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Smile Stone gets it right in Srikantadatta Wadiyar Trophy

  March 10 , 2018

The absence of quality horses at the top and the fact that these races are mostly contested by older horses which have seen better days is the reason why one can never expect consistency of performance. And in keeping with this trend, Sharat Kumar trained Smile Stone who once in a while gets his act right, produced the patented late burst which got the eight-year-old win at the expense of late rallying Let The Lion in the 1400 metres Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wadiyar Memorial Trophy, a race for horses rated 75 and above, the feature event of Saturday`s Bangalore races.

It was difficult to pick any horse as a possible winner as there were so many variables that could affect the performance of each of the contestants. Life Awaits who hadn`t won a race for a long time ended up receiving more support than the rest with Lightning Strikes also enjoying enthusiastic acceptance to oblige based on the recent workouts.

The pace of the race was brisk with Rafa being as the leader of the pack but in the final furlong he began to falter. Lightning Strikes was getting cramped approaching the final bend and Srinath made a dangerous manoeuvre when he forced his way pushing Castle Key out. The latter went on to bump Justice Angel who was making his bid. In the meanwhile, Lightning Strikes got into his rhythm and surged ahead with a furlong left in the race. Smile Stone came up with a good burst of speed and got past Lightning Strikes close home while Let The Lion Roar who has always excelled over longer trips, making a brilliant charge. Justice Angel too finished on strongly. In a tight finish, Smile Stone prevailed by a long neck with Let The Lion edging out Lighting Strikes for the runner-up berth by another neck. Justice Angel was fourth.

Jockey Pradeep Chouhan who rode Justice Angel put an objection against Srinath who was astride Lightning Strikes for causing him a severe interference at the final bend by bumping Castle Key who in turn passed it on to his horse. The skirmish affected his horse who lost his momentum and his finishing burst clearly indicated that he was robbed off the opportunity of being in the money. The objection had substance with the Senior Stipe Pradhuman Singh stating that the interference did make a difference and the objection deserved to be upheld. The other Senior Stipe Mahender opined that the interference happened at the final bend and that Justice Angel had enough distance to recover and hence the objection deserved to be overruled. The reason why anybody puts an objection is because he has been affected by the infringement which had a bearing on the result. Whether he had enough time or distance to recover is not the consideration. Whether the interference was severe/dangerous is what should be of critical importance in forming an opinion. One of the Stewards was for upholding the objection but in the end, the objection was overruled. In a sprint race, a marginal check is good enough to make the affected horse lose the race and the Stipes need to have a refresher course to get a consensus about viewing the objections.

Prasanna Kumar trained Rum Runner who had won the race on the opening day was back in action after a longish gap. Aeisir who had won well last time out was the betting rage in the 1200 metres Sohna Stud Plate, a race for horses rated 45 to 65. Rum Runner was available at lucrative odds. Srinath pushed Aeisir to take over the running within the first furlong and the progeny of Phoenix Tower had a good lead going into the final furlong. Rum Runner came home with a ground saving effort along the rails and gathered tremendous speed to sail past the front-runners to record an emphatic win. Aeisir who drifted out under pressure, managed to keep the second position ahead of Tanoura and Mint.

Prasanna Kumar led in a winner through first-timer Capricious who recorded an impressive win in the 1200 metres Byerely Turf Plate, a race for maiden three-year-olds. Peluche who had the benefit of a good forward run was the on-money favourite. Capricious who shot ahead on turning for home, bounced clear and had no problem in finishing clear of Peluche in a smart time of one minute 12.78 seconds. Different League ran on well from behind to take the third position.

Favourite Sky Bound flopped miserably in the 1200 metres Mudabidri Plate (Div I), a race for horses rated 15 to 35. The race was won by Call Me Maybe who took over the running in the final furlong and won with a measure of comfort. Fine Barristor nosed out As Good As It Gets to take the runner-up berth. The lower division of the race saw Azhar Ali trained Harley Quinn break the maidens ranks in the 24th attempt. One was not sure what this horse was doing all these days but the widening margin of nine lengths which was the winning margin definitely came as a surprise. Such performances stumps a follower of form. Bold Runner and Blazing Faith occupied the next two slots on the frame.

Neil Darashah trained Dancing Dragon maintained his form while winning the 1400 metres Prince Ardent Trophy, a race for horses rated 30 to 50, quite comprehensively, sailing clear of Iris with a furlong left in the race. Setaglow was third more than seven lengths behind the runner-up.

Irfan Ghatala trained Amazonite was well backed to win the 1400 metres Bramhagiri Plate, a race for horses rated 15 to 35 as the form suggested of such a possibility. Apprentice jockey Nazerul Alam had the favourite well positioned before scooting ahead at the of the straight. The lead established was of considerable help as Starry Wind, despite a hard drive, cold not get past the front-runner who held on to win by half a length. Piper Regina ran on well to finish third.

Jockey Srinath`s lone success for the day came through favourite Jack of Hearts who took on a meek opposition and won the 1600 metres Yedamuri Falls Plate, a race for the lowest rated horses. Magnificent Mary and Ocean Park saved place money.

Jack Of Hearts (Y S Srinath up) winner of the Yedamuri Falls Plate

Capricious (S John up) winner of the Byerely Turk Plate

Amazonite (Nazerul Alam up) winner of the Bramhagiri Plate

Call Me Maybe (P S Chouhan up) winner of the Mudabidri Plate (Div-I)

Smile Stone (Naveen M up) winner of the Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wadiyar Memorial Trophy

Dancing Dragon (Trevor Patel up) winner of the Prince Ardent Trophy

Rum Runner (Trevor Patel up) winner of the Sohna Stud Plate

Harley Quinn (Suraj Narredu up) winner of the Mudabidri Plate (Div-II)

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