QINGHUANGDAO SPRINGS A SHOCKER IN THE TOTARAM’S CUP
Trainer Anupam Sharma leading Qinghuangdao (K Mukesh Kumar Up), winner of The Totaram`S Cup
Anupam Sharma trained Qinghuangdao (Epicentre-Moon Beam) pulled off a stunning upset in the Totaram’s Cup, a nine furlongs race for horses in the highest category that featured Tuesday’s races at Hyderabad. The six year old was a winner in its last start a fortnight ago but could not be fancied in this set which had more accomplished ‘stalwarts’.
Winter Derby winner Roses in Bloom was strongly fancied to wrap up the race despite entrusted to an apprentice who is yet to earn his first win. Roses in Bloom was sluggish at start losing over five lengths at start. Qinghuangdao went to the front within the first furlong and started to cut the wind thereafter. With a furlong left in the race Snow Bird and Sweet Candy began to challenge. The stance of the apprentice on the favourite Roses in Bloom looked pathetic even as the filly started to drag him from the extreme outside. Qinghuangdao held on to win by Quarter of a length from Snow Bird. Sweet Candy was third, half a length behind, while Roses in Bloom ended up fourth a ‘short-head’ away. It is reliably learnt that apprentice Praveen Kumar was stripped of his license and sent back to the Apprentice Jockey School for more classes but the bottom-line is that the hapless punters were taken for a ride.
Qinghuangdao was the only upset in the day while it was ‘business as usual’ with favourites obliging in all the other six races. Apprentice Akshay Kumar hogged the limelight with a treble that took him to the top of the tally among jockeys. Two of his winners were for trainer L.D’Silva. Trainer M.Srinivas Reddy and jockey Dashrath Singh teamed up to score a double through Greek Star and Desire.
Greek Star (Sedgefield-Maid of the Mist) scored a comprehensive victory in the Major Mir Mujtaba Hussain Memorial Cup, a 2200 metres trip for horses in category II. Racing a handy third behind Machine Gun and Kohinoor Thunder, always along the fence, Greek Star was pulled out on entering the home stretch to make a bid from the outside and stretched out easily with 300 metres left from the finish. Fairy Emperor and Westminister finished second and third respectively, with just a short-head separating them.
The 3 year old filly Desire (Glory of Dancer-Another Star) won the Deccan Star Plate comfortably. Held back in third till the final bend, Desire made a quick move to take over the running entering the straight. Rahul’s Diamond joined with two furlongs left and began to put up a strong challenge, matching strides till the last 150 metres but Desire pulled away to win by 3 3/4 lengths. Symbol of Victory was far-away third.
Vijays Casper (Zamindar-Blueberry) from the stables of L.V.R.Deshmukh who had ventured in a ‘Million’ to start his career won the higher division of the Sweeping Success Cup. Sent off as the firm favourite at 12- 10, Vijays Casper set off on a start to finish bid and was clear by over three lengths nearing the last 300 metres. Save The Nation began to bridge the gap late but Vijays Casper had passed the winning post comfortably. Kireeti and True Pearl filled the judge’s frame in that order.
S.S.Faisal Hassan trained Khosgel (Gaswar-Invitation Only) finally came out of her maiden status in her eight start, in the lower division of the Sweeping Success Cup. Numinous set the tempo from the start with Khosgel in chase all the way. Inside the last 200 metres Khosgel rallied well under Akshay Kumar to head past Numinous and justify the favouritism.
Akshay Kumar’s other two winners were L.D’Silva trained Golden Essence and Big Boss. Golden Essence won the Forest King Cup, the opener of the day. Racing a handy third along the inner rails while Green Jewel led the field, Golden Essence slipped in along the inside to challenge the leader on entering the straight. Green Jewel started to drift out of the straight course in the last 200 metres finishing on the stand side and Golden Essence who maintained a straight course got the better by half a length at the finish. True Scholar was third a distance behind.
Big Boss (Don Michelleto-Shades of Beauty) justified the favouritism in the Mr.Prospector Plate, the concluding race of the day. A Horizontal Urge led the field into the straight. Big Boss gained ground in the centre of the track and surged forward with True Friend challenging from the outside. As the two started to fight out Big Boss veered out of the straight course but still made it to the winning post 1 ¼ lengths ahead of True Friend. An objection by the rider of True Friend against the winner was overruled.