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By Ikram Khan | 16 Sep 2022 | MYSORE

Mr C Ananda & trainer Irfan Ghatala leading Victoria Punch (Antony Raj S Up), winner of The Mysore 1000 Guineas (Gr.3)

The Freshman sire Sanus Per Aquam provided the famed Kunigal Stud Farm a double whammy. After his talented daughter Shabelle made him proud, winning the Deccan Fillies Championship Stakes at Malakpet (Hyderabad) last month, the classy `Victoria' delivered a knock-out punch in the Mysore 1000 Guineas, consolidating his position as the Leading First Season Sire in India. Two stupendous classic victories and Sucre, a frontliner contender in the Mysore 2000 Guineas, Kunigal is on the high road. 

The Arjun Manglorkar-trained Mirra garnered maximum support in the first classic of the season on the strength of her two facile victories in her last two starts. The Padmanabhan schooled Philosophy, winner of the Fillies Championship Stakes in the Bengaluru winter season too was fancied sweetly by her connections, while Victoria Punch who had failed to shed her maiden status from her four earlier starts including her satisfactory last essay, third  behind Mirra in the Bangalore Summer Million was ignored in the betting ring, the bookmakers magnanimously offering (15/1) against the much improved Irfan Ghatala ward, who in her last effort had finished six lengths behind Mirra over an identical trip. 

The man with a classic touch, Antony Raj fresh from his success on Salento in the Deccan Colts Championship Stakes 10 days ago in the city of nawabs (Hyderabad) partnering Victoria Punch chose to track the two leaders Polished Girl from Rajesh Narredu's yard and the local mainhope Gallery Queen for most part of the classic one mile journey, while top gun Akshay Kumar astride Mirra and Sandesh guiding the fortunes of the second in demand at the betting ring, Philosophy, chose to play the waiting game. 

After the seven classic hopefuls negotiated the final curve, Polished Girl enjoyed a slender advantage before she came under pressure from O Hansini, Victoria Punch and Philosophy, who was travelling nice and easy approaching the distance post. But in the dash to the wire, it was Victoria Punch who produced a winning gallop to the delight of the Irfan camp. Polished Girl gamely held on to finish second ahead of Philosophy, while the favourite Mirra disappointed in her maiden classic test. 

Antony Raj, it is needless to mention was on top of the moon. The talented saddle artiste had booted home Salento, a maiden to a classic triumph at Hyderabad and in Mysuru he did it again, Victoria Punch entering the elite classic list with her first success. The fact that she made up the six lengths deficit and beat Mirra comfortably by more than three lengths in her second head-to-head clash confirms that the Sanus Per Aquam progeny has made significant improvement  and all credit to Irfan Ghatala, who is now eagerly looking forward to record a Guineas double through Sucre in the second  classic. 

Success was one other filly who proved her mettle, donkey-licking her six rivals in the Gool & Soli Poonawalla Memorial Trophy run over a mile. The Vijay Singh ward, who had blotted her book while finishing down the field in the Bangalore Summer Derby after chalking out a splendid performance in her earlier effort was strongly fancied by the Kolkata camp and the star performer produced a stellar effort in the hands of Hindu Singh to romp home in emphatic fashion. The Darius Byramji schooled Divine Ray was fancied most to upset the applecart of the public choice, but the main challenger proved no match and  finished 10 lengths behind the winner. Success clocked a smart time of 1:35.78 seconds which was better than the (1:38.08) registered by the classic winner Victoria Punch. 

On a day punters enjoyed a good run, the Parvati Byramji schooled Ravishing Form was the most impressive winner in the seven-event card. In the classic mould the good looking chestnut colt competing in the Original Vel Racing Trophy posted a record breaking victory which warmed the hearts of the racing buffs and all the professionals in the Indian racing circuit. Piloted by the champion saddle artiste Trevor Patel, Ravishing Form  stopped the clock at the jaw dropping 1:33.54 seconds, bettering the existing mark (1:33.65) registered by Cosmic Ray three summers ago. Ravishing Form is on top of his game and Parvati deserves a pat on the back for the progress made by the classic hopeful. The in-form top colt on the strength of this sublime record-breaking effort is certain to start the favourite in the 2000 Guineas. 

We told you in our earlier reports and analysis that young Azhar Ali is consistently pulling out rabbits from the bag. He did it again today, the well supported Elusive Girl from his yard justifying her top billing in the hands of the promising apprentice Saqlain. The public choice competing in the M W Chinnappa Memorial Trophy run over a distance of seven furlongs seized the initiative the moment, the 11 runners came under the starter's flag and never let the initiative slip, Saqlain stretching every sinew to peg back the gallant effort of The Response in the final furlong. Gintoki edged out Impelling Power to save money in place. It will pay to support The Response when saddled next taking into account that the Sharath ward has regained form and fitness to earn his cornbill. 

The Ranjeet Shinde schooled Calculus helped punters return home with pocket full of pink currency, coming out on top in the upper division of the Penambur Plate run over a sprint. The (80/100) favourite confidently piloted by leading pro Srinath produced an astounding gallop in the final furlong to power home in fine style. Indian Glory partnered by Sai Kiran surprised most gaining the runner-up berth ahead of Valkyrie who was fancied most in place. The winner is in good nick and is set to provide an encore. 

The Bobby-trained Jabbar piloted by Saqlain, who recorded a double brought off a good gamble in the Son Of The Light Plate run over a sprint. The winner backed down from (6/1) to (7/2) proved too good cruising home without really needing to raise a sweat. The favourite Rumour Lady from Ramesh's yard piloted by Akshay Kumar found Jabbar too hot to handle and had to rest content with the third spot behind Spiritual Queen. 

Country's Delight like Jabbar carried too many guns for her 13 rivals in the lower division of the Penambur Plate. The winner from Feroz Khan's yard confidently piloted by apprentice  Alex Rozario toyed with the opposition while chalking out a impressive start to finish victory, Star Speck finished second more than eight lengths behind the winner, while the public fancy Felicita only managed to save money in place.