Neil Darashah trained Apache Sunrise confirmed that he is a horse of classic potential when he stood tall against a hapless opposition in the 1600 metres Governor`s Trophy, a terms race for three-year-olds, the highlight of Saturday`s races. The progeny of first season stallion of Poonawalla Stud Farm, Excellent Art, has several top-quality horses from his first crop and surely Apache Sunrise belongs to the elite among them.
The two wins that Apache Sunrise had recorded indicated that he is a horse of exciting possibilities. He went to the post at a very short priced horse as the others in the fray did not inspire confidence. Noble Splendour set a comfortable pace as jockey Suraj Narredu eased Apache Sunrise in the second position with the rest following. Apache Sunrise travelled well within himself into the straight and even without the jockey having to move a muscle, the favourite left the rest stranded to win by a widening margin of nine lengths over Lycurgus. The winner clocked a smart time of one minute 38.47 seconds. The quality of the win indicates that Apache Sunrise should progress to be a formidable contender for the Gr 1 Colts Championships, the first classic of the Summer Season.
With the season winding its way to close by the middle of March, the question that punters seek before placing their bets would be to look for horses which have largely remained unexploited with the intent of pulling off a gamble. Gregory Sandhu trained Revelnation hadn`t been seen in serious business after a runaway win in summer and the time had come for the exploitation of the horse yet again. Backed to the exclusion of the rest in the 1400 metres Tumkur Plate, a race for horses rated 30 to 50, Revelnation came into the homestretch, briskly improving his position and was hailed a winner well before the final furlong. Srinath who was in the limelight booting home three winners had an easy task on the favourite. Leon chased the winner without hope while Internal Affair succeeded in nosing out Firing Line to save place money.
Srinath also had it easy on Storm in the 1200 metres K Venkatesh Nayak Memorial Trophy, a race for horses rated 30 to 50. Storm was the lesser fancied runner as money came on Dagobert and Tax Free to have a decisive say at the finish. In the event, Tax Free weakened after leading the field as is his wont right till the final 100 metres. He surrendered tamely when Storm came home with a big effort and overhauled the front-runner with a minimum of fuss. A few horses charged at Tax Free in the final strides of the race with Tamara rallying well on the inside to get the better of Dagobert and Tax Free in a tight finish.
The win on Sriram Komandur trained Varsha in the Gadag Plate (Div I), a race for horses rated 15 to 35, was also achieved with ease, with jockey Srinath aboard the horse. Zafrina came in for spirited support but the favourite ran like a dud and was not seen to have any chance of even figuring on board as the race progressed. Varsha who was also in serious betting, bolted to the front from the outside draw and was not headed by anyone during the rest of the race as the filly checked in comfortably ahead of last start winner Island Pearl and Roaring Thunder. Narayan Gowda trained Loveisintheair brought off an upset win in the lower division of the race. Loveisintheair produced a powerful burst on the wide outside to surge ahead of favourite Brunesco in the waning yards of the race to win the race in a tight finish. Fine Barristor and Regency Girl too were not far behind, almost finishing in a line.
Prasanna Kumar trained Star Tracker who was running after 258 days was nevertheless the betting rage in the 1600 metres Hurricane Stud Plate, a race for horses rated 45 to 65. The progeny of Ace had won a race against the run of expectations in Summer before being thrown at the deep end against champions like Serjeant At Arms. Star Tracker had been systematically prepared to make a winning reappearance. The betting trend too reflected this optimism as Star Tracker went to the post as a strong favourite ahead of Reference. Suraj Narredu pushed Reference to take charge on top of the straight and the progeny of Burden of Proof shaped to win when he had a useful lead going into the final furlong. However, he began to slacken close home. Star Tracker pounced on him in the dying moments of the race and pulled off a win by half a length. Secret Dimension got the better of Afore by a neck to get the third place.
The lowest category races which are particularly a favourite with those who make the prospectus has always been a nightmare for punters. Either horses which have been brought back into this class with not so serious efforts coming into big betting win the race or quite often, horses pull off a big one even much to the chagrin of the connections. Cashmere was one such horse who doggedly stayed in front to stave off the bid of Kiraathaka to win the 1200 metres Ramanagar Plate, a race for horses in the lowest class, against the run of expectations at huge odds. Slightly Blonde was third while Al Faaris who had got more thrust in the betting was not sighted.
M P Mahaesh trained Fractals very nearly brought off a very big upset but was caught up with by the fancied Tree Lounge in the closing strides of the race in the 1600 metres Altenburg Plate, a race for horses rated 15 to 35. Fractals led all the way and shaped to win in the hands of Shiva Kumar but closer home began to weaken which allowed the strongly driven Tree Lounge to get the nod at the post. Karod Pati was third.