Padmanabhan trained Field Marshal showed his liking for the Mysore track by winning the Gr 3 1600 metres Maharaja`s Cup, a rich terms race for four year olds and over, the feature event of Friday`s races in record timing of one minute 33.70 seconds to better the one set by last year`s Derby winner Southern Emperor. Field Marshal, who was a dual classic winner on this track, swept the others off their feet with a blistering run in front in hard underfoot conditions which perhaps suited the six year olds who has had issues with his tendon.
The Maharaja`s Cup had modest lot of horses. Though Super Storm and Wind Stream have been Group I winners, the number of miles they have logged in their career was surely showing on their recent performances. Field Marshal also hadn`t won for quite some time and had just one start during the summer season. Field Marshal has always proved to be devastating when he gets uncontested lead and his cruising speed ensures that those who go in chase of him are a tired let when the race picks up momentum.
Very few believed that Field Marshal could upset because of his long absence from the track. Jockey Ranjeet Singh didn`t inspire confidence though those who put faith in his abilities stood to gain by the fancy dividend that they got on the tote. Czar of Romance was the favourite but there was always a question mark about him jumping off level from the gates. In a race of this nature, such a handicap is something that is a negative factor. Among the younger lot of horses, only Ambitious Reward had the best credentials though his lack of speed in the early part of the race was going to prove a disadvantage. Mysore based Duma had been a consistent performer on the local track but what went against him was his lack of experience of running against solid performers from Bangalore.
Ranjeet Singh had Field Marshal dictate the pace from the start with Arrogant Approach racing with the pace while Duma and Ambitious Reward were in the rear bunch. Czar of Romance lost all his chances at the gate itself. Field Marshal came into the straight without coming under pressure from any of the contestants with Arrogant Approach unable to change gears. Ambitious Reward moved up on the wide outside while Duma came through the inner path to come into contention. When the jockey used the whip, Field Marshal was inclined to come off the rails but once Ranjeet put the stick away, the six year old began to stretch away and in the end won by a shade more than a length. Duma was second ahead of late finishing Ambitious Reward. Arrogant Approach stayed on to finish fourth. This is perhaps the first success for jockey Ranjeet Singh in a graded race.
Azhar Ali trained Diamonite won the 1400 metres Y R Puttannaiah Memorial Trophy, a race for horses rated 60 and above, at huge odds. The five year old mare was definitely not winning out of turn as she had won her last outing at Bangalore in fine fashion. Diamonite had hovered in the lower class for long but with no pressure of expectations, chased No Boundaries in the final furlong and got stronger close home in the hands of jockey Arshad Alam. Violent Storm was third while Bold Police gave a disappointing show and appears a pale shadow of his former self. Strike The Stars showed some zest while taking the fourth slot. Next Move lost all his chances by being sluggish at the gate and travelling very wide in the straight.
Neil Darashah trained Kentucky Rose cantered home in record time in the 1100 metres Seetharam Mudaliar Memorial Trophy (Div I), a race for horses rated 20 to 45. Arshad Alam had Kentucky Rose in front from the start and the progeny of Rebuttal skipped away with ease from the rest to win pulling up. Catch The Eye made a late dash to finish second ahead of Catchy Charger. On money favourite Forest Tern won the Division II of the race despite veering out of a straight course in the final furlong. Speedy Anmol Hira led the charge till displaced by the eventual winner. Aravind Ganapathy had a double for the day as apart from Forest Tern, he also had the winner of the Division III of the race. Shrewd Master won in a record time which however stayed for an hour as Kentucky Rose got that distinction in the Division I of the race with a timing of one minute 04.64 seconds. Young Gallant edged out long time leader Big Copper Penny by a whisker for the runner up spot.
Cool Approach who had seen better company had no problem in beating the opposition in the 1600 metres Milkyway Plate, a race for horses rated 40 to 65 with ease, with a start to finish mission. Summer Sun ran on from behind to finish second ahead of Deep Blue Sea who was made a favourite despite the fact that the latter had always found the winning post elusive.
M P Kamath trained Flash Time recorded his fourth straight win when getting the better of Mumbai import Bourbon Street inside the winning post to claim the 1400 metres Coorg Plate. There was significant support for Spiritual Blue in the betting ring but the fancied runner ended a poor third.
Hard To Pin Down came for big support in the ring and true to market expectations, put his best foot forward when swamping the opposition in the 1200 metres Aunty Pip Plate, a race for horses rated 20 to 45. Best Move got the better of long time leader Mountain Train for the runner up berth.
Encourager won the day`s opener at the expense of Amazing Blue who narrowly failed in the 1100 metres Nagaland Plate, a race for horses in the lowest category. Distinctive came in for lot of support but could only finish a tame third.