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By Madhukar Bhagawan | 02 Mar 2018 | HYDERABAD

Trainer Laxman Singh (Deputising trainer K V Srinivas) leading Vijay's Dynamite (Kuldeep Singh Up), winner of The Silver Dagger Plate Div-1

Trainer K.V. Srinivas signed off the winter season with a double, picking up both the divisions of the Silver Dagger Plate. The higher division was bagged by Vijay’s Dynamite (Ravel-Therry Girl) who was ridden by Kuldeep Singh. A customary front runner, Vijay’s Dynamite once again made it to the front of the pack from an outward draw as the gates opened and set out to lead the pack. The 5 year old kicked on gamely even as Sea Castle tried hard to make a race of it after chasing from the start and stayed clear by a length at the finish. Doroteo got the better of Limitation to end up third. Baashagar, Sweet March and Green Image were non-starters in the race.

Jockey Deep Shanker gave a confident ride on Southern Promise (Multidimensional-Star Of China) in the lower division. Dream Girl and the race favourite Big Heart matched strides from the start and were clear of the rest as they turned for home. Once on the straight Dream Girl packe up soon ad dropped out and Big Heart stayed well in the lead. Southern Promise was almost last turning for home and the filly made rapid progress through the field and with a fast finish, sped past Big Heart in the last 200 metres. Ans Ans Ans  came wide to take the third spot followed by Kalinda. That’s My Class was a non-starter in the race.

Champion trainer of the season Arjun Anne earned a hard fought win through La Romance (Roi Maudit-Romance In Rain) in the Recharge Plate. The speedy Star Gazer set out on a start to finish bid over the 1200 metres sprint and was clear by over two lengths as they approached the last 200 metres. La Romance in second all the way started to pick up momentum and inching closer with every stride just managed to snatch the victory from a relentless Star Gazer in the shadow of the winning post. Starlight and Desert Moon finished third and fourth respectively.

L.D’Silva trained Meka’s (Green Coast-Tiana) won impressively in the division I of the Cherokee Rose Plate, a 1400 metres race for maiden 3 year old horses. Meka’s raced a handy fourth behind Ashwa Arjun, Aflatun and Tiger Of The Sea till approaching the final bend and rushed through to be ahead of the rest on top of the straight. The filly stretched out clear from thereon with Nakhat Singh well in control and the favourite Tiger Of The Sea could just land up as the runner-up. Guiding Force was further behind in third followed by Ashwa Arjun.

In the lower division of the maidens’ race, short priced favourite Hukum (Western aristocrat-Nickel Chrome from trainer D.Netto’s yard cantered home by a lengthening margin. The colt in its second start was smrtly out of the gates to get to the lead and made every post a winning one. Musashi ran second till the last few strides and lost that place to Wings Of Eagles on the post. Drogan completed the frame.

N. Ravinder Singh trained Vijay’s Delight (Arazan-Castle Park / Poonawalla Stud) pulled off a stunning upset in the Greener Plate, beating the strongly fancied Rajneeti. King David led the pack till the last 250 metres and gave it up to Shakesphere. Rajneeti was still finding hard to get the rhythm at that stage. Vijays Delight by then had started to devour ground from the rear and came charging. Rajneeti also picked up speed and joined the fight but fell short by a neck at the finish. King David moved up places again to finish third followed by Sher Afgan.

In another upset of the day, Sk Kassam trained Citi Colors (Arabian Gulf-City Zone) gave the rest a run for their money in the Hunter Plate. The 5 year old gelding raced with the front bunch till into the straight and as they approached the last 250 metres four runners were almost in a line. Citi Colors took off from there and drew clear even as Valee Tiger landed up second with a late bid. Avantika and Shivalik Arrow were in a close finish for the third and fourth places respectively.

Jockey Akshay Kumar who was in his elements this season got to the coveted half-century mark in the concluding race of the season, the Gandipet Plate through M. Sathyanarayana trained Good Taste (Varenar-Deeleecious). The 5 year old mare who was winless from a dozen starts was installed as the favourite for the 1400 metres trip. Racing a handy third approaching the final turn, Good Taste surged ahead inside the last 400 metres and was unchallenged right through the straight. Boca Grande, New Hope and Cannon Fury filled the frame in that order.