Satheesh trained Like Wise recorded an encore in great style in the 1400 metres Chief Justice`s Trophy (Div I), a race for horses rated 58 to 78, the feature event of races held at Malakpet on Sunday. The progeny of Dancing Forever simply smashed the opposition by going into a decisive lead in the final furlong. The bloodless win was suggestive of a repeat performance next timeout as well. It was an easy outing for favourite Breezeofthesouth in the lower division who had things totally under control. Jockey Akshay Kumar had a field day, booting home four winners.
The divisions in Hyderabad are made in such a way that the best horses are not grouped in the same division and they get evenly distributed. As a result, generally, these races favour the favourites because of the very nature of the division. Like Wise looked imposing because her last win was achieved without having to be extended and the strong support for her to repeat was justified. Top Contender had credentials to get the support he got in the ring to beat the favourite, but he had to lift his performance by a few notches. In the event, he proved incapable, barely managing to stave off the challenge of Naazaan to retain the runner-up berth.
Akshay Kumar had Like Wise eased in about the fourth or fifth position as he was unperturbed by the frenetic activity in front. He knew the horse well and was confident of the turn of foot that the favourite was capable of. Though he brought Like Wise wide into the straight, the Hazara Stud From produce picked up speed with great alacrity to go storming clear in the final furlong to record a comfortable win. Top Contender finished ahead of Naazaan to get the runner-up berth. Green Image faded out after staying in touch with the front-runners till the horses straightened out for the stretch run.
Sequeira trained Breezeofthesouth looked too good in the lower division of the Chief Justice`s Trophy. Akshay Kumar knew the ability of his horse as also that of the opposition and as such his approach was unhurried. Akshay unleased the favourite with a flourishing run down the middle of the course with a furlong left in the race. Breezeofthesouth picked up speed with ease to storm clear to win by a measure of comfort from Tiger who rallied along the rails to take the second position. Sea Castle was third. Pentagon was withdrawn at the gates on veterinary grounds.
Akshay had to work harder on the success in the other races of the day. He timed his challenge to a nicety on lesser fancied Vallee Sceptre as the progeny of Lord Admiral produced a powerful burst in the final furlong to get the better of Composure who had stolen a march with a start to finish attempt. Royal Dynamite and Asteria too put up a strong challenge but did not find the extra gear to make a difference in the outcome of the race. The former however saved place money by a whisker.
Akshay was also instrumental in the success of Anant Vatsalya trained Abracos in the day`s opener, the 1200 metres Kinnerasani Plate (Div I), a race for horses rated up to 30. Racing Ikon had stolen a march in the final furlong but Abracos produced a strong effort not only to get past the front-runner in the shadow of the post but also keep the late rallying Forever Bullish at bay. Akshay was persevering on his horse. The lower division went the way of Sequeira trained Ashwini who had no problem in swamping the opposition. Dear Friend was more supported than Ashwini, but the former flattered to deceive and failed to pick up steam though he promised much in the race. Ashwini had the race in her grasp in the final furlong and had no problem in finishing clear of late-finishing Brioni. Dear Friend had to settle for the third slot.
Leo D`Silva trained Texas Rodeo was the strong favourite for the 1400 metres Srinivasa Sadagopa Sharma Memorial Cup, a race for horses rated 26 to 46 but close to race time, there was a flood of money on Vittal Deshmukh trained Handsome Boy who ended up becoming the favourite. Last start winner Apowerx who went on a start to finish mission, appeared to have stolen the race by having a useful cushion going into the final furlong. However, he began to send distress signals in sight of the post and a strong ride by Suraj ensured that Texas Rodeo got past the front-runner in the closing strides of the race. Shivalik Arrow too came up with a big effort and snatched the runner-up berth from longtime leader Apowerx.
Akshay`s heroics on Ikigai did not help matters in the 1100 metres Golconda Plate (Div I), a race for horses rated 26 to 46. Rose Eternal held on resolutely to thwart the late bid of Ikigai who was left to cover lot of ground on the eventual winner. Though Ikigai produced a strong run, she ran out of ground in the end. Take A Bow was a close third. Srinivas Reddy trained Cash Landing came home with a powerful surge to get past Space Ship in the dying moments of the race to win the lower division of the race. Wild Heart was in close proximity of Space Ship and essayed her challenge but petered out failing to find an extra gear.
Abracos (Akshay Kumar up) winner of the Kinnerasani Plate (Div-I)
Rose Eternal (Deep Shanker up) winner of the Golconda Plate (Div-I)
Ashwini (Koushik up) winner of the Kinnerasani Plate (Div-II)
Texas Rodeo (Suraj Narredu up) winner of the Srinivasa Sadagopa Sharma Memorial Cup
Breezeofthesouth (Akshay Kumar up) winner of the Chief Justice Trophy (Div-II)
Vallee Sceptre (Akshay Kumar up) winner of the Democracy Plate
Like Wise (Akshay Kumar up) winner of the Chief Justice Trophy (Div-I)
Cash Landing (Abhishek S Pawar up) winner of the Golconda Plate (Div-II)