Mr.P Ashwin Rai, Mr.Shailesh Shivaswamy & Mr.Sharan V Makhija & trainer Irfan Ghatala leading Chul Bul Pandy (Anjar Alam Up), winner of The Vijayanagar Trophy Div-I
An ordinary looking card of eight events was framed for Friday's racing at Bangalore. With the Winter Season crawling towards an end, the eighty odd horses that participated during the afternoon's action failed to generate much excitement. A Class III sprint was selected as the day's feature. The nine runners in this race included Irfan Ghatala's Chul Bul Pandy and Arjun Mangalorkar's Free Law. There was little doubt that the pair was much better than the rest of the runners. However, it was tough to separate them from each other. They had finished alongside while running behind Sovetskaya earlier in the season. According to most track reporters, both had been well tuned for today's race. The one thing that somewhat tilted the balance in Chul Bul Pandy's favour, was the allowance claimed by apprentice Anjar Alam. Since the colt was known to be a speedy type, it was felt that this could be a handy advantage. He started as a marginal favourite ahead of Free Law in the day's feature.
While Lads Ability, Colour Of Money and Free Law rushed to the front, apprentice Anjar Alam chose to bide his time at the back. He settled Chul Bul Pandy into a nice and easy rhythm, and maintained his fourth spot on the inner rails. The front-runners felt the heat in the straight. Lads Ability came off the rails, and raced two off the fence as they made their way towards the final furlong. Free Law made a feeble effort to go close to him, but that did not happen. Catamaran and Ace Blood got tired and faded from the scene. In the midst of all this action, Chul Bul Pandy arrived on the scene. He seized the yawning gap along the inside and hit the front. It was smooth sailing thereafter. Responding immediately to Alam's urgings, he lengthened his strides and won by a widening margin from a tired Lads Ability. Saratoga Spring moved the best of the rest to end a fair third.
The rest of the card was dominated by jockey PS Chouhan. The in-form professional tightened his grip on the "leading jockey” title by scoring another treble on Friday. Pradeep's pair of Mellonsdelight and Jaanvi were his first two winners. The former was a firm favourite to win a mile handicap for horses in the lowest category. His third over a nine furlong trip a fortnight ago generated much hope amongst his followers. The four year old had done some brilliant work subsequently with the aid of blinkers, and the yard was quite optimistic about his chances. There was a mild scare as the start was effected. Mellonsdelight lost precious ground by taking off unevenly from the gates. The only thing that somehow came to his rescue was the quality of his rivals. While most of them, including early leaders Little Boy Blue and Red Hot got tired in the back-stretch, it was Mellonsdelight that rose to the occasion. Making steady progress through a packed bunch, he responded to Chouhan's stick. A couple of cracks near the distance post enabled him to get the better of an exhausted Little Boy Blue and For An Angel.
The win astride Jaanvi was achieved by adopting runaway tactics. Even though she was saddled with the top weight, Chouhan had little hesitation in pushing her to the front. She had won over a marginally longer trip by doing exactly the same thing last time out. Although Jaanvi was running in the same class, she was attempting to defy a winning penalty. At the end of it all, she managed to do it successfully. The three length lead near the top of the straight was something that helped her cause. Suraj and Stormyred tried their best to bridge that gap, but that wasn't sufficient to topple the leader. Making good use of his whalebone, Chouhan steered her across the wire. She's A Lady and War Artist ended besides each other while occupying the minor berths. Jaanvi is a light framed filly. It may take her a while to recover from today's exercise.
Chouhan had to use all his acumen while partnering Warren Singh's Mark Of Genius in the concluding race of the afternoon. Being drawn on the wide outside, he realized that he would have to wait for his opportunities. There was no point in using the horse early, as he was known to slow down in the straight. This race had an unusual favourite. Sharat Kumar's Fortune Queen had run seven times in the last seven months. The seven year old had failed to figure on the board on each of those occasions. Her last start fifth behind Wild Nexus was a decent effort. Receiving one-sided support near racing time, Fortune Queen started as a clear favourite to land the spoils. The mare was definitely out of depth in today's company, and despite some hard riding from Rathod, was unable to carry the public purse to victory. Hard To Pin Down looked like a winner down the straight, but the moment Mark Of Genius came alongside, it became apparent as to who would win this race. Mark Of Genius increased the tempo and went away to register a fine victory.
It would have been four for the afternoon, had Chouhan managed to win with Youre Chilubuli. The shortest priced favourite of the day was distinctly unlucky, as he was severely hampered by Star Of Desire. Taking off comfortably from the innermost draw, Youre Chilubuli was just about getting into his rhythm when he received a knock from Star Of Desire. With no place to go, the horse scraped the inner rails. Chouhan did well not to fall off the horse. Youre Chilubuli suffered grave injuries because of this interference, and lost all interest in the proceedings. It was left to Vaideeshwaran and Jewel Lady to overhaul a runaway Amber Star near the distance post and win from Nectar Crown, Star Of Desire and Trillion Win. Jewel Lady was the other winner from Warren Singh's yard on Friday.
A scurry for maiden Indian horses saw a dozen juveniles facing the starter. On the basis of an ordinary second in his last start, and in the absence of a strong contender, S Narredu's Amazon Bay started as the first favourite. A mere look at him in the parade ring was enough to realize that it may be difficult for him to win this event. A baby running within seven day's of his first career start was quite a rarity. Neil Darashah's Sun Divine had good credentials. Not only was he well-bred, but he also looked wonderful. The fact that his jockey P Trevor had been deprived the use of a whip by the stripes at Mumbai, was a big damper. However, that did not stop him from winning his race. After Boudicca and La Jawaab began tiring near the two furlong pole, Sun Divine wove his way through a tight passage and assumed command of the proceedings. The absence of a whip did not make much of a difference, as he responded to Trevor's urgings. Boudicca , Amazon Bay and La Jaawab ended close behind the winner.
The only other race in the day's card witnessed a neat performance from S Komandur's Bryant Park. This horse had been running some great races this season. His couple of second's behind Flying Snow and Affirmative were suggestive efforts. Allowing Scenic Blast to set a good pace up front, Suraj held Bryant Park in second place. It was only a matter of time before he would make a move, and it happened in the straight. Bryant Park came with a smooth bid and went away from Living Legend and Decorated. A heavily punished I Specialist, who was incidentally the favourite in this race, could do no better than finish a tame fourth.