Southern Emperor (B. Sreekanth) won the Jayachamaraja Wadiyar Golf Club Mysore 2000 Guineas (Gr.III), the second classic of the Mysore racing season over 1600 metres in a thriller on Friday in record time.
This terms race for horses 3-years-old only saw what turned out to be a nail-biting finish with the PLACERVILLE(USA) - MYSTIC DANCER progeny clocking 1:33.85 seconds to eclipse the 1:34.15 seconds, clocked by the Capt Jamshed Appoo owned and S. Padmanabhan trained Rhapsidion Snow on Sept 11, 2009. Of course no doubt Rhapsidion Snow beat a far more competitive field.
Nevertheless, it was the timing that mattered. Valerian set off on a fast clip and that contributed to the record a lot. Ace Bucephalus chased him and then took charge to do the same. Supreme Regime, Southern Emperor, Jersey Shore, Nabicso, Perfect Soul, favourite Turf Striker and Czar of Romance who was slowly off raced more or less in that order. Jockey John perhaps rode the worst race of his life on Turf Striker by racing him very wide and spoiling whatever chance the Bangalore Derby runner up had.
It was the 6 to 1 shot Southern Emperor who showed up and went ahead in the final 300 metres as they swung for home. Czar of Romance who was sluggish at the start, came through with a ground saving run and went ahead briefly in the final furlong even as the rest struggled to match strides. The two fought out a ding dong battle in the final 100 metres before Southern Emperor got up in time to nose out his nearest adversary at the wire. It was too close to call. Jersey Shore was way behind third while Ace Bucephalus filled the frame. Turf Striker, short of a race run and racing after a setback, plodded on to finish sixth in the field of nine runners.
"I was very confident that I had won as Southern Emperor finished on very powerfully," said Sreekanth. The winner is trained by S. Ganapathy for Dr MAM Ramaswamy. On the strength of this victory, Supreme Emperor should start as the favourite for the Derby with a big challenge coming from the 1000 Guineas winner Isn`t She Special. For trainer and jockey combination of Dominic and Imran Khan, it was a matter of coming so close and yet missing out on the big ‘un. Czar Alexander had run a close second to Acclaimed in the Deccan Bookmakers Colts Championship and gave a much better account after being slapped with blinkers. The same duo had lost the Kingfisher Derby by a whisker on Severstahl.