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By Madhukar Bhagawan | 01 Mar 2018 | HYDERABAD

M. Sathyanarayana trained Moondancer (Excellent Art-Pleasure Hunt / Poonawalla Stud) who is in impeccable form continued its winning streak en-route to a fourth straight win and also the sixth from eight starts, in the Columbia Plate. The 4 year old, a winner in the lower classes was installed as on-money favourite for the 1200 metres sprint in the highest class. Jockey Akshay Kumar who is inching closer to the half century mark on this track this winter let Moondancer get to the front within the first 100 metres. He rallied well in front and dictated terms even as Ambitious Approach made a vain bid in second. Breezeofthesouth and King Of Pop finished third and fourth respectively in a close finish.

O Ms Akhila (Sedgefield-Hidden Danger / Jai Govind Stud) from trainer N. Ravinder Singh’s stables whose last win was a little over two years ago found favour to be the favourite in the Charon Plate and the 6 year old mare justified the support with a good turn of foot. O Ms Akhila raced in about sixth along the rails and did not show much early speed. Approaching the last 300 metres Humaaghar was the first to charge ahead. O Ms Akhila was shown the daylight from the outside by apprentice Boppanna and the favourite started to pick up speed and breezed past Humaaghar to score by half a length at the finish. Kireeti and Scooby Dooby Doo filled the frame in that order.

Bopanna found himself at the receiving end when Euro Zone got beat by K.V. Srinivas trained Seven Eleven (Lord Admiral-Celesta / Sans Craintes Stud) in the Sweet Girl Plate. Euro Zone went to the lead in the early part of the race and was still ahead by over two lengths as they came into the final furlong. Seven Eleven, a winner in the earlier start raced in about ninth till turning for home and took the wide gap along the rails to rush through to be in contention. Jockey Kuldeep Singh started to ride out and Seven Eleven responded to bridge the gap and collar Euro Zone in the dying moments of the race. Exclusive Symbol and Phenomenal Cruise were also finishing on being third and fourth respectively.

Trainer Arjun Anne who received his maiden Championship Trophy added another point to his tally on the first extra day through Dancing Doll (Net Whizz-Silvery Star) in the division I of the Polavaram Plate. The filly won the start among the fourteen contestants for the maidens’ race and went about uncontested throughout the 1200 metres trip. Baywatch Babe, King Maker and City Of Ayaansh filled the minor places in that order.

In the lower division, L.V.R.Deshmukh trained Symbolic Star (Tariq-Supereva) came good to open the account. Bombastic went on a start to finish bid and brought the field into view on the home stretch. Symbolic Star who raced in about fifth till the top of the straight made way through horses and gathered momentu to surge past Bombastic inside the final 200 metres. Nayadeep warmed up late to take the second position followed by Southern State and Bombastic.

In the opening event of the day, the Naloma Plate, D. Netto trained Escobar (Lord Admiral-Flirting Fantasy) beat the fancied stable companion Limousine to open its account. Thundering went on a start to finish bid and brought the field into the straight. Escobar and Limousine started to get to a gallop together and forged ahead but it was the lesser fancied Escobar ridden by apprentice Kunal Bunde that managed to spare a length at the finish. Thundering stayed on in third followed by Et Voici.

S.A. Shehzad Abbas trained Negress Princess (West Virginia-Argentina) ridden by apprentice B.R. Kumar won the higher division of the Try My Best Plate. The bay filly surged to the front as the ten contenders settled down and she made every post a winning one over the 1200 metres sprint. Delmonica was finishing fast towards the last 100 metres but the gelding could only finish second followed by Naamdhari and Dublin. Southern Belle, Kohinoor Lucy, Ultimate Rish and Conroy were non-starters in the race.

Apprentice B.R. Kumar rode his treble through K.S.V.Prasad Raju’s  Sprint Legend (Street Boss-Tafcar) in the lower division. The gelding who was the oldest among the dozen runners in the race at 7 years settled well behind the leaders Time Is Luck and Cashel. As they came into the straight, Sprint Legend began to slip in through the gap towards the inside to challenge Time Is Luck. The gap started to narrow down and Sprint Legend was pulled out to make a bid. The gelding responded readily when given a clear run from the outside and swooped down to pull it off. Wood Bridge covered ground from the wide outside to finish second followed by Time Is Luck and Golden Adara. New Comer and Kohinoor Legend were non-starters in the race.