Trainer S Ganapathy leading Forever Glory (B.Sreekanth up), winner of The Golconda Oaks Gr-II
It was a momentous start to the New Year by the ‘Goldie Brown’ brigade, winning the Golconda Oaks – Grade II at Hyderabad and icing the cake with a ‘Million’. The ‘Ladies Derby’ as the Oaks is typically referred to as, had eight fillies lined up. Four of them had traveled from Bangalore while one came in from Western India to join the three local girls for the twelve furlongs test of stamina. It was S.Ganapathy trained Forever Glory (Alnasr Alwasheek-Forever Elegance) who emerged as the victor after a keen contest with Practically Perfect right through the final furlong.
Chantilly set the pace right from the start and established a big lead over the nearest runner while the race favourite Surya Lakshmi was off the pace in the last position. As the field turned for home Chantilly was still in front but had started to tire out and it was evident that she would pass the baton. Practically Perfect ridden by S.John was the first to make the move inside the last 300 metres and Forever Glory who was all along hugging the rails was pulled out by B.Sreekanth to go for the kill. The two Bangalore based fillies fought out the last 200 metres and Forever Glory collared Practically Perfect close to the winning post. A ‘neck’ was the final verdict but Forever Glory’s victory was far more comfortable than that. The trip seemed to be a strenuous one for Surya Lakshmi, who finished fourth behind Aegis.
Jockey B.Sreekanth who was inducted to Dr.M.A.M.’s team recently, is peaking on self-belief and showing plenty of maturity as a rider. The Oaks win was the second classic triumph for this young lad from Bangalore who is a budding engineer. Sreekanth started horse riding as a hobby, being indentured as an apprentice with trainer V.Loknath.
Sreekanth had earlier ridden K.Satheesh trained Snow Bird (Oath-X Factor) to a pillar to post victory in the Smt.Teegala Sulochana Reddy Memorial Byerly Turk Million-Grade III. The six furlongs sprint was the supporting event of the day. The favourite Oasis Vision moved fast from the rear but was lugging in throughout the last 200 metres and fell short by half a length at the finish.
Jockey P.S.Chouhan got the feel of another brilliant youngster from Deshmukh’s nursery, Machiavellianism (Jazll-Empress Jessle), in the Hyderabad Juvenile Million, a seven furlongs Terms race for three year olds. Machiavellianism, a first timer, was sent into the race as‘money back’ favourite, over his four rivals, was the most impressive winner of the day. Perfect led early while Chouhan was loitering towards the rear till entering the home stretch. Machiavellianism moved smoothly on the straight to take charge and stretch away from the rest with ease. Prince Prashant got the better of Perfect to take the runner-up berth.
Satheesh led in Star Striker (China Visit-Supreme Princess) in the Salarjung Cup. Apprentice P.Sai Kumar settled Star Striker in second behind Balladier as the field of eight runners settled down over the 1800 m trip. Entering the last 300 metres Star Striker surged ahead and thwarted the late dash of Bribe Madi.
Anupam Sharma’s Ache For Love (Black Cash-Calliope) who was trailing the field till the final turn, weaved through the field on the final straight, to score an impressive win in the opener, the lower division of the Banarsilal Gupta Memorial Cup. Euphonic had to settle for the second place ahead of Sheikh’s Emperor.
K.S.V.Prasad Raju and A.Imran Khan combined to register a popular double through Cannon Jet and Melody Queen. Cannon Jet (Royal Gladiator-Persian Conquest) quickened on the home stretch to get past the front running Ben Chocolate in the higher division of the Banarsilal Gupta Memorial Cup. Senorita and Zenas filled the frame.
Melody Queen (Hymn-Jukebox) who was knocking at the door this winter beat the field convincingly, in the lower division of the Roman Beauty Plate, the concluding race of the day. Rosemead and Westminister finished second and third respectively, in a close finish.
The higher division was won by Laxman Singh trained Front Line (Ikthyar-Safe Haven) who surged ahead under apprentice Harinder Singh. Twentyfivepips, Chesapeake and Indian Storm filled the frame.
L.D’Silva’s Magic Million (Don Michelleto-Life Is Life) charged ahead to collar the favourite Vijay Monarch inside the last 150 metres and lift the Sri A.S.Krishna Memorial Cup. The Leader warmed up late and galloped strongly along the shortest path but had to settle for the third place.