, the fast pace that he set being his undoing. Monteverdi was strongly challenged by Arc De Triomphe and Fire Power in the final furlong. Monteverdi kept producing that bit extra to thwart the bid of Fire Power and Arc De Triomphe by a length and a half. Fire Power was a short head ahead of Arc De Triomphe while La Reina was more than eight lengths adrift in the fourth position. Kalamisti was not sighted.

Laxman Singh trained Brilliant Star recorded a hat-trick of wins by getting the power of Rising Queen to win the 1200 metres Pakhal Lake Cup (Div I), a race for horses rated 40 to 65. Rising Queen ran on resolutely in front and it took an all-out effort on the part of Suraj Narredu to get Brilliant Star to stretch out and overhaul the front-runner in the closing stages of the race. Wild Sprite was third. Ananth Vatsalya trained Stoic Hero won the lower division of the race at nourishing odds, getting the better of strong favourite Commanding Knight in the dying moments of the race. Commanding Knight appeared to be on course for a win as NRI Fantasy who came for solid support in the betting ring ran into a traffic jam and lost all her chances. Stoic Hero came from way off the pace, covered ground with big strides and won in the shadow of the post thwarting the bid of the favourite for a third straight win.

Jasbir Singh trained Nucleus had recorded a smashing win last time out and a repeat win was very much on the cards in the 1200 metres Chandrayaan-3 Cup, a race for horses rated 20 to 45. The odds on the favourite Nucleus drifted out dramatically but close to race time, once again was backed with conviction ahead of Pal Cha. Jockey Mohit Singh brought Nucleus into contention down the final furlong with a powerful run. The favourite overwhelmed those in front and won pulling away by a widening margin of three lengths over late rallying Fara. Bash On Regardless was beaten to the third spot. The lower division of the race was claimed by M R Chauhan trained Gretsy who justified the short price that was quoted on her for the repeat success. Gretsy had the race won a long way from home, being all alone in front all the way in the final furlong eventually winning by a widening margin of six lengths. Tuscany ran on to finish second ahead of Sangreal.

Ananth Vatsalya trained Muaser who had come down a category was backed spiritedly to win the 1400 metres Pembarathi Plate, a race for horses in the lowest category. Long shot Dream Jewel from the stables of trainer M R Chauhan seized the initiative in the final furlong and had enough legs to reach the safety of the winning post. Jockey Ajeet Kumar was found wanting on Muaser as his positioning of the horse was poor. Though Muaser came up with a late rally, it went in vain. It’s My Life was third.

The day’s opener, the 2000 metres Mahabubabad Plate, a race for horses rated 20 to 45, saw the defeat of on-money favourite Australia who failed to pick up steam in the homestretch and was a beaten cause well before the race came to a boil. Voice Of A Dream who hit the front early in the straight, stormed clear in the final furlong to win by a margin of over four lengths. Life Is Good was third while Australia was a well-beaten third.

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