Mrs Sharmila Padmanabhan , Mr Byram N Jeejeebhoy & trainer S Padmanabhan leading Borsalino (A Sandesh Up), winner of The Kingfisher Derby Bangalore Gr.1
Trainer Padmanabhan's Borsalino put up a heroic show on a soft track while cantering away with The Kingfisher Derby Bangalore (Grade I) on Sunday. He displayed great speed, as well as deep reserves of stamina, while dismissing his dozen rivals. The maturity with which he handled the going and revelled over the mile and a quarter ,are both hallmarks of a real champion. He deserved every accolade that he recieved after this smashing performance. Thirteen runners had accepted to start in this race. Since most of them had already raced against each other, it had the makings of a real potboiler. As he had won the Colts Championship, Deshmukh's Machiavellianism was the first choice of the punters. He had travelled wide for most of the way, and still managed to get up in time while finishing ahead of Shivalik Hero, Silver Birch, Borsalino and Hachiko. The fact that Machiavellianism had come from behind added to the lustre as it was felt that the extra quarter mile in the Derby was well within his compass. Since Shivalik Hero and Silver Birch had made early moves that day, it was felt that with a better timed run, either of them could turn the tables on their vanquisher. With heavy overnight showers, the Bangalore track was rendered soft. It somehow ensured that only a gutsy performer would be able to land this priceless trophy. Borsalino did more than that while pocketing the rich prize on offer. The colt, bred at the Kunigal Stud Farm ,gave his young partner the pleasure of winning the first classic in his short career.
Storming out of his inner draw, Borsalino set a strong pace ahead of Silver Birch, Tintinnabulation, Defining Moment, Machiavellianism and Hachiko. The fancied pair of Shivalik Hero and Portia were a few lengths behind the leading group, as they tackled the first half of their journey. The action got a bit more intense thereafter. While Borsalino continued his domination, the ones behind him got busy. Shivalik Hero and Portia rolled sideways under pressure and caved-in much before they reached the bend. Machiavellianism was unable to reproduce his sparkling acceleration today. Silver Birch was holding second while Super Storm was seen searching for some good ground on the wide outside. In the midst of all this, it was a pleasure to see Borsalino in action. With Sandesh urging him further, the colt increased the tempo. In a matter of seconds, he had opened up a huge lead over the others. Sandesh managed a couple of cheeky looks before relaxing his hold on the winner. Even then, he managed to score by eight lengths from a late finishing Super Storm and Silver Birch. Favourite Machiavellianism plodded along to take the last spot on the result boards.
Trainer Padmanbhan was obviously overjoyed with this performance. He revealed at a post race interview, that he never had doubts about Borsalino's stamina. Since Martin Dwyer had suggested the use of blinkers, he had heeded his advice. The fifth place in the Colts Championship hadn't disheartened him, as that was Borsalino's first start this season. Since the pace had been a bit slow that day, he had instructed Sandesh to make it faster in The Derby. The trainer was quick to appreciate the youngsters efforts in the saddle. Sandesh had followed instructions and ridden brilliantly. For the young man, it was a momentous occasion. Sandesh has made rapid progress as a jockey, and has been riding well in recent times. This could be the beginning of a long and fruitful innings for him. It is reliably learnt that Sandesh has been retained by the Shirke family to ride their horses accross the country. He is sure to capitalize on this wonderful opportunity.Borsalino has emerged as a fine prospect for his connections and his trainer is sure to take him places.
Padmanbhan's cup of joy was full to the brim, as he had already picked up The Nawab Arshad Ali Khan Memorial Cup with Equine Lover. This prestigious terms race for three year olds is highly regarded, as the winner of this event generally goes on to achieve bigger objectives. Winners of more than one race were seen carrying penalties. Since Deja Vu had won thrice, he was giving weight to Vijay's Pride. The winner of The Fillies Championship was a firm favourite in this race. On the basis of her debut victory over an identical distance of seven furlongs, and the fact that she had been assigned the lowest weight in this race, Equine Lover enjoyed her share of support with the bookmakers. Because of his unruly behaviour, Charlemagne got entangled in the gates and was declared a non-starter. Vijay's Pride delayed the start by a few minutes , as she was totally reluctant to enter the gates. However, the handlers succeeded in their efforts and the six runners were flagged off to an even start. Equine Lover went smoothly to the front and set a strong pace ahead of Turf Lightning, Maths Baby and Deja Vu. Despite being niggled, Vijay's Pride continued to stay at the back. The race picked up speed at the bend. With most of the riders going for their whips, the field began to spread out in the straight. Equine Lover continued to dominate proceedings and was a few lengths ahead of Maths Baby and Deja Vu. Vijay's Pride had surrendered without a fight. The winner is a nice type and since this was only her second start, it may not surprise many if she matures to become a classic contender
The Ambrosia BTC Anniversay Cup (Grade II) was the added attraction in the day's card. A large group of eighteen top class horses were vying for the first prize. Many amongst them had won similar events in the recent past, and the present terms were so tight ,that it was almost impossible to find a winner. Speed Six and Cardinal headed the betting charts, but the 5/1 offered against each of them showed the "open" nature of this race. Because of the large number of runners, this race was expected to produce a thrilling finish. However, nothing of the sort happened. Arjun Mangalorkar's Optimus Prime sported a pair of wings and thrashed his opponents.The six year old ran one of the best races of his long career. Speed Six and Maddox tracked a runaway Lovely Kiss as the well spread out field entered the straight. With nothing really looking threatening from behind, the finish seemed to be restricted to the three of them. Lovely Kiss succeeded in warding off her pursuers in the final furlong. Not many noticed the movements of Optimus Prime till that stage. He had taken the shortest route and was rallying on the rails. Finding a huge opening near the furlong pole, his path was clear. With John making free use of his whalebone, Optimus Prime seized the opening and strode towards the finishing line. Since the front-runners had already shot their bolts, Optimus Prime looked like the only one galloping in this race. The winning margin of over five lengths confirmed his superiority over Lovely Kiss, Speed Six and Maddox. Most of the runners were unable to handle the underfoot conditions and many of them were seen "walking" at the end.
Leading jockey Suraj Narredu enthralled his fans with a superb performance on Derby Day. He rode four public choices to comfortable victories and made sure that the large crowd gathered at the race course went home in a happy frame of mind. While his first two winners were saddled by uncle Malesh Narredu, he won the last two races for trainer Irfan Ghatala. The lack of a run on the Bangalore track had resulted in a loss for both An Acquired Taste and Manyatta in the earlier part of this season.After the said start, Malesh had sharpened An Acquired Taste on the training track. One look at him in the paddock was enough to realize that he was a different proposition today. The big made horse looked well muscled and sported a wonderful coat. He leapt out of the gates and set a strong pace ahead of his maiden rivals. Sans Frontieres tried matching strides with him till the bend, but was unequal to the task. While An Acquired Taste sped away in the straight, Sans Frontieres surrendered the runner-up berth to Impressive Bolt. Fancied Supreme ran poorly and even failed to save place money for her numerous backers.
Manyatta was a trifle unlucky to lose a well endowed event a fortnight ago. After taking a commanding lead in the straight, Manyatta had been caught on the post by Deja Vu. The handicapper had given him a stiff penalty for the said performance. He was seen conceding weight to quite a few talented youngsters today. Both Ashwa Shakti and Quick Enough had good credentials. However, they were unable to handle the blistering acceleration shown by Manyatta. Suraj allowed Quick Enough and Nickel Chrome to lead on sufferance, and brought Manyatta to join them in the straight. It ceased to be a contest thereafter. Showing splendid acceleration, the favourite powered away from the rest of them . Quick Enough was the best amongst the beaten brigade. Ashwa Shakti rallied late from behind to seize the third spot near the final post. Manyatta is sure to bag bigger and richer laurels on his return to Western India.
In his previous outing, Tiberius had posted a fairly impressive victory.. As a youngster, this game galloper had reeled-off a series of wins last summer, but his form had tapered off thereafter. Irfan had entered him in a class II handicap , wherein ,he was being opposed primarily by Eastern Summit and Winning Tactics. Whilst Eastern Summit had already completed a hat-trick this season, Winning Tactics was attempting to score a third successive victory. Both of them were found wanting against an in-form Tiberius. With Silver Sceptre setting a scorching pace ahead of Eastern Summit, Suraj was content to wait with Tiberius. In his trade mark fashion, he made his move near the bend and took over the running. Tiberius responded to Suraj's urgings and sped away with The Mumbai Cup. Celebrity came from way off the pace to end a respectable second. The handicapper seems to have caught up with Eastern Summit, as the filly could do no better than finish a very tame third.
After an easy start under Anjar Alam, Esteban was entrusted to Suraj today. This colt was known to be a speedy customer. The bookmakers had little hesitation in installing him as a firm favourite, but some late and spirited betting on Dhariwal's Veyron, saw the two of them starting as joint favourites in the last race of the day. While Biutiful and Union Jack led marginally from Esteban, Veyron was under pressure to keep pace with them. This fact became more obvious near the bend. Despite Zervan's urgings, Veyron refused to move forward. Esteban wrested the issue in the final furlong, and amidst some strong cheering from his camp, gave Suraj his fourth winner of the afternoon. Veyron found late foot to beat Biutiful into third place.
The The two divisions of The Mysore Cup witnessed the eclipse of raging hot favourites Macedonian and Cielo Signore, and victories for rank outsiders Sicily and Loyal King. After his win in a maidens event earlier in the season, Macedonian was running in handicap company. He was being opposed by a couple of other three year olds named Sebright and Piano Man, both of whom had also cleared the maiden ranks at their respective centres.With B Prakash in the saddle, Macedonian tried to run away with the race, but was found wanting in the final furlong. He was challenged by Sebright , Piano Man and Sicily near the distance post. Rank outsider Sicily found better ground on the wide outside and got stronger at the finish. Being ridden vigorously by Valdir DeSouza, he galloped resolutely to nail Sebright and Piano Man on the post. Macedonian stopped in his tracks to end a close fourth.
Suleiman Attaolahi's Cielo Signore had failed a couple of times in maiden company, and the connections chose to run him alongside older horses on Sunday. He stood tall amongst a group of modest performers and was accordingly backed down to odds-on favouritism. Trevor settled him comfortably till the bend before moving ahead of early leader Pirateer. He roused hopes of a victory before succumbing to pressure. Both Knowledge and Loyal King made their moves at the same juncture. Loyal King's better acceleration saw him getting stronger near the finish. Responding to Rajesh's whip, he overtook Knowledge and added another point to trainer Prithviraj's tally. Considering his earlier form, this performance from Cielo Signore was extremely poor. It is possible that he failed to act on soft going.