- india's first & foremost horse racing portal


By Ikram Khan | 29 Dec 2018 | BANGALORE

Trainer Irfan Ghatala leading Watchmyscript (A Sandesh Up), winner of The Chief Minister's Trophy

It came after a long gap of 10 years and the Aggarwal brothers, Rajan and Gautam will cherish it. Ending the year on a high note and ushering in the New Year with a new melody, the two brothers on Saturday stole the limelight leading in three winners. It was a memorable moment, the moment Lofty Thoughts flashed home first edging out Optimistic Approach in a thriller. It was special. The manner in which the top gun Akshay Kumar punched home Sagrada and Allsettogo. Sagrada started the countdown and Lofty Thoughts provided the icing on the cake at sundown. The two sporting brothers enjoyed the script more so the fairy tale on Dec 29. And this, the time, date and the year they will remember for a long long time. 

On the strength of his satisfactory effort in his last essay, close fifth to Automatic, Sagrada was in with a definite chance in the Lal Bagh Trophy. But most railbirds favoured St Pauli Girl, Psychic Force and Dr Logan to dominate the finish. But it was Sagrada from M R Singh’s yard who gained the day thanks to Akshay Kumar, who pulled the plug and blew the fuse on Psychic Force and Nazaan, who at one stage looked set to pull the rabbit out of the bag. 

In the next event, the Gustav Hermann Krumbiegel Cup, Akshay Kumar astride Allsettogo from trainer Prasanna Kumar’s yard was taking on Psychic Warrior and the most fancied Blue Blazer. The Hyderabad ace produced another top draw effort to drive home Allsettogo ahead of Psychic Warrior and Blue Blazer to the delight of Gautam and Rajan who were going down memory lane, recollecting the treble in February, 10 winters ago. It was the on-money favourite Ever So Clever who completed the treble on that day and on Saturday it was the turn of another on-money favourite Lofty Thoughts. It was nostalgia and the brothers along with their racing manager Raul Rego simply loved it. 

Lofty Thoughts on paper appeared the best and he in fact needed to stretch every sinew to peg back Optimistic Approach while the first two looked comfortable at the finish. But this happens in racing,  never mind the verdict it was time for song and dance all night long for the Aggarwals. 

The Rajesh Narredu-trained Star Appearance on the strength of her impressive performances in the morning trials was the public rage in the Infants Plate and Suraj Narredu had it easy on the winner despite the fact that Invicta was closing on the red hot favourite in the final furlong. Desert Empire came home third ahead of Brothers In Arms who posed a few problems to the handlers at the starting gate. 

Dontbreaktherules from trainer Nithyanand’s yard was the top fancy in the Mudabidri Plate but the even-money favourite performed like a dud and failed to make the frame. The ten to one shot Extremely Dangerous from Warren Singh’s yard won the mile long event in convincing fashion in the hands of T S Jodha. Honey Trap finished a game second and it will not be long before this Mahesh ward earns her cornbill. 

The Prithviraj-trained Fotogenic and Industrialist from Dheeraj’s yard garnered the maximum support in the lower division of the Bellary Plate. While Fotogenic piloted by Trevor Patel romped home in style, Industrialist after promising much only flattered to deceive finishing in the ruck. Zala Princess gained the runner-up berth ahead of Freestyle while Find came home to make the frame. 

Top gun Sandesh produced an exemplary effort on the favourite Watchmyscript in the Chief Minister’s Trophy. Gracing the wrong end of the small four-horse field for most part of the 2000M trip, Sandesh packed punch on the Irfan Ghatala ward the moment the field swung into the straight and galloped home in superb style. Stablemate Salazaar expectedly finished second ahead of Kambaku who in his effort to make every post a winning one lacked the gas in the tank to match strides with the first two. 

Second in demand at the betting ring, Noble Sapphire from Darius Byramji’s yard reigned supreme in the upper division of the Bellary Plate. Chouhan rode a copybook race on the winner, who just lasted out to score from Colour Of Gold, who was strongly fancied in place and the favourite Prince Azeem.