ARROGANT APPROACH SCORES A LONG OVERDUE VICTORY
Mr P S Ranganathan, Mr A V Jayaprakash, Mr T S Suresh & trainer S S Attaollahi leading Arrogant Approach (Imran Chisty Up), winner of The Jog Cup
Horses from trainer Suleiman Attaolahi’s yard did really well to credit their master with a superb treble at the Bangalore races on Saturday. Schiavone, Lucky Thirteen and Arrogant Approach produced the desired acceleration at the right moment, to get the better of their formidable opponents. Out of the three of them, the one that won by the shortest margin was Arrogant Approach. He had to really toil hard to keep Supreme Regime at bay in the day’s feature. The Jog Cup, a nine furlong handicap for horses in class II, had attracted nine acceptors. Talented youngsters like Arrogant Approach, Supreme Regime and Madame Bovary were part of this group. While the last two had won a couple of races each to graduate to the present category, Arrogant Approach had scored only once amongst maidens. However, that victory was so impressive that his connections felt as though they possessed a “Classic Hopeful “. A third place in a Juvenile Million during Bangalore Summer, enthused them to take him to Hyderabad for the bigger events during the Monsoon season. They were thrilled with his performance in The Colts Championship Stakes. Despite getting “blocked” in the final furlong, he had ended within a length of the winner. Acclaimed, Czar Of Romance, Fastest Finger and Silver Streak were the ones that had ended marginally ahead of him. Even though they realized that he was a readymade winner at his own rating in handicap company, they continued to persist with him in the Derby as well as the 2000 Guineas at that centre. After exhausting all their options, they brought him back to Bangalore and entered him in the day’s feature on Saturday. Since Arrogant Approach was running over a comfortable trip and was set to receive weight from most of his opponents, he became the first choice of the punters. A winner of just one race is seldom supported in class II, but this was one time they were ready to make an exception. The other one that was strongly backed against him was Ganapathy’s Supreme Regime. His forward run in The Bangalore 2000 Guineas was quite noteworthy. The only question mark over his chances pertained to an ability to tackle the nine furlong trip, but there were many who felt that it would not be a problem.
With Magnitude Star doing his normal front-running, the others chose to play the waiting game. Arrogant Approach used a bit of his energies to move into second ahead of Ice Storm, Applejack and Supreme Regime. The field was fairly strung out in single file as the runners tackled the rising ground and began to turn for home. Ice Storm quickened nicely and went ahead in the straight. But he was soon tackled and passed by Arrogant Approach. With Imran Chisty making free use of his whalebone, the chestnut continued to march steadily towards the finishing line. With a little more than a furlong to travel, he was challenged by Supreme Regime. Sreekanth brought him with a late bid on the wide outside, and the pair tried their best to get close to the leader. Supreme Regime came within striking distance of Arrogant Approach, but was unable to get past him. Only half a length separated them at the wire. Ice Storm maintained his momentum to retain the third berth ahead of an improving Potomac. In his present form and condition, Supreme Regime should be able to pick up a race over a more suitable seven furlongs before the end of this season.
Two year old Schiavone made an impressive debut while recording an exciting victory in The AP Kothavala Memorial Cup. This filly had helped Suleiman open his account for the afternoon. Schiavone had been working regularly in the company of Salina, and once the latter won a similar race last Saturday, there were many who were waiting to back Schiavone in her first start. Big Ticket, Time And Space and Fortaleza were the others that received stray support in the betting rings. Last outing winner Apollo Star carried his winning penalty to the front and set a good pace ahead of Time And Space, Big Ticket and Fortaleza. Those who had backed Schiavone were surprised to see her gracing the rear. The order remained exactly the same till the eight juveniles entered the straight. Schiavone was still last of eight at that stage. Nearing the two furlong pole, Time And Space came up to challenge Apollo Star for the lead, but her efforts failed to materialize. Not many noticed the movements of Schiavone at the back. With Beuzelin producing her on the very wide outside, she gained ground towards the front-runners. It was clearly evident that Sciavone was moving the best of the lot. Within the next couple of seconds, she hit the front and skipped clear of Apollo Star, Time And Space and Big Ticket. This full sister to Mariinsky displayed exceptional abilities and she is sure to do well in the future.
Suleiman’s third winner of the day was Lucky Thirteen. This horse had failed a number of times in better company, and was now racing against those in the lowest category. A couple of other three year olds were considered to be marginally better than him. Irfan Ghatala’s fashionably bred Woodberg was the favourite in this race. The daughter of Multidimensional had found her way into this group with two lacklustre performances amongst maidens. Darius Byramji’s Bolts Colt was being ridden by Imran Chisty. The three of them were backed to the exclusion of their nine rivals. Realizing that Lucky Thirteen lacked early speed, Sreekanth was seen hustling him soon after the start. Lepton Pennatus and Woodberg darted to the front and enjoyed a healthy advantage over Shahraan and Bolts Colt. Under the guidance of Ahsan Qureshi, Woodberg opened-up a nice looking lead into the straight. Her fluid strides allowed her to shake-off her nearest pursuers. With less than a furlong still to travel, Lucky Thirteen appeared on the scene. With Sreekanth extracting that little bit extra from him, the “blinkered” horse came charging in the last fifty metres and strode away for an easy victory. Woodberg ran well enough to suggest that she would soon be emerging from the maiden ranks.
Sreekanth had to wait an hour or so before winning his next race. Puttanna trained Sweet Secret had served notice of an impending victory by finishing a close third behind Nessie and Sans Frontieres a few weeks ago. After hitting the front in the final furlong that day, she had been beaten for eventual acceleration by the two of them. In an open betting event today, Sweet Secret was fancied alongside Cocktail Circuit, Wrekin and Samara Sun. The speedy Scenic Blast set a good pace ahead of Sweet Secret and Wrekin. Both Samara Sun and Cocktail Circuit lacked early turn-of-foot and the pair graced the rear. Once Scenic Blast shot his bolt in the straight, the stage was set for a duel between Sweet Secret and Wrekin. The pair shot ahead of the others and matched strides for most of the way. Under some hard riding from Sreekanth, Sweet Secret maintained her early advantage right upto the winning post. A rare burst of speed produced by a totally un-fancied Meghalaya, enabled him to make up much ground towards the inner rails and push back Wrekin into third place.
The other professional to do well on Saturday was jockey Sandesh. He scored a couple of points by steering Austin and Bering Sea to comfortable victories. Arjun Mangalorkar’s Austin was running for the first time in his career. This son of Rebuttal was touted as one of the good three year olds in training at Bangalore. Most track reporters had been waiting for this horse to start “racing”. According to them, he would not only win today, but would continue to do so in his next few starts. Austin proved the first part right by doing exactly what was expected of him. Sandesh took him to the front and had him on a tight leash for rest of the way. His fluent action enabled him to stride clear of Rakshitha and Seven Of Hearts. The winning margin of eight lengths tells the rest of the story. We are sure to hear a lot more about Austin in the next few months.
Sandesh’s victory astride Padmanabhan’s Bering Sea was even easier. The well built filly had been doing really well on the training track, and the bookmakers had little hesitation in installing her as an odds-on choice during early morning trade on Saturday. However, once money began pouring onto Suleiman Attaolahi’s Cheval D’or, there was confusion in the minds of most punters. Cheval D’or started to throw tantrums the moment he came out of the paddock. He dropped Ryan Marshall on the race grass and bolted riderless across the track. After being apprehended, he was led by a couple of handlers towards the starting gates. He walked gingerly for rest of the way and reached there comfortably. Soon after joining the other runners, he reared up once again and fell on his back. A number of officials rushed towards Cheval D’or and examined him physically. Finding nothing really wrong with him, they were reluctant to withdraw him from this race. The race was quite like a procession. Bering Sea carried Sandesh to the front and led at a comfortable pace from Masked Marvel, Dance With Me and Cheval D’or. While she continued to canter in front, the others came under pressure. Cheval D’or got the better of Dance With Me close home and sailed into second place. For the records, it must be mentioned that Bering Sea won this race by nine lengths. Despite running after a long lay off, Cheval D’or’s performance was extremely suggestive. The three year old looks like a readymade winner in his next start.
A sprint for horses , four years old and over in class IV, ended in a close victory for the Prithviraj trained Blues Legend. A couple of horses under the care of trainer Tharun Thimmaiah were expected to have this race between the two of them. While Fioritta was running for the first time after her second in a race at Mysore, Sweet Angel had already won during the early stages of this season . Both were known to be blessed with early speed, and their riders were expected to do well astride their respective mounts. Once Astonishing and Jaanvi tore away to lead by a few lengths in the first two furlongs, the fancied duo raced next to each other. While Arshad Alam improved his position astride Sweet Angel near the bend, Selvaraj and Fioritta loomed large on her outside. Those present at the course began to anticipate a close finish between the two of them. However, a couple of factors changed the scenario. For no apparent reason, Selvaraj switched lanes astride the favourite Fioritta and pushed her towards the inner rails. By running into a wall of horses, Fioritta lost all chances of winning this race. At about the same juncture, Sweet Angel was passed on the inside by a late rushing Blues Legend. With Jagadeesh waving his whip at her, the Prithviraj trainee managed to keep Sweet Angel at bay. A quietly fancied Inspirator came with a late bid to save place money for his supporters. With a positive switch in the saddle, Fioritta could win her next start.
An equally interesting finish was witnessed in the concluding race of the afternoon. It was a class III event over seven furlongs. A number of three year olds including Cullinan, Lovely Lady and Strengthandwonder had accepted to start in this race. The charts showed that the last named had a body weight of almost 40 kilos more than what he had weighed at the time of his last start during the month of June, and this somewhat diminished his chances today. With Suraj sitting out because of a day’s suspension , Satish Narredu had chosen to claim an allowance on Lovely Lady and entrusted her to apprentice Noornabi. On the other hand, Arjun’s Cullinan was being ridden by the talented Sandesh. The early part of the race saw Lovely Lady taking a sluggish jump and struggling at the back . Tony Montana was hustled to the front and he led from Cullinan and the others. After doing the hard work till the bend, the front-runner retired from the fray. This forced Cullinan to lead them into the straight. Even at that point in time, Lovely Lady had only one behind her. But the scene altered thereafter. Noornabi produced Lovely Lady on the wide outside and asked her to “go”. The filly began to pick up a bunch of tired horses and was soon alongside Cullinan. The pair fought a stirring duel right down the straight before she gained an upper hand and beat Cullinan on the post. Ballantoy and Accuracy made a late appearance to take the minor slots on the result boards. The horse to catch one’s eye in this race was Tony Montana. He can win the day his connections seriously “fancy” him over a shorter trip.