Trainer Karthik Ganapathy leading Maple Star (B Sreekanth Up), winner of The Speaker's Cup
The presence of outstation horses during summer has indeed added spice and made racing more competitive at Bangalore. Saturday was a busy day, with lots of action in almost all the races. Close finishes were the order of the day, so much so that the opening event saw a dead-heat for the first place. The victories of Maple Star and Centrestage were the pick of the day. Neil Darashah among the trainers and P.S. Chouhan and P.Trevor were the most successful professionals in the day, scoring a double each.
The Speakers Cup which featured the day’s card witnessed hectic action in the betting ring, with Mumbai filly Maple Star and Hyderabad raider Plenipotent receiving strong support, both of them moving into the gates as joint favourites. Both the youngsters were coming into the race with a hat trick of wins to their credit at their respective centers. Going into the race, Bryant Park set the pace, followed closely by Plenipotent and Maple Star held in third, a couple of lengths behind. As they progressed around the final turn, Chouhan put pressure on Plenipotent and it took a while for the colt to move ahead of the leader. With Chouhan in full flow, Sreekanth guided Maple Star on the outer path and the filly produced a terrific turn of foot to snatch the race close to the winning post. Lad King finished in the money, ahead of Bryant Park. Maple Star (Mull Of Kintyre-Sonic Symphony), the property of Dr.M.A.M.Ramaswamy, trained by G.Karthik, unbeaten in the last four starts will now look forward for the Fillies’ crown coming up in two weeks.
Arjun Mangalorkar’s Kyles Of Bute (Glory Of Dancer-Making Waves) lifted the higher division of the Dharmaprakasha L.S.Venkaji Rao Memorial Cup in a pulsating finish beating Celestial Son in the shadow of the wining post. Celestial Son forged ahead of Demonstrator inside the last 300 metres and Kyles Of Bute made headway near the distance marker to join the fight. With some hard riding by S.John, ‘Kyles’ stretched forward to put its neck ahead of Celestial Son to emerge victorious. Demonstrator held on to finish third from the late finishing Rip Van Winkle. The favourite Star Marquess failed to respond and finished fifth.
Dr.& Mrs.Vijay Mallya’s Speed Six (Burden Of Proof-Six Speed), from the stables of S.Padmanabhan, justified the short price in the lower division. Speed Six tracked the early leader Smooth Glider till turning for home and moved forward to lead on the straight. Aztec Gold made way through horses and unleashed a fast run to bridge the gap but Speed Six had gone past the post by a comfortable half length margin.
P.Trevor who had ridden Speed Six to victory, sported Dr.Mallya’s colours again in the next race, to drive home Pesi Shroff trained Centrestage (Noverre-Naivement) to an exhilarating maiden win, in the Divine Light Plate. When Centrestage was shown the daylight with a furlong left, she got into a fluent rhythm to lengthen her strides without the rider having to move a muscle. The victory was very promising and a bright career for the filly looks imminent. Sussex Downs, Unforgatable and Angel Crown filled the frame in that order in a close finish among the three.
Trainer Neil Darashah pulled off a double through Sumela and Sun Devine. The top weighted Sumela (Senure-Senorita Rose) shared the race with Apollo King (Hymn-Mazzal) in a dramatic finish in the opener, the lower division of the Bhishma Plate. Sumela with Imran Chisty astride and Apollo King under Amyn Merchant fought out almost throughout the final straight and went past the winning post locked together. The ‘magic eye’ could not separate the two and the judge declared a dead heat. Super Star was hanging in badly on the final stretch and finished third.
The higher division again a fiercely fought duel involving Borak and Sun Devine. Suraj Narredu was astride Borak and P.S.Chouhan on Sun Devine. The two top flight riders were in full flow and it was a treat for the racegoers to watch them pull out their best. Sun Devine (Burden Of Proof-Devine Dreams) finally prevailed by half a length.
Chouhan drove B.Prithviraj’s Sparkling Image (Burden of Proof-Tally) to a start to finish win in the lower division of the Holding Court Plate, the concluding race of the day. A murmur after the horses left the parade ring that Sparkling Image was not ‘off’ saw the odds moving upwards. Chouhan was quick to get Sparkling Image from an outer draw and hit the front early. With a two lengths lead on top of the straight, Sparkling Image shrugged off Kripa first and kept going. Foswell warmed up late to take the second spot.
Prasanna Kumar schooled Nessie (Glory Of Dancer-Fast Trick) under apprentice M.Noornabi bridged the big leeway that Game Dancer had established on entering the home stretch and sped past to romp home easily in the higher division.