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By Mahendra Mallya | 24 Dec 2018 | HYDERABAD

Trainer K Satheesh leading BE SURE (Nakhat Singh Up), winner of The Raja Bahadur Venkatram Reddy Memorial Cup

Be Sure (Bushranger – Miss Gally), trained by K Sateesh and well-ridden by jockey Nakhat Singh scored a narrow win to claim the Raja Bahadur Venkatram Reddy Memorial Cup. Nakhat rode a tactical race keeping well off the pace and then showing urgency, which on hindsight seemed precisely timed to ward off her close rival Wave Rider. Be Sure was closer to the rear all the way until they were approaching the final turn. Doroteo led them all the way into the straight and Wave Rider was up close with the leader. Be Sure made a bold and early move considering it was run over 2000m and stepped on the gas pedal soon on turning for home.

That early dash may have caught Wave Rider unawares and Be Sure dashed past his chief adversary past the 400 m mark. The momentum kept her going and it looked as though Wave Rider had to generate instant acceleration to counter that assault. Wave Rider took a stride or two to quicken and he arrived with a good burst of speed, but those split-seconds in churning up the acceleration cost Wave Rider dearly. The winning post came a tad too soon for Wave Rider and Be Sure prevailed by just a quarter of a length. Wave Rider was a gallant second and should not be too disappointed.

Debutante Merinetti (Fast Company – Maynsha Girl) jumped out well to sit in the third spot behind Stepper and Mind Reader, with Born Greek in fourth at the turn.

Stepper led them in but Merinetti didn’t wait too long before unleashing a powerful finishing gallop and soon swung away from stepper. Born Greek progressed to second and despite trying hard could not muster enough speed to match or catch Merinetti. The Laxman Singh trained filly ridden by Akshay Kumar, stretched out beautifully to score an emphatic win and for a debut, this was a splendid effort. Born Greek once again had to emerge second best, but his consistency should see him through sooner than later. Cincia Azzurra improved to finish in the money.

Laxman Singh led-in another winner in the last race of the day. Rose Eternal (Virtual – Aline’s Wings) caused an upset as jockey Tanwar got the mare to outpace her opponents while showing a good clean pair of heels at the business end of the race.

Rose Eternal fought for the lead right from the start and shot ahead soon on turning for home. Indian Dreams, well-supported in the betting, quickly set about chasing the longshot and drew closer as well. However, Rose Eternal showed good amount of spunk and in the last few strides drew further away from Indian Dreams to win comfortably in the end. Poll Promise ended in the money. Fancied George Cross was never in the hunt.

Top Sprint (Tariq – Everybody Counts) produced a terrific burst in the final furlong and covered a lot of ground to score an inspiring win to chase down Cash for Rank who was threatening to run away with the race, just meters earlier.

Cash For Rank forced his way into the lead soon on turning for home and even built a sizable lead. He was well ahead of the rest at the distance post. Top Sprint, with jockey Naresh astride, moved up nicely from the fourth spot and started to bridge the gap at a brisk rate. He was particularly fast in closing in as was Valee Tiger in the final 150 meters. Top Sprint nailed Cash for Rank within the next few strides and snatched a victory closer home. Valee Tiger too managed to pip Cash For Rank for the runner-up berth.

Shakesphere (Varenar – Pointillist) was the highest priced winner on the day, while also bringing up his maiden win on his 24th start. Apprentice jockey Rohit Kumar hurried off soon on start and piled up a huge lead over the rest, entering the straight well ahead of his rivals. The Faiyaz Khan trainee kept the momentum going and made it difficult for the others to chase him down. The five kilo allowance certainly helped as he won the race comfortably by just under three lengths. Tiger of the Sea finished on well to improve position and take the second spot, while Latest News too progressed and did well to beat Air Salute for place money. 

Favourite Shivalik Arrow (Rebuttal – Queen’s Consort) put in an aggressive finishing run to score a comfortable victory and justify the support she received. Carnival Express did the initial hard work and led the field into the straight. Vijay’s Empress was right on her tail with Shivalik Arrow looming large on the outside. Vijay’s Empress got the measure of Carnival Express but when Shivalik Arrow arrived, it was all over. Jockey Akshay Kumar rode out forcefully and shot ahead in the last 100 meters to win convincingly. Vijay’s Empress returned a good second, while Royal Hero did well to finish in the money.

For the professionals, trainer Laxman Singh and jockey Akshay Kumar scored a double each.