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Fond Fantasy too good

By Sharan Kumar | 12 Dec 2003 | BANGALORE

Fond Fantasy (B.Prakash up) winner of The Harvins Bangalore 2000 Guineas (Grade II) being led in by trainer S.GAnapathy

Arguably, Fond Fantasy is the best three-year old in the country. The daughter of Razeen walked tall in what is essentially a male bastion, by bagging the Harvins Bangalore 2000 Guineas in spectacular fashion. Fond Fantasy established her supremacy quite easily and in the form that she is in, it is hard to visualize anyone upsetting her in the Derby. It is a pity that Fond Fantasy had been retained for the classics in Bangalore because trainer Ganapathy believes that she is a poor traveler. It is difficult to imagine what she would have done to the Guineas field in the Indian classics.
Fond Fantasy was expected to sweat for success as the field consisted of Mysore 2000 Guineas winner Son of the Light and Lancaster who had fared well in top class company. However, Fond Fantasy proved so superior that the race turned out to be a non-contest. Lancaster was beaten comprehensively while Son of the Light was hopelessly outclassed.
Malesh Narredu is not always a consistent jockey in big races. He is at his best when things fall in place but often he has got away despite making error of judgment. He hit the front on Lancaster before Smart Striker was driven to the front. He was close to the rails and sensing that he could be pocketed because Fond Fantasy was cruising into a forward position, he should have made his move a wee bit earlier. But he tried to push his way when Fond Fantasy had made the move and was racing alongside the pacemaker approaching the final bend. As a result, Malesh, trying to improve Lancaster, ran into the pacemaker and had to check his mount and shift him out. This perhaps ensured that Fond Fantasy’s margin of victory was much bigger. Fond Fantasy has a blinding turn of foot and she had gone away from the opposition in a trice. Lancaster had to cover a couple of lengths extra while finishing second. Fond Fantasy spared four lengths at the finish to Lancaster and clocked an excellent timing of one minute 38.33 seconds. Crown Royal was a faraway third while Son of the Light found the company here too tough for comfort. Under the circumstances, his win at Mysore must be considered a bonus. Spark of Glory was completely outpaced, unable to keep pace in what was a genuinely run mile and was never in the hunt from the word `go’.
Irfan Ghatala trained Flightingale proved to be a good type of youngster when winning the Topmost Cup from Vishnupriya who put up a stiff fight. There was inspired support for the well bred Spectacular Quest who is by Razeen out of Fond Fantasy but the gelding ran a poor race, surrendering without a fight when challenged by Vishnupirya in the straight. Flightingale who was taken out in the early stages of the race by Moon Emperor, was held back by Mrs Silva who timed her challenge to a nicety to get the measure of the front-runner close home. Moon Emperor, who finished fourth, is the one for the notebook.
Cold Fire won at the expense of favourite Generic Emperor who flashed on the scene rather too late for comfort. Jockey Dickie had Cold Fire improving his position quickly and had the son of Brave Hunter take over the running at the top of the straight even as Generic Emperor was held back for too long. Cold Fire established a winning lead and Generic Emperor could only come frustratingly close. During the Summer season, Generic Emperor had bolted to the front from the word `go’, ostensibly due to the use of the blinkers but he has apparently got so used to the blinkers that he is no longer keen!
Padmanabhan trained Southern Goddess proved too good for the field in the 1200 metres Stewards Trophy, a race for horses rated 40 and above, the supporting event of the day. Southern Goddess had served notice of an imminent success when she had run a suggestive fourth in her last attempt, despite running after a long lay off. Though she did not get a favourable position early on and forced to travel wide to get clear ground, Southern Goddess responded well to go clear of the field inside the final 250 metres to win comfortably from Nimitz and Clear Cut. Apprentice jockey Ashwin Rao has been riding with confidence of late and he did a neat job on the favourite. To boost his confidence further was the double he had for the day when he drove out Rubik to an easy win in the concluding race of the day. Rubik was left to tackle a poor opposition and his win in the Sivaganga Plate (Div I) was always on cards. The lower division of the race saw first timer Samarinda win with a fair degree of ease. There was inspired support for Bollinger but the filly lost all her chances in the first furlong, not having the speed to be in a striking position. Bollinger covered plenty of ground to be a notable second.
Goldsmith was the medium of a big gamble. The son of Poledan proved too speedy for the opposition to win as he pleased from Pelf. Trainer Dominic thus had a double for the day as earlier in the day Cold Fire had won at nourishing odds. In the day’s other action, Loknath Gowda’s Touch of Frost improved on his previous effort by comprehensively winning at the expense of Brilliant Diamond. Driven was a fancied failure.