Trainer Karthik Ganapathy receiving The AGP Multi-Million from Zaara Gidwani
Dr MAM Ramaswamy owned Maple Star (Mull of Kintyre – Sonic Symphony) came alive with a spirited gallop at the business end to storm ahead to earn nearly a million and half along with an impressive trophy that was on offer for the AGP Multi-Million.
Wings of Glory and Blue Ace were at the helm when they turned for home. Forest Legion, trainer Karthik figured out later, needed a tongue-strap, did seem off colour and went down without a whimper. Maple Star raced in fourth followed by Destiny, Chicharito and Borak. Patcha and Anahi never looked the part.
Wings of Glory after leading them in, made way to Blue Ace past the 400 and that’s exactly when Maple Star began to accelerate decisively. Maple Star devoured ground briskly and soon it was all over. Maple Star was in complete command in the final furlong and kept the momentum going and none behind, Borak included even stepped up to offer even a semblance of a challenge. Maple Star won untroubled and scored with surprising ease.
Blue Ace yet again had to be content with the runner-up slot for a frustrating third time in succession. He however, did well to stay ahead of the rest. Chicharito finished on well to wrest the place money among a bunch of horses finishing together. Borak was ridden far too away from the action and could was out of the equation from early on. These two with Destiny and Wings of Glory ended almost together.
“I am overjoyed at the response I got from Maple Star and he showed great energy while finishing on. He travelled well throughout and in the straight, when I alerted him, he unleashed a powerful gallop. I knew we would make it the moment he started surging forward. I peeped back once we were away and saw no threat lurking. This is a big win for me and I am happy,” said young jockey Trevor.
“I had two horses running and felt both had a decent chance. Hayes told me that Forest Legion was not holding the bit right and was chocking on her tongue. Maple Star was absolutely fit and his victory comes as no surprise to me. Trevor did precisely as was expected and this was a good race to win” said trainer Karthik.
The other highlight of the day was the Dr Jagjit Singh Owner’s Tribute Million. This race was an electrifying finish and Tag Along Tommy could consider himself fortunate to have had his nose in front at the wire. Tag Along Tommy hit the front soon on start and that’s the way he usually makes his attempt. He worked up a handy lead coming into the straight and kicked on making them all run.
At the distance post, he looked comfortably ahead, but that’s the most deceptive part of the stretch. His handy lead looked good but the others were finishing fast. Golden Memory was getting a bit closer but also taking a while to bridge that gap. Marine Zone then literally flew from the outside and covered considerable ground at a fiery clip and Tag Along Tommy and Marine zone flashed past the winning post together. It appeared as if Marine Zone had just managed to pip Tag Along Tommy but had fallen short by a whisker. The finish was exhilarating and Golden Memory too was involved, finishing just half a length behind the pair.
Bling (Oath – Satin Lover) produced her best when needed most and cantered to an awesome fifth career victory from nine outings. The top class set was expected to be an acid test to the Sanjay Kolse ward, but she simply carried on regardless of the tough set of competition she was pitted against.
At the start, Romantique was left and took no serious part in the race. Desert Rule took charge to lead the field with Bling following him for the major part of the race. Desert Rule held his own even on straightening up and kept going at a decent clip, but without increasing the tempo as required. Bling pounced on him a furlong from the winning post and stretched away nicely to win untroubled. Su Chaliyo who was expected to run a big race, just managed to come from behind and beat the friendless Desert Rule narrowly for the runner-up berth.
Pure Elation (Royal Kingdom – Piccolina) had showed promise in his last two outings and he duly delivered this time. Class Apart did all the hard work and led the field right from the start to lose the plot in the last few strides. Class Apart went all out and was successfully keeping Incognito at bay and was travelling better of the two with the winning post in sight. Martinique, by then looked beat and Pure Elation was yet to make his final charge. Just when it looked like Class Apart would sustain till the end, Pure Elation warmed up and unleashed a furious gallop sending his surging ahead of Class Apart close home. Incognito ran on to finish third, while Martinique, who received good support in the ring, failed to accelerate and ended an unheralded fourth.
Sorrento (Diamond Green – Sonatina) seems to be in sublime form as he once again defied the odds and spun an exciting win. Invictus was the favourite and set about leading from the front. Sorrento was content to play it safe and follow Invictus, the rest were close behind save Star Treasure who was tailed off last.
Sorrento took charge early in the straight and got into a fine rhythm. He galloped gallantly and looked in command even when Snow Blaze inched closer. Sorrento kept on going and won comfortably in the end. Snow Blaze did well to finish second managing to stay ahead of Eye of the Storm. Invictus disappointed and finished one off the frame behind Ariane.
Storm Tracker (Weather Warning – Wolanstonita) as expected won the AGP History of India Trophy. Scarlatti did the early running before surrendering meekly to his overwhelming owner mate Storm Tracker. The money back favourite cruised into the lead and looked the winner long way from home. He seemed in no hurry as he covered ground leisurely yet managing to stay well ahead of Sophisticated who was working much harder to gain on him. Storm Tracker finally pulled it off by just under two lengths to score his maiden win.
Visionaire (Razeen – Surrender) finally came good after running second twice when fancied in his last two outings. Favourite Starlight Magic made a good start and led the field comfortably until approaching the final furlong. Visionaire appeared on the scene nearing the distance post, and he along with Celsius posed a serious challenge and drew level with Starlight Magic inside the final 100 meters. Visionaire sustained his galloping momentum and got past the favourite to post a much needed victory. Starlight Magic thwarted the attempt of Celsius and stayed put to take the second slot and Xenia covered some ground to catch up with the front three to end a shade behind Celsius, which was a commendable effort though far too late.
Distant Promise (Mr Mellon – Over the Ocean) was another won who made amends over his recent failures. It was a good effort particularly as Distant Promise was never prominent for the major part of the race and surfaced steadily once well into the straight. Houdini bowed out once they straightened for home and Bemisaal took charge early in the straight. Illuminique was right there, but was not making much headway. Rio Del Ray started to make his presence felt when Distant Promise appeared on the scene with telling strides. Rajendra got Distant Promise to light up and the gelding spurred on to gallop the fastest. He quickly overhauled everyone on the way. Bemisaal did offer some resistance, but it was clearly that he was fighting a losing battle. Distant Promise won comfortably from Bemisaal and Rio Del Ray managed to peg back Illuminique for the third.
Lazor Razor (Mr Mellon – Lisianski) produced a sizzling gallop in the final furlong to leave the fighting front bunch freezing as he strode majestically with terrific speed to run away from them all. He was nowhere in the picture with less than a furlong to go.
Captain Smart was holding Flash Forward’s charge precariously and they were being chased by Beautiful Mind and Free Verse. Mountain Lion, Mediator were also hard at work in the vicinity. Lazor Razor produced a sharp gallop to sail away to post an impressive victory. Money Strike took the short cut, moving from the rails to surface from the dead-last position at the bend to run a notable second. Free Verse ended a decent third ahead of favourite Flash Forward.
For the professionals, trainers SK Sunderji and Sanjay Kolse saddled a double each while P Trevor was the lone jockey to score a brace.