Trainer M Narredu leading An Acquired Taste (Suraj Narredu Up), winner of The Bangalore Summer Million Gr.3
Malesh Narredu's An Acquired Taste cantered away with The Bangalore Summer Million (Grade III) at the local races on Sunday. Displaying a superb temperament as well as brilliant acceleration, the big made horse served notice of his immense abilities. Blessed with initial speed and loads of stamina, An Acquired Taste has blossomed into a potential champion. If he could do what he did, within a month and a half of starting his career, there is little doubt that he will dominate racing at his parent centre. Should the connections decide to run him in The Pune Derby, it will be difficult to oppose him in the betting rings. The last of the big events reserved for three year olds this summer attracted nine runners. Being a terms event, wherein, a winner of two or more starts had to concede weight to their rivals, we saw Own Asset and Ratham giving weight to the rest of them. An Acquired Taste had lost his first start over a sprint in mid June. Lacking early speed, he had come with a strong gallop in the straight and ended a very close second. An effortless victory thereafter enabled him to graduate from the maiden ranks. On his fine showing on debut, Padmanabhan's Ace Dancer opened as the first favourite. Even though he had won over a sprint, his manner of running had suggested that the colt would have no problem in tackling the metric mile. Those who took notice of his bandages, and liked the looks of An Acquired Taste and Charlemagne in the parade ring, wanted to oppose him. As a result of this, the three of them were almost equally supported as the runners entered the starting gates.
Sandesh took Ace Dancer to the front and set a good pace ahead of An Acquired Taste and the others. The supporters of Charlemagne moaned in anguish as the horse lost considerable ground at the start. Ace Dancer continued to dictate terms and An Acquired Taste ambled along comfortably in second spot, as the field turned for home. With the jockey putting pressure on him, Ace Dancer floundered at this stage. His shortening strides enabled An Acquired Taste to go ahead of him. Suraj pulled out his stick and goaded him further. In breath-taking fashion, An Acquired Taste increased the tempo and drew away from the rest. After a fairly long time, we witnessed a three year old coming from behind and accelerating a distance clear in the straight. The official verdict was twelve and a half lengths, but this could have easily been bigger. In a scramble for the minor placings, Own Asset, Sun Salutation and Nickel Chrome managed to finish ahead of a tired Ace Dancer. The winning time was much faster than that clocked by those who lifted the Fillie's and Colt's championships. Malesh has a brilliant prospect in the winner. It is a great opportunity for him to try and win The Pune Derby in his first year as a trainer. While there is no doubt that he has another brilliant colt in his yard named Manyatta, today's winner will be better suited over a longer trip.
John and Arjun Mangalorkar combined effectively to post a quick double by winning the first and third race in the nine event card on Sunday. Both Savvy Concept and Free Law won in close finishes. Savvy Concept had run some forward races this season and shown that he was capable of winning in the near future. He got his opportunity against older horses in the day's opener. Tracking Brigade's Paradise and till well into the straight, Savvy Concept was asked to quicken. He took his time to collar the leaders and enjoyed a slender advantage as they got to the business end of this race. Surprisesucceeding showed renewed vigour to come back at Savvy Concept, but it was all in vain. Under some relentless whipping from John, the Arjun trainee went on to score an overdue victory. Royal Prodigy made up much ground towards the end to claim the third spot.
Last outing winner Free Law was running against some mediocre horses on promotion. With the weights being raised, he was forced to carry a heavy impost in this race. The one's that looked like his main threats were Invincible Shot, Lads Gladiator and Foswell. Out of the three of them, Invincible Shot had winning form. The Byramji trainee had won three on the trot and was attempting to make it four out of four this summer. With Foswell and Invincible Shot dominating the early proceedings, John was content to settle his mount in third place as they skirted the false rails and turned for home. Free Law took his time to get closer to the leading pair, as they entered the last furlong. A couple of things benefited Free Law at this stage. Foswell got tired on the rails and Invincible Shot moved marginally outwards under pressure. This provided a nice huge opening through the centre. Free Law was good enough to take it . He forced his neck ahead of Invincible Shot and managed to retain that advantage till the very end.
Their attempt to convert this double into a treble with hot favourite Wrekin in the last race of the afternoon, was thwarted by Darius Byramji's Sussex Downs. Wrekin had good form to support his chances. He had ended a good second to Meghalaya earlier in the season, wherein, he had finished ahead of horses like Spaniard, Lucky Sam, Simply Stylish and Provocateur. The performances of those who had finished behind him in their subsequent starts enhanced his chances. Even though Sussex Downs had won easily earlier this month, it was felt that she had been heavily penalized. To add to her discomfort, the filly was drawn fifteen out of fifteen today. However, Ryan Marshall encountered little opposition while taking her to the front. She set a strong pace and was a couple of lengths clear at the bend. Wrekin moved strongly at that stage and all but overtook her near the distance post. Sussex Downs refused to surrender and dug deep into her reserves of energy. With Ryan waving his whip at her, the gutsy filly floored the favourite. Sensational Mover appeared late on the scene to save place money for his backers.
First-timer Amalfi had already brought enough cheer to Darius's face by making a superb debut in the hands of Ryan Marshall over a scurry amidst a bunch of maidens. The well-built filly had been doing some excellent work on the training track and the connections felt, that should she not run "green" in her first run, she had a strong chance of upsetting the applecart of the fancied pair of Volcano and Amazon Bay. Both of them had been running game races in similar company and it was difficult to separate the two of them. The same sentiment was evident on the betting boards. Amalfi took off like a seasoned campaigner and was quick to get down to business. She led by a couple of lengths, first from Amazon Bay and subsequently from a hard ridden Volcano. PS Chouhan pulled out all stops on Volcano, but he wasn't able to match strides with the filly. Amalfi continued her forward march and went on to land The Squanderer Trophy. She is sure to do well for her sporting group of owners. It may be a good idea to leave Amazon Bay alone for a while from a betting perspective. She has already taken down a lot of good money along with her.
Pradeep Annaiah's Yourewindsofchange continued to defy the handicapper by posting another dazzling performance on promotion. He made it four-in-a-row by winning a class II sprint today. The four year old has shown remarkable improvement after each start, as his winning margins and style of victories have become bigger and better. There is no doubt that he will make his presence felt in the highest class. He looked exceedingly well in the parade ring and ran accordingly. PS Chouhan eased him into the second spot behind Romance In The Air and continued to stay ahead of Current Ray, Lad Fury and Capote. The half-money favourite was asked to quicken near the two furlong marker. Bounding ahead of the others, he carried his jockey to a comfortable victory. Lad Fury made some progress through the field to claim the second spot ahead of a hard ridden Capote. The winning trainer was delighted with his wards performance.
Royal Surprise had proved to be a costly failure for the Amit Caddy stable, as she had flopped repeatedly in the last year or so and taken down a lot of money. The connections had lost faith in her, as she had become a moody customer. A new habit of getting left at the gates was an additional headache for her trainer. Running in the lower division of The Col Rajkumar C Desraj Urs Memorial Cup, a seven furlong event for horses five years old and over, the mare got off to an even start. She tracked Caprioska and Senor Speedy till the bend. Hot favourite Fortune Queen made strong headway on the wide outside and came into a striking position. Under Imran Khan's handling, this strongly supported runner from Sharat Kumar's stable raised hopes of a popular victory. However, Valdir DeSouza had some other ideas. He nursed Royal Surprise for a brief while before making his charge. Rallying nicely towards the inner rails, she kicked ahead of the favourite and managed to hold the seven year old at the finish. The grey Youre Stunning moved fast at the end to finish a very close third.
There was some compensation for the fans of Imran and Sharat in the upper division of this event. In an open betting affair, the five to one chance Atlas Power came flying towards the centre of the track and caught a runaway Archibaldo in the final furlong. There was smart money riding on the leader as he was backed down from 10's and over to 4/1 at race time. The odds against early morning favourite Super Surprise expanded rapidly in the ring and the horse performed poorly. Despite Trevor's best efforts in the saddle, he caved-in under pressure and burst his blood vessel. Camelot was another fancied runner that flopped badly. He took off lethargically and continued to trail the pack. Smart Exotic and Mark Of Genius raced prominently till the bend before getting exhausted in the straight.
After a fairly long time, trainer Nityanand managed to add another point to his tally on Sunday. Four year old Rising Sun had been performing listlessly in recent times and had failed to touch the board after picking up a race in Mysore. With such poor credentials, it was no surprise to see him starting as an unfancied runner today. Some late support for The Situation saw him being installed as a clear favourite ahead of Javanica and Aspect Of Love. Rank outsider Waltz Away shot into an early lead, but was soon caught and passed by Rising Sun. Despite the widest draw, Appu had little trouble in bringing him into contention. It became a one horse affair thereafter. Rising Sun got stronger in the straight and went away for a smooth victory over The Situation and Astonishing. The Situation made up much ground in the straight, but found his heavy burden a stopper. He will be a different proposition the day he runs against horses in his own age group at a low weight in a higher category.