Mystical Knight Scores An Upset Victory
Trainer LVR Deshmukh receiving The S Ramakrishnam Raju Memorial Cup from Mr S Prasad RAju
The sound of the hooves returned to Malakpet after a gap of nearly five months. The Hyderabad Monsoon Races commenced on Wednesday, with a well filled card of nine races run. With copious rainfall this month the track was good and racing was fairly competitive and most of the horses in the money obliged. Trainer L.V.R.Deshmukh and leading saddle artist P.S.Chouhan started off their Monsoon campaign with three winners each while jockey A.Imran Khan piloted a double.
The S.Ramakrishnam Raju Memorial Cup, which featured the day’s card, saw an upset in L.V.R.Deshmukh trained Mystical Knight (Ontario-Royal Applause). Stable mate Pedalo which was the overwhelming favourite in the race had to bite the dust, finishing a poor fourth. Alexander Square had gone past the front running Days of Thunder inside the last 200 metres and was looking to pull it off, when Mystical Khnight carrying the feather weight under apprentice P.Venkat, covered plenty of ground from the rear, on the extreme outside to snatch the race close home. Golden Queen took the third spot ahead of Pedalo. Indian Epic dropped the rider near the 800 metres.
The two divisions of the S.Malakonda Reddy Memorial Cup were both won by horses in the money. The higher division was won by Deshmukh’s Vijaykeerti (Aussie Rules-Cielo Vodkamartini) with a good spurt in the last 100 metres. Nano Storm and Cristiano showed up together on the straight while Vijaykirti was in about eighth position. P.S.Chouhan gave a couple of backhanders to Vijaykirti and the grey responded tremendously to overhaul the leader effortlessly. Oro Oro Oro who was in chase of Vijaykirti throughout the straight finished second, beating Cristiano to the third position.
Laxman Singh’s Vijay’s Jet (Alnasr Alwasheek-Ramjet) won the lower division, with a mighty effort from jockey P.A.Culhane. Star Saloni had managed to move ahead of the long time leader Twentyfivepips with a furlong left in the race and was looking good with Vijay’s Jet having to cover plenty of ground. Culhane used his stick freely on the ‘odds on’ favourite right through the last two furlongs and the 4 year old just about managed to collar Star Saloni in the shadow of the winning post.
P.S.Chouhan also rode Winjoy and Royal Craft to victory to get off to a good start with a treble. Deshmukh trained Winjoy (Refuse To Bend-lles Piece) showed plenty of speed to move towards the inner rails from an outward draw and take the lead after jumping out from the gates, in the lower division of the Rani Laxmi Bai Plate. Leading all the way, Winjoy was strongly challenged by the firm favourite Marquise but the latter kept up the momentum and held on by half a length at the finish.
Chouhan gave a peach of a ride on Zoheb Shaikh’s Royal Craft (Black Cash-Passion) to lift the lower division of the Aristocracy Cup. Finding himself in about eighth position, approaching the final bend, Chouhan worked his way on Royal Craft, to gradually improve and inside the last 300 metres, made way through horses in front to sneak through. Hawkspring and Rob Roy rallied strongly towards the closing stages but found the winner difficult to catch and finished second and third respectively.
The higher division which was the first race of the day was won by K.S.V.Prasad Raju schooled Elegant Approach (Hurricane State-Annakita). Being summered at Bangalore, the filly was a bit unlucky to have finished second after a saddle shift in her previous run. With A.Imran Khan on the saddle, Elegant Approach was sent into the race at cramped odds. Street Magic held an advantage right through the straight upto the last fifty metres from where Elegant Approach, who was all along on the haunches surged ahead to score a two lengths victory.
Imran Khan pushed his way hard on Shamsuddin’s Bound For Glory (Kly Green-Music In Motion), to get past Betty Prior and Cannon Ace, inside the last 100 metres in the Cupid Plate. The rider of the third placed Cannon Ace lodged an unsuccessful objection against the second placed Betty Prior for interference in the last 100 metres.
The favourite Super Cool looked to make it a start to finish affair in the higher division of the Rani Laxmi Bai Plate but succumbed to the challenge of Anupam Sharma’s Sarvagnya (Juniper-Ahliyat) inside the last 50 metres. K.Anil, the rider of Super Cool appeared to be cumbersome on the saddle and was not able to give proper assistance. Racing Tycoon and Fighting Fit filled the frame.
Ruffiano (Duja-Amber Eyes) from the stables of R.H.Sequeira scored a facile win in the Sunny Blossom Plate, the concluding race of the day. Bracing the rear till entering the final straight, Ruffiano weaved through horses under M.Madhu Babu and with a big gallop stretched well to go away from the field. Flowers Of Music towed on in second position.