PUNTERS RETURN HOME WITH HOLE IN POCKET
Hope And Glory (A Imran Khan Up), winner of The Rosie Sunshine Handicap
The punters got a pasting on Saturday, a solitary favourite Hope And Glory justifying the top billing, while the five other public choices including a couple of strongly supported testants, Safety and Augusta failed in their mission to gain a winning bracket, much to the chagrin of the followers of form, who returned home with a big hole in the pocket.
The GS Parmar schooled Mayflower dropped a bombshell in the opening event, the 20 to one rankoutsider in the hands of Kuldeep Singh flooring the railbirds, edging out another friendless contestant Thrill Of Power close home. The runner-up from Anil Kumar's yard on the strength of this creditable effort is certain to gain an entry into the winners' circle in the weeks ahead. The top two market leaders, Fine Future and Dazzling Princess raced in patches and failed to justify their top ranking. Fine Future from Suresh's yard finished third, while Dazzling Princess failed to even save money in place.
The Sebastian-trained Diamond And Pearls and Angel Heart from the stables of Ramanathan opened joint favourites in the Queen's Grace Handicap run over a sprint before money came pouring in on Angel Heart backed down from (5/2) to even-money,while Diamond And Pearls had no takers at (9/2) at end. But it was the Sebastian ward, with a benfit of a good run on the opening day who came up tops, while Angel Heart finished a tame third behind the impressive runner-up, First Empress from Robert Foley's yard. The winner appears in good nick and is set to provide an encore.
The upper division of the Kundah Handicap run over a distance of six furlongs saw most big bettors go bang-bang on the Suresh schooled Augusta, a smart winner from his last effort at Chennai. The overwhelming favourite looked a picture of fitness at the parade ring and this provided high confidence to the favourite punters, who readily punted big on the top fancy. But all the big and good money went down the drain, the moment the topweighted Ginsburg from Anirudh Jodha's yard confidently piloted by apprentice jockey M S Deora zoomed past Augusta at the top of the straight to the delight of the Jodha camp, who it must be mentioned, quietly and sweetly fancied the filly to upset the applecart of Augusta. Protea finished third to the satisfaction of a large group of her supporters, who fancied the mare in place.
The topweighted Hope And Glory on the strength of his suggestive second behind the in-form Super Girl on the opening day garnered the maximum support in the plum event, the Rosie Sunshine Handicap run over 1300 metres. The favourite it was clear had benefitted most from a run under his belt, travelling nice and easy before Imran alerted the public choice approaching the final curve and the Anil Kumar ward readily produced a winning gallop to streak ahead and romp home a convincing winner. Alexandre Dumas gained the runner-up spot ahead of Glorious Destiny, while Priceless Ruler completed the frame.
The Sebastian-trained Safety was backed to the exclusion of her nine rivals in the Forest Fantasy Plate run over a distance of seven furlongs, but the top favourite after raising hopes approaching the straight ran out of gas in the final furlong and eventually finished in the ruck. The 20 to one shot Santamarina Star from Ramanathan's yard in the hands of the promising apprentice Gaurav Singh edged out the lesser fancied Shez R Star, who in her attempt to make every post a winning one went down close home, a `neck' separating the two at the wire. Ibrahimovic from Jodha's yard caught the eye charging home to finish a fine third in his debut and is one for the notebook.
Undeniable form Ramanathan's yard like his stablemate Angel Heart was backed strongly to score in the concluding event, the Eternals Handicap, but the public choice met a tartar in Waytogo, who recorded a convincing pillar to post victory.
Wonderful Era from lady trainer Rupa's yard impressed most, while finishing third and it will not be long before this Rupa ward will stand tall at the winners' enclosure.