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By Ikram Khan | 30 Jul 2015 | BANGALORE

Trainer S Ganapathy leading Bold Command (A Sandesh Up), winner of The Bangalore Summer Million (Gr.3)

The classy Bold Command brought the smile back on the face of leading pro S Ganapathy.  After Eternal Flame failed in her bid to wear the Kingfisher Derby sash and Be Safe failed in his mission to get one back on Quasar, Ganapathy was under pressure. He knew he had an ace up his sleeve. And he was also aware that one more big loss would pull his stock down. He judiciously prepared the best son of Arazan from the Poonawalla Stud Farm, ignoring the many rumours that the horse was suffering from a back problem and as a result had produced below par efforts in the morning trials.

The strike nor the talk that Bold Command was suffering from a problem bother him. A day before the summer million, Ganapathy disclosed that Bold Command before his earlier victory had failed to impress in the final preparatory gallop and it was the same story again.

“After his last effort I learnt he is a tremendous race horse who never produces his best in the trials. He saves it all for the race and in a race he is different. He is a killer. It is not easy to record two wins without raising sweat with almost identical time and that to me is a sign of a very good horse,” said Ganapathy.

Well Sandesh was cool as a cucumber. Unperturbed by the hot pace set by China One playing the role of a pacemaker to his more fancied stablemate Super Sunshine, Sandesh chose to play the waiting game, biding his time before timing his final challenge to a nicety. The Delhi challenger Starlet did well to gain the runner-up spot ahead of Heaven Is Here who was seen finishing on well at end while Super Sunshine making his maiden appearance this season after he suffered a setback in training failed to figure in the frame.

Bold Command on the strength of this performance is certain to dominate the classics in the forthcoming Mysore season before he is campaigned in Mumbai for the bigger and much richer plums.

Going by the performances in the 2000 Guineas in winter, the Sulaiman Attaollahi schooled Booker Jones (Kingda Ka – Giacosa / Nanoli Stud) enjoyed a 3.5 kilos advantage against Bold Majesty in the Stewards Cup run over a mile. The fact that Booker Jones had impressed most while finishing a game second behind the in-form Royal Salute who is in line for the Horse Of The Season title while Bold Majesty had finished almost 10 lengths behind Quasar in his earlier start over a nine furlongs trip tilted the scale in the favour of the Sulaiman ward. The winner was fancied most and the in-form Trevor packed punch on the game galloper to peg back the effort of the top weighted Acclaimed while Bold Majesty could only finish third.

Most racing pundits were of the view that the Lively Emprey Trophy should end in a straight fight between the Darius Byramji-trained El Fenix and Iceglow from the stables of Padmanabhan. The latter who had boldly chosen to take on Dazzling Bay in his last essay and packed up the moment she was asked to quicken again was strongly supported by the insiders and the right connections. And this time again it was no different. The ice melted even before the race came on a boil and it was left to rank outsider Diamond Green and El Fenix to fight out the issue before much to the dismay of the El Fenix supporters the unfancied Pradeep Annaiah ward in the hands of P Mani gained the day. Swaksha who was fancied in place ran home third ahead of Iceglow who it appears is just not ready to shed his maiden status.

The top weighted Sun Divine (Burden of Proof - Divine Dreams / Kunigal Stud) from Neil Darashah’s yard was in with a definite chance in the K N Chennabasappa Memorial Cup run over a sprint after his two good performances in his two earlier starts but the fact that a four kilo apprentice boy Vishal was listed to guide him put off many punters who had an eye on the Neil ward and they were seen kicking the dust, the moment Vishal streaked ahead in the sprint event and edged out Go Lucky Go in a thriller.  Virat from Narayan Gowda’s yard who garnered the maximum support performed below par.

But that did not dampen the spirit of the trainer who after scoring through the seven to one shot Attractive Bay in the Treasure Girl Plate recorded a rich double, Secret Prayer storming home in the concluding event to the delight of the S N Harish camp. It is no secret that both Attractive Bay and Secret Prayer were quietly fancied by the connections and all credit to them for pulling off two good gambles.  Jockey Rajesh Kumar who learned his ropes in Mysore, it is good to see is confidently parading his skills against the best at this centre and this is a good sign taking into account that only a handful of boys can effectively ply the whip  in this sport.

After the dismal effort of Iceglow, Priceless Ace was another from the Padmanabhan camp who enjoyed top billing in the upper division of the Yervada Stud Plate run over seven furlongs. The favourite back after his impressive second behind Ageless in his last essay looked good in the parade ring and appeared to be going nice and easy in his pillar to post attempt before he went bust like a pricked balloon approaching the distance post. The seven to one shot Magnitude Star (Placerville – Riza / Poonawalla Stud) powerfully piloted by Srinath gained the honours ahead of Wings Of Fortune.

Srinath earlier booted the public choice Lozen (Ravel – Calliope / Chhatari Stud) to an emphatic victory in the opening event, the Galilee Plate. The winner from Darius Byramji’s yard is in fine form and is set to complete a hat-trick of wins if judiciously placed in his next start.

To the Future and Holy Empire were the two top fancies in what appeared a very open Azhar Plate run over a mile.  Dancing Jessie (Dancing Forever - Empress Jessie / Hazara Stud) from Satish Narredu’s yard who initially was favoured most was available at six to one in the end. But it was Dancing Jessie who came through to score from Holy Empire who in defeat was not disgraced and lives to fight another day.