Autonomy Reigns Supreme at Malakpet
Autonomy (Y S Srinath Up), winner of The Indian Turf Invitation Cup Grade-I
It was Carnival time on Sunday at Hyderabad. The Invitational Race Day, which should have been run at Mumbai in March, was finally gone through at Hyderabad. Thanks to the efforts of the Breeders Association of India and the generosity of the Hyderabad Race Club led by its dynamic Chairman Mr. R. Surender Reddy. A history of sorts was created as this is the first time that four Group I races were run on a single day in India. With four more Million Races added for the day, the huge stands at Malakpet were packed to capacity and wore a festive look. Autonomy was ridden to a thrilling victory by Y.S. Srinath in the Indian Turf Invitation Cup (Gr. I) at Hyderabad on Sunday. Trained by Bezan Chenoy, the property of Mr. Jaydev M. Mody, representing J.M. Livestock Pvt Lld, beat the course favourite, Antonios, by a neck, in front of a packed audience. On a day when new course records were being created, on the Monsoon track at Malakpet, Conceptual set a rather slow pace followed by Abs Fabs, Autonomy, Clever Ploy, Antonios and Ice Breaker. Ice Breaker was fighting for her head and could not settle into a nice stride in the first five furlongs. As the six runners got into the final 400 metres, Antonios shot through the gap in-between Conceptual and Abs Fabs. Autonomy started to set sail and Icebreaker had begun to feel the pressure on the straight. Antonios and Autonomy left the four fillies behind and the race started to get to a boil in the final furlong. Kamlesh on Antonios was in full flow while Srinath, astride Autonomy had his right leg out of the stirrup at around 150 metres from home but gripped himself using his knees and rode a peach of a race to push his mount to a pulsating win. Ice Breaker landed up third a further two lengths behind. Razeen, who has sired many a Classic winners over the last decade, must have been the proudest on Sunday, watching her progenies win two Group I races. While Autonomy won the Invitation Cup, daughter Yana romped home, in the gruelling Poonawalla Stud Farms and Breeders Stayers’ Cup, in resplendent fashion. Racing in the rear for most part of the 3,000 metres trip, Yana was spotted a champion 800 metres from the winning post, when she made a swift move to take command, while the rest of the eleven runners looked to be static. Oasis Star proved beyond doubt that she is the best sprinter on Indian Turf as on date. Having won the 2008 edition of the Sprinters Cup, she literarily toyed with the leader Palazzio’s Sun on the straight and set a new course record. With Portrush being withdrawn on veterinary grounds, the field in the Nanoli Stud and Breeders Sprinters Cup was reduced to seven. Aurora Aurealis and Originality set a blistering pace in the race. As the field showed up on the straight, Palazzio’s Sun sneaked into the front and Oasis Star was biding time behind him with Srinath ‘showing off’ knowing fully well how good his filly was. Speaking to India Race the owner Mr. Shapoor Mistry sounded confident that the filly may show her prowess on foreign turf. Trainer Katrak in all humility accepted that this was the best horse he has ever trained. Having proved that she is the best sprinter in India we may get to see her again in the Sprinters Cup on the first Sunday of March next year at Mumbai. S. Padmanabhan had a great day at the Invitational Races, taking home four trophies including the Usha Stud Farm and Breeders Maj. P.K. Mehra Memorial Super Mile Cup. Paddu has achieved such a feat earlier on Derby days but to do it on an Invitational race day, this was the first time. Rajendra rode the ‘blue and black diamonds’ silks of Mr. V.N. Babu and V. Krishna Mohan to a worthy victory. Dancing Dynamite came up with a flash to grab the lead passing the distance marker and held on by half a length at the wire from Juventus who warmed up late after some hard riding by Kamlesh in the final furlong. ‘Paddu’ picked up three of the four Million Races framed for the day while the other was won by the local professional Ananth ‘Vasu’ Vatsalya. Becket ran away with the Sohna Stud Million in a smart timing of 1 min 39.40 secs, which turned out to be a new course record. Becket could keep the new record against his name only for a few hours as stable mate Dancing Dynamite erased that in the Super Mile clocking 1 min 38.88 secs. D’Artagnan put in an impressive performance in the Smt Teegala Sulochana Reddy Memorial Juvenile Million, cutting the six furlongs distance 0.02 seconds slower than the timing of Oasis Star. Arts and Nox took the minor berths in a close finish amongst themselves. Royal Invader had taken charge at 300 metres and was shaping like a winner in the Horse Lovers Million when Appu brought the favourite, Leave it to Me, with a terrific burst of speed and once the filly began to accelerate the winner could be sighted even before she could pass the leader. Gurujosh and Queen of Hebashe were withdrawn after their unruly behaviour near the gates. Ananth Vatsalya was the only local professional who tasted success on the big day. Suraj Narredu rode out Spot on strongly to win the Sri Gangula Thimma Reddy Memorial Million, warding off Crocodile Hunter’s late challenge. While S. Padmanabhan took the lion’s share of four races, Bezan Chenoy, Y.S. Srinath, C. Rajendra and K.P. G. Appu had their share of two races each..