Trainer S Narredu leading Super Storm (Suraj Narredu Up), winner of The Governor’s Trophy
Satish Narredu trained Super Storm displayed a remarkable turn of foot in the final furlong to canter away with The Governor's Trophy at Bangalore on Saturday. The bay colt revealed his staying abilities by excelling over a mile in only the second start of his career. Only five runners faced the starter in this terms event, wherein, a winner of a race carried the same weight as a maiden. Micheal Eshwer's Treasure Mountain, who had already won twice, was seen conceding five kilos to his four opponents. Dominic trained Stellar Ambition garnered much support to start as a favourite. He was well off at the weights and his style of running suggested that the trip was well within his compass. Even though Treasure Mountain had beaten him narrowly at level weights, it was fair to assume that at a disadvantage of five kilos, he would not do so today. Super Storm was relatively an unknown commodity. A faraway fourth over a sprint was all that he had to show his supporters. However, his shortening odds reflected the confidence of his connections. Super Storm received strong support in the betting rings.
Treasure Mountain was the first to get down to business in this race. He led by a couple of lengths from Stellar Ambition and Super Storm, while Entertainer and Fantastic Star were seen labouring at the back. Anthony Crastus asked Treasure Mountain to quicken in the straight, but the colt failed to respond. He shortened his strides and faded out of contention. PS Chouhan brought Stellar Ambition with a nice looking effort and took over the running, but his dominance was short-lived. In a matter of seconds, they were joined by Super Storm. Suraj Narredu had put him in top gear and he was literally "cruising" in the straight. A couple of taps with the whalebone was all that was required to pick up further momentum. Super Storm increased the margin of his victory and won comfortably from Stellar Ambition, Entertainer and a totally exhausted Treasure Mountain. It may be too early talk about Super Storm as a "Classic Contender", but he is definitely one of the best juveniles that we have seen thus far at Bangalore.
For both Suraj and Satish Narredu, the above mentioned victory was the second for the afternoon. Suraj had successfully partnered Arjun Mangalorkar's Sky Train in The Varada Cup. Being a sprint for horses five years old and over in Class II, it gave Sky Train an opportunity to run against horses in his own age group. Suraj allowed Romance In The Air, The Spartan and Soberano to lead them into the straight. After pulling Sky Train towards the centre of the track, he made his charge. The dark bay responded nicely to his urgings, overtook the early leaders and went on to post a comfortably victory. Now that Sky Train has re-discovered his old form, it may not take him long to win another race in similar company.
The sparingly raced Whisper In Town was a known "bleeder". Satish Narredu had chosen to run her in the lowest class over a slightly longer trip of seven furlongs. With money flowing in the direction of Pradeep Annaiah's Mellonsdelight, one could easily write one's own card on the others. A belated fifth in the higher class was the best performance from Mellonsdelight thus far in his career. Red Hot and Whisper In Town set a solid pace in this race. The others, including the favourite, were under pressure to keep up with the leaders. With Red Hot getting tired near the bend, it was Whisper In Town who seized the initiative. In the hands of R Koch, she stormed home to a stunning victory. Jigri Dost came late on the scene to push Mellonsdelight into third place. It seemed as though the favourite was a bit uncomfortable under his heavy impost. He can be given a chance the day he carries the bottom weight in the next class.
Pradeep Annaiah had some compensation when Jaanvi caused a stunning upset in an age group race for horses in class IV. The five year old mare was known to relish a sprint. She is a speedy type who loves to race in front. Since she was running over seven furlongs, and also because she had T Bernard as her partner, Jaanvi was ignored from a betting perspective. Sharat Kumar's Fantabulous Star was the rage in this race. He had been carefully brought down in class and was travelling over his favourite trip today. A mishap at the starting gates ensured his defeat. He was badly hampered at the jump and it was obvious that he would be unable to make up the lost ground. Jaanvi went to the front and stayed there. In fact, she was seen getting stronger at the finish. Jack O Lantern took the second spot, while Fantabulous Star came through a tightly packed field to finish a poor third.
After his treble yesterday, jockey PS Chouhan went one step further by posting a fourth-linker on Saturday. Seven winners over the week-end have brought him at par with Suraj Narredu in the jockey's championship. PS Chouhan has been chosen by The Turf Authorities Of India as the Champion Jockey 2010-2011, and this honour shall be bestowed on him next week during the Invitation Week-end at Bangalore. He gave ample proof of his talent by performing wonderfully during the afternoon. His four winner's included a hat-trick in the first three races of the day. Dhariwal's Nickel Chrome gave him his first winner of the afternoon. The 7/1 shot wasn't given much of a chance against the likes of Irfan Ghatala's Smithsonite and Arjun Mangalorkar's Wind And Flight. Chouhan allowed the two market fancies to fight each other and run out of steam. After Wind And Flight had worn down Smithsonite, he suddenly found Nickel Chrome by his side. Finding nothing extra in the tank, he caved-in timidly and allowed the filly to assert her superiority. Nickel Chrome won by a widening margin from the pair of them.
The on-money favourite Saganaki was so much superior to her opponents on paper, that this ward from Darius Byramji's stable could be ridden comfortably. Chouhan was unperturbed by the runaway tactics employed by Eastern Summit and Senor Speedy. He cruised along with Saganaki and had her beautifully positioned at the bend. The filly was given her head at that stage and asked to quicken. Being ridden hands and heels, Saganaki extended her margin of victory over Samovar, For An Angel and eastern Summit.
The champion jockey reserved his best for Neil Darashah's Nadia. The Rebuttal filly was carrying a back-breaking weight over a mile and a quarter. Stablemate Radical Attraction was a firm favourite ahead of Castro, while Nadia was freely available at 6/1 with the bookmakers. Chouhan relaxed Nadia at the back and was content to wait with her for most of their journey. Radical Attraction led briefly into the straight before being over-powered by Castro. The latter took a firm hold of the proceedings and under the guidance of Crastus emerged clear of the pack. It was at this stage that Chouhan made his move. Producing Nadia on the wide outside, he pulled out his stick. The filly gained ground with each subsequent stride and managed to nail Castro near the winning post.
Neil and Chouhan scored another point with Celestial Son. The bandaged seven years old reproduced his earlier form to post an easy victory. Having lost narrowly in the lower class, Neil ran Celestial Son at a much lower mark in the higher category. Celestial Son galloped well within himself for the first half of this sprint. He joined Lad Fury at the top of the straight and wore him down with each subsequent stride. It was a one horse affair thereafter as nothing looked threatening from behind. Magnitude Star rallied late to take the third spot ahead of a tired Game Dancer.