Darashah's ward Perfect Chemistry was a lucky winner of the Solitaire Cup, the day’s feature in Wednesday’s racing at Mysore. Gnaneshwar rode a waiting race on her, and settled her in mid-bunch as Dashing Affair, Zabdiel and Viking Victor made the early running. The favourite Satin Slipper was drawn the widest of all, and found it difficult to get a comfortable position till well into the straight. The front-runners veered out and in the process took Satin Slipper onto the outer strip of the track. Gnaneshwar was lucky to be away from all this jostling, and found a huge opening on the rails.
He accepted it in a trice, pushed Perfect Chemistry to the front and opened up a gap of more than three lengths over its nearest challenger. Satin Slipper, in the meanwhile, was seen devouring ground on the wide outside, and was unlucky to finish a close second ahead of a tiring Viking Victor. Satin Slipper should recover the losses for its connections in her next outing.
A race for maiden three year-olds saw the appearance of two horses from the Darashah stable. Dancer's Wave had lost as an odds-on favourite last time out and was available this time at 7/1.
The well-bred Special Gallery (Steinbeck-Blue Gardenia) was all the rage and was backed down to half money. It was perhaps the presence of Gnaneshwar in the saddle which prompted the patrons to plunge on him. Their confidence was misplaced as Dancer's Wave galloped in front with San Siro in close attendance. The favourite was found galloping on the wrong leg and was unable to keep pace with the leaders. Jockey Chouhan made free use of the whip on San Siro, but was unable to catch up with Dancer's Wave.
Special Gallery was hard pressed to finish a distant third and should be left alone for a while.
The lower division of the Solitaire Cup was easily annexed by the public fancy Show N Tell. She was backed down to the exclusion of her rivals and sent into an early lead by P S Chouhan. She was eased up to pass the winning post many lengths ahead of Gypsy's Advise and Power of Glory. The winner can repeat in her present form and condition.
Pradeep-trained Suleman Pasha is a recent import from western India. This gelding has seen far superior company and at one time was rated fairly high by his connections. In recent times, he had run a good second in Pune and the new owners decided to campaign him in Mysore. Their confidence was evident when they backed him down and sent him to the starting gates as a clear favourite. Apprentice ridden Cartouche was seen going into the early lead with Discman on his outside, while Suleman Pasha was seen cantering in mid-bunch.
The favourite quickened well into the straight and seemed to be going away for an easy victory, when all of a sudden he started to shorten his strides. Cartouche came back at him, but was found 3/4 length shy at the wire. Suleman Pasha may not find it easy to defy the handicapper in his next outing.
Vivek rode a brilliant race to guide Connaught Square to a thrilling victory in a race for horses in the highest class at Mysore. Time to Celebrate was fancied ahead of Dangerous Illusion and Connaught Square.
Ambiens charged off to the front and was collared in the straight by Time To Celebrate. However, Ranjeet Singh on the favourite soon found Aberlour by his side and Connaught Square on the wide outside. The three of them fought it out for a while before Vivek's hard riding brought out the best in Connaught Square and he got the better of Time To Celebrate in the last 50 metres of the race. Sensitive Prince was an impressive fourth without much assistance from a whipless apprentice.
The last two races saw rank outsiders romping home, adding to the discomfort of the patrons.
The heavily bandaged Battle Honour was available at 100/1 and obviously had no takers since it had no form to win this race. Midsummer Star was seen going start-to-finish and seemed to be holding on from Maratha Conqueror, Action Zone, Charing Cross and Collateral. Battle Honour was last into the straight and started galloping on the wide outside. He picked up the front-runners one by one, and suddenly found himself in front at the all important end. There was a stunned silence at the race course.
The last race was won start-to-finish by Pure Gold which was easily backable at 50/1. Sandokan was backed down to odds-on favouritism, but he found it difficult to match strides with the Melvyn ridden outsider. Penny Tweedy came on the rails and beat Sandokan into third place. The rest of the runners were outclassed. With this victory, Melvyn was able to share the day’s professional honours with his master Tharun and trainer Darashah, each one of them being associated with a double.