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Elzaam Prevails in a Close Finish

By Mirror Image | 28 Jul 2011 | HYDERABAD

Mr. Adil Mirza & trainer Laxman Singh leading Elzaam (Harinder Singh Up), winner of The Dr. Harish Chandra Memorial Cup

Laxman Singh-trained Elzaam (Tirol-Shark Games) edged out Guiding Light and Vijay Monarch in an absorbing three-way finish, in the Dr. Harish Chandra Memorial Cup. Harinder Singh had Elzaam up in front mid-way up the straight when Guiding Light on the outside and Vijay Monarch on the inside began to challenge in right earnest. Guiding Light, who had finished second behind Elzaam when they met in their previous run in winter, came up with a really strong run and P.S. Chouhan on Vijay Monarch was also in full flow along the inner rails and the three fought out the last 100 metres with Elzaam prevailing by a ‘head’ at the wire and an equal distance behind was Vijay Monarch in third. This was the second win for Laxman Singh having led in first timer, Naughty Gal (European-Gaslight) in the higher division of The Set Alight Plate, a five-and-a-half-furlong sprint for maiden 3-year-olds. Surging ahead with 300 metres left in the race, Naughty Gal won comfortably despite drifting out in the final furlong. Mukhtar ran on to be second ahead of the favourite Cherry Hill.

Trainer Anupam Sharma, who fared brilliantly in winter finishing a close second in the trainers championship, has started his summer campaign in right earnest. After having opened his account yesterday, Anupam led in a mighty treble. His ward Exquisite Delight (Storm Trooper-My Way) literarily ran away in the Nawab Mehdi Jung Bahadur Memorial Cup. A big coup was successfully pulled off by the camp with the 5-year-old backed down to favouritism at 6-4. Devil’s Advocate after a sluggish start was brushed up fast to head the field till the final bend and Exquisite Delight showed a clean pair of heels on entering the straight to win by a whopping eight lengths.

The other two winners of Anupam Sharma were A Horizontal Urge and Yakshagana, both ridden by stable jockey R. Lakshmikanth. A Horizontal Urge (Greensmith-Anntari), with seven runs behind her, finally came out of her maiden ranks, in the lower division of The Set Alight Plate. Play The Music and A Horizontal Urge raced together till the top of the straight and the latter made rapid progress to surge ahead and win easily. Cypress Way covered almost a street from way behind to finish a close second in front of Refinement. The other winner, Yakshagana (Dance To Destiny-Executive Angel) had luck by her side in the lower division of The Thungabhadra Plate. After sailing into the lead, the filly had a clear four-length advantage over her nearest rival 50 metres from home but started to shorten her strides rapidly and by then Nithin Singh on Genius Empress had weaved his way through the field riding out vigorously after sighting the distress signal from Yakshagana but failed to collar the winner by a slender ‘head’.

Leo’s Notredame (Captian Rio-Prima Marta) benefited from her summer campaign at Bangalore where she had won a race out of three outings. Today, she won the higher division of The Thungabhadra Plate, beating a good type of youngster Suryalakshmi. The favourite Suryalakshmi set out in front but came under pressure on the straight when apprentice Kuldeep Singh brought Notredame with a strong challenge. Notredame galloped with big strides to win by a wide margin of five lengths.

Although there were nine horses in The Sunny Blossom Plate, one could not look beyond Deshmukh’s Castle Town and Netto’s Rajkumari. The pattern of the betting was on similar lines with Castle Town at 10-8 ‘on’ and Rajkumari offered at 5-4. P.S. Chouhan on Castle Town (Mid Town-Canaletto) waited on the haunches of Rajkumari till the last 100 metres and thereafter launched an assault to successfully land the spoils.

Habeebullah’s Fortune Art (Epicentre-Quite Certain) skipped away to lift the higher division of The Maltese Prince Plate after coming into the danger zone. About 200 metres from home, Fortune Art looked to be getting out of gas with Zone, Boyance and Santa Fe pouncing on him but quickened all of a sudden to the delight of his supporters. Zone finished second ahead of Santa Fe while Boyance got badly chopped off when venturing between Fortune Art and Zone finishing fourth.

The speedy Sprint Champ (Case Law-Tiger Flower) led all the way from the start establishing a useful lead of four lengths, 150 metres from home and that came in handy when Aneres and Max Baby came charging towards the finish.