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Amatol wins in a tight finish

By Sharan Kumar | 24 Dec 2004 | BANGALORE

Amatol (Prithviraj up) winner of the Saptharishi Cup being led in by trainer Mr. Pradeep & owners Mr. Vijeth Bhandari, Mr. Srikanth & Mr. Shivananda

Favourite Amatol found foot in the final furlong to edge out Corsican Gal and Galaxy Star in one of the most exciting finishes seen in recent times in the 1200 metres Saptharishi Cup, a race for horses rated 30 to 45. Amatol was stuck along the rails with some leeway to be covered on the front-running Galaxy Star and Corsican Gal who were fighting every inch of the ground but once jockey Prithviraj got the favourite ofF the rail and gave him room to gallop, the response was breath-taking. The Pradeep Annaiah ward flew home to get the nod by the shortest of margins. Amatol, who was essaying the seven furlong trip for the first time, was backed to the exclusion of his rivals and the expectations appeared to be going awry as Prithviraj was struggling to settle the favourite at the back of the field as the son of Tirol was not relishing the slow pace. He brushed against the false rails and was left to cover a lot of ground on the front-runners. But his brilliant acceleration ensured that the day was saved for the followers of the favourite. Paul Eddery on Galaxy Star and O’Donoghue went flat out on their respective mounts, making free use of the whip but the superior sprinting ability of Amatol prevented an upset. O’Donoghue used the whip in excess of the prescribed limit for the second time in his two day’s of action on the track in Bangalore and he was fined Rs. 3,000 for the same. He enjoys his whip but he is still to get used to the rules with regard to the use of the whip because two more offenses will ensure that his whip is taken away! Both the divisions of the Kentucky Plate were won by lesser fancied runners. Siroco was the favourite but with inspired money coming on Elegant Embrace, the favourite’s odds drifted out. In the event, D Patel was not up to justifying the kind of money that poured on Elegant Embrace as Imperial Ruler got strong close home to win at nourishing odds. The lower division of the race saw Winfoot account for the opposition at the expense of Aischa. Red Mamma was strongly fancied to win the Dancing Fountain Plate but was collared by Arjun Mangalorkar’s South Sea who proved her mettle over a sprint. The five-year old mare who was always campaigned over longer trips, came good in this short trip with a powerful dash and had the measure of front-running Red Mamma who was all at sea once posed with a challenge. Puttanna’s Ranveer was backed to the exclusion of his rivals so much so that another strongly fancied runner, Pocket Full, was allowed to start at nourishing odds. Pocket Full sprinted away to a comfortable win even as Ranveer found time to get into his groove and was a lost cause when he started picking up speed. The distance was sharp for Ranveer but despite running over a shorter trip, he came in for so much money because of the blind faith of all in the ability of these types of horses who are said to be blessed with virtues that they may not possess. Trainer Loknath had a double for the day as apart from Pocket Full, Cold War brought off a big upset in the 2000 metres Nethravathi Cup, getting the better of Lovely Empress close home. In the day’s other action, Mahaesh’s Divine Hero won quite capably from Red Fort where favourite Flawless Diamond lost all her chances at the gate itself.