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By Ikram Khan | 23 Nov 2022 | CHENNAI

Musanda (A Ashok Asbar Up), winner of The Alnasr Alwasheek Handicap Div-1

Punters lost out big on Wednesday, a solitary favourite Musanda justifying her top billing while the rest of the six public choices chose to take a back seat. The favourite Golden Marina in the plum event, the Astonish Handicap run over a sprint failed to even save money in place, while Ibrahimovic, another top fancy, touted a `moral certainty' only managed to finish second behind Rubert from trainer Sebastian's yard piloted by Yash Narredu in the Malvado Handicap.

In what appeared a very open affair, Symphony In Style from the stables of Uthaiah garnered the maximum support in the opening event, the Diffident Handicap to be run over a distance of seven furlongs. Sparkleberry from Vishesh's yard had her fair share of supporters, but the top two on the betting board performed below par and this made the task of the six to one shot Lady Blazer simple at end, the Krishna ward in the hands of Shrikant Kamble powering through to earn her winning bracket in convincing fashion. Three Of A Kind from G S Parmar's yard gained the runner-up berth ahead of Lady Zeen, while Symphony In Style and Sparkleberry much to the disappointment of their supporters finished down the field. It is clear from this performance that Symphony In Style and Sparkleberry need to improve to make the cut and until then it will do a world of good to the followers of form to ignore the two.

Trainer Dr Anil Kumar and owner Cheriyan Abraham who recorded a good double, first struck it rich in the Placerville Handicap, the ten to one long shot Eagle Bluff donkey-licking his 11 rivals in the hands of Brisson, who didn't need to move muscle. The winner is in great heart and it will pay to follow the `Eagle' who is set to soar and scale new heights in the weeks ahead. The Mandanna schooled Kings Show, fancied strongly on the strength of his consistently pleasing performances on the trial track found the winner too hot to handle and had to rest content with the second spot. Suparakiga caught the eye while finishing third and it will not be long before this Saddam Iqbal's trainee will earn his cornbill.

Anil Kumar next led in Musanda, the only favourite to score in the seven-event card. The winner piloted by Ashhad Asbar looked a picture of fitness at the parade ring and her connections confidently went bang-bang in the betting ring, backed down from (9/4) to (12/10). Asbar tracked arch rival Sinatra and the lesser fancied Bohemian Star for most part of the 1100 metres dash before he eased his iron grip on the well-backed favourite and the moment he did, Musanda stormed through to put the issue beyond doubt in the upper division of the Alnasr Alwasheek Handicap. On the strength of this smashing debut, Musanda is certain  to provide an encore, while Sinatra, who finished second is poised to go one better and stand tall at the podium, when next saddled. Bohemian Star too appears in good form and it will pay to follow this Robert Foley ward in the weeks ahead.

Robert pulled off a good gamble through Timeless Romance in the lower division of the event. The winner opened at (4/1) and was hammed down to (11/4) despite the fact that Timeless Romance was piloted by apprentice Sah Farid Ansari and Ansari was up against the two top guns, Trevor Patel astride the favourite Attenborough and Akshay Kumar guiding the fortunes of the second in demand at the betting ring, Zaneta from B Suresh's yard. A confident Ansari tracked the two leaders, Sunny Isles and Zaneta before the field came into view and then stole a march approaching the distance post. And just when Ansari and Timeless Romance looked set to score, Trevor setalight the public choice Attenborough and the Jodha ward covered good ground before losing out, a `head' separating Timeless Romance from Attenborough. Though a sizeable number of favourite punters lost big, the supporters of Timeless Romance had a spring in their step, while they happily walked out of the gates of Guindy with all bags and pockets full.

The Adhirajsingh Jodha schooled Ibrahimovic was backed to the exclusion of his eight rivals in the Malvado Handicap run over a distance of 2000 metres. But the public rage met a tartar in Rubert and much to the chagrin of the big bettors had to settle for the runner-up berth. The winner from Sebastian's yard was piloted in copybook fashion by Yash Narredu. The ten to one shot Masterpiece was strongly fancied in place by the insiders and right connections and the Suresh ward did commendably well to gain the third place to the joy of his supporters. Masterpiece, it is needless to mention will be hotly tipped to score in his next start and it will surprise most if he fails to get into the winners' circle taking into account that he will improve most with this run under his belt.

The five to one shot Beejay brought the smile back on the face of Adhiraj and Trevor, winning the Astonish handicap, the plum event in resplendent style. Golden Marina from the stables of Ramanathan was fancied most but the filly failed to display her true potential and failed to even save money in place. The winner is in fine nick and is set to provide an encore. Wind Symbol finished second ahead of Race For The Stars.

Earlier, the lesser fancied Glorious Grace from Sebastian's yard, who shared the professional honours with Anil Kumar produced a sparkling gallop in the hands of Sai Kumar to outclass the overwhelming public choice Golden Kingdom in the Riyahi Handicap run over a distance of seven furlongs. Remediesofspring did well to finish a `neck' behind the runner-up Golden Kingdom and this stablemate of the winner is a ready winner when next saddled.