Mr. Zeyn Mirza & trainer P Shroff leading Smashing (Trevor Patel Up), winner of The Karnataka Cup Gr-3
An amazing burst of acceleration in the last two furlongs enabled the Pesi Shroff trained Smashing to waltz away with The Karnataka Cup (grade III) at the Bangalore races on Sunday. It was after a very long time that railbirds were treated to such a performance. Graded events are generally closely contested affairs at this centre. The terms are so tight that runaway victories are almost impossible. However, Smashing confirmed that she is quite special, and barring her conqueror In The Spotlight, there aren't many that can match strides with her. Trevor's handling of Dr Vijay Mallya's property came in for a lot of praise, as the youngster had ridden according to the trainer's instructions. His confidence was amply justified by what the filly did on the race track. The day's feature had attracted some of the best milers presently stationed at Bangalore. Shroff's pair of Smashing and Cardinal led the outstation challenge while Southern Bay carried the hopes of the local brigade. The two fillies had run second and third in the Invitation Cup, while Cardinal had romped home in the Super Mile during the same weekend. Smashing's win in the Indian Oaks and a second in the Derby made her a strong favourite in today's race. She had been working regularly since her arrival and had also been tested in a barrier trial a few day's ago. Her paddock looks were superb. The light framed filly was dancing on her toes. The others that caught one's attention were Cardinal and Southern Bay. The three of them were backed to the exclusion of the others.
The race was run at a modest pace. Taking off briskly from her innermost draw, Forever Glory did most of the front-running. Bold Police, Spearhead, Cardinal and Southern Bay were close behind the leader. The rest in the pack were stretched out at the back, with Smashing occupying the third last spot. She had only Atlantus and another runner for company. With a number of horses, including Cardinal and Southern Bay, getting tired near the bend, we suddenly had a new leader. Spearhead kicked clear near the two furlong marker and moved towards the winning post. Since there were a number of runners that were wilting under pressure and beginning to fall back, Trevor did well to stay out of trouble. He produced Smashing on the wide outside, showed her daylight and asked her to move. She leapt forward and stormed away from the pack. But for Trevor easing her in the final stages, she may have won by an even larger margin. A brave Atlantus rallied from the back to beat Spearhead into third place, while Cardinal ended a tame fourth. Southern Bay performed poorly to finish off the frame. This victory of Smashing generated much speculation. The expected clash between In The Spotlight and Smashing shall now be awaited with a lot of interest.
Another winner in the same colours on Sunday was Carducci. Participating in The Everynsky Trophy, there was a lot of hype around this debutant from the Attaollahi stable. He looked well in the parade ring and his breeding suggested that he was ideally suited for a sprint. Track reporters were of the opinion that it would take a very good horse to beat Carducci today. Strong support for Komandur's Pack Ur Bags led to much excitement in the stands. Trevor was cool as a cucumber in the initial stages of this race. He allowed Carducci to settle behind Fire Storm and Pack Ur Bags, and did not hustle him in the backstretch. It was only when Pack Ur Bags went clear in the straight, that he began his charge. Carducci responded gamely to his jockey's urgings and it was a matter of only a few strides before he joined the issue. It ceased to be a contest thereafter. Carducci skipped clear to record an authoritative victory and gave Trevor his first winner of the afternoon. Carducci is a nice type and he is sure to earn further laurels for his connections. There is little doubt that he would be more comfortable over an extended trip. Pack Ur Bags was distinctly unlucky to run into Carducci in this race.
Leading jockey Suraj Narredu finally broke the ice by riding a couple of winners on Sunday. For someone who is generally in the thick of the action, he tasted his first success on day eight of summer. It came in the form of Malesh Narredu's talented three year old Shivalik Hero. Incidentally this was the first career win at Bangalore for Malesh as a trainer. On the basis of his Western India form, Shivalik Hero started as a strongly fancied runner in this race. While Montpelier, Union Jack and Own Asset raced prominently till the bend, Shivalik Hero raced well within himself and Suraj was content to wait with him. The supporters of the favourite got a mild shock when they saw Montpelier skipping clear of the pack. With less than 300 metres still to travel, Shivalik Hero was popped the question. He tilted his head to the left and took his time to quicken. Suraj changed his whip from right to left, straightened him out and asked him to "go". Shivalik Hero produced his known turn of foot, devoured ground thereafter and sailed away for a relatively easy victory. Own Asset and Union Jack ended side-by-side while filling the rest of the frame. The winner shall be a frontline contender in The Colts Championship later this month.
Suraj signed off in style by completing a double in the last race of the afternoon. Riding Nectar Crown for his father Satish Narredu, he had to use all his skills while helping him across the wire. Racing amongst horses aged five years old and over, Nectar Crown had a good chance to win this race. In the hands of inexperienced apprentices, he had been figuring on the board. He was a marginal favourite ahead of the Chouhan ridden She's A Lady. Both Nectar Crown and She's A Lady raced in mid-division, as Super Spectacle and Sun In Frisco brought the field into view. The two market leaders made their moves at an identical juncture. It was the quicker acceleration of Nectar Crown that settled the issue. By the time She's A Lady got into her strides, the race was over. Only three parts of a length separated the two of them at the finish. After racing prominently till the home turn, the speedy Trillion Win retired into third place.
A mile handicap for horses in Class II saw the re-appearance of Dhariwal's Panamera. This filly had flopped as a short priced favourite over a seven furlong trip a few weeks ago. Since she had never won anything longer, it was difficult to understand why the trainer had chosen this race for her. However, the punters continued to repose faith in her known abilities. But the bookmakers were more clever. They continued to increase the odds against her and laid Panamera right upto the point that this field of nine was despatched from the gates. Supremacy, Radical Attraction and Dancerella raced alongside till the bend. Panamera raced close behind the three leaders. The favourite was the first one beaten in this race. She sent distress signals and dropped through the pack. To the delight of the bookmakers, she was last of nine as they crossed the final line. The action in front was quite exciting. Just as Dancerella and Radical Attraction were fighting for the lead, we saw a new challenger. Far From Over moved steadily through the pack and won near the winning post. Christopher rode Sriram's mare with a lot of understanding. He exploited her for eventual speed, and she was good enough to make light of her heavy impost.
Three year old Next Move had finished a few runs in maiden company and since he had finished nowhere in every single start, Amit Caddy was left with no option but to run him in a handicap race. He chose a Class V scurry for him. Next Move had been gelded a couple of months ago, and it was learnt that he had worked well with the aid of blinkers. The quality of his opposition was so poor, that the bookmakers offered prohibitive odds on this maiden. Valdir Desouza took him ahead from the start and all he had to do thereafter was to keep him going. Next Move lengthened his strides in the straight and asserted his superiority. All Clear appeared late on the scene to displace Our Love from the second spot. It is difficult to read too much into the winner's performance, as those at the back may find it tough to win a race at their present mark.
A surprise winner in her previous outing, wherein, she had shocked the short-priced favourite Quick Enough, Mahesh's Eastern Summit was a popular victor today. It was apparent that she was far from ready on that occasion. Having gauged her abilities, the trainer subjected Eastern Summit to some solid preparation for this start. The confidence of the connections was displayed on the betting boards. Despite being ridden by an inexperienced apprentice named Chetan Kalay, the free striding filly was backed down to start as an odds-on choice of the punters. The boy had a tough time restraining her in the initial stages of the race. Realizing that this could prove to be counter-productive, he let her go. Eastern Summit tore away from the pack and stormed home to a bloodless victory. In a race for the minor placings, Cowboy Cal got the nod ahead of Rusty and a dis-interested Summer Sun. The winner has further scope for improvement.
The lower division of the above race produced a shocking result. The victory of the Ganapathy trained Purple Glow floored most of the punters and this winner paid more than 50/1 at the totalizators. Dhariwal's Samovar was a firm favourite in this race. Even though she was the last one to be stalled, Samovar reared-up and got entangled in her starting gate. She was so badly stuck that it took a while for the handlers to set her free. With her withdrawal, and in the absence of a clear second favourite, this race became a real puzzle. Dream Runner and Thejaguar tore away from the trailing pack, and were many lengths clear at the bend. Since they were totally exhausted in the final furlong, it gave an opportunity to some of the others. Purple Glow and Vega made their moves at almost the same juncture and the pair matched strides till they reached the winning post. Sreekanth and Purple Glow got the nod from the judge. Dream Runner did well to hang on to his third spot.