Fond Fantasy stands out in 2000 Guineas
Fond Fantasy’s win in the Gr 2 Bangalore 1000 Guineas last fortnight was so impressive that it is hard to look beyond the daughter of Razeen to lift the Gr 2 Bangalore 2000 Guineas which features Saturday’s races. Fond Fantasy’s form appeared to be taking a dip at Mysore when she recorded two hard-fought wins. Just when everyone was expecting the others to catch up with her in the first classic of the season Fond Fantasy put in a splendid performance, by swamping the opposition in tremendous fashion. The exciting quality of that win was the fact that Fond Fantasy had indeed showed improvement over her summer form and she appeared to be in much better shape physically. Fond Fantasy is the highest rated horse in the fray and the mile long trip suits her fine because the blinding acceleration that she is capable of in the homestretch is what that could tilt the scales decisively in her favour. Interestingly, her full sister Wandering Star who won the Deccan Derby and Accrual, winner of the Fillies Trial Stakes at Hyderabad, did not train beyond the monsoon season where as Fond Fantasy seems to have reserved her best during for her fourth season. Trainer Ganapathy has done a commendable job on the filly.
Five colts and geldings will be taking on the might of Fond Fantasy. Michael Eshwer trained Lancaster has thus far not actualized his potential. He has always given hope of better things to come but finished second best. Lancaster’s only win of his career came early this year in a race meant for horses bred in Karnataka and after that, Lancaster ran behind Secret Romeo in the Gr 1 Poonawalla Breeders Multi-Million and then was a noteworthy second behind Grosvenor Square in the Gr 1 Colts Trial Stakes in Summer. The son of Glory Dancer appeared to be lacking in initial speed and he sported blinkers when he ran in the Derby. He bolted to the front and faded out close home. However, he lapsed back into his old self when he again lacked initial speed when losing to Ramjet in his lead up race. Lancaster is shaping extremely well and this is his last chance to prove himself as a worthy classic contender. He has to come out of the rut that he has fallen into.
The exciting prospect of the race is Padmanabhan trained Spark of Glory who bounced into classic contention on the basis of his fluent win over nine furlongs. The son of Razeen has made tremendous improvement after a setback in training had kept him out of action during the monsoon season. The only question mark against him is whether the mile long trip will not prove too sharp for his style of running. Spark of Glory has been subjected to good systematic preparation and considering the fact that he won last time out even when he was far from ready, he could be trusted to be the one to spoil everyone’s party.
Darius Byramji trained Son of the Light unexpectedly emerged as a classic horse at Mysore. The son of Bee’s Prospector ran Fond Fantasy close in the Nanoli Stud Million and then went on to win the Mysore 2000 Guineas, beating a listless Secret Romeo. He ran as a favourite in the Derby but was beaten by stablemate Allies Serenade. Since he beat a out of form Secret Romeo, nothing much can be made of Son of the Light’s performance and unless he proves himself all over again, the victory at Mysore should be considered as a flash in the pan.