Rajesh Narredu trained Star Superior won the Gr 1 Deccan Derby, the star event of the Hyderabad Monsoon Season on Tuesday as expected. The modest field that took on Star Superior posed no threat even as Suraj Narredu guided the favourite to an easy win despite suffering the hiccup of the horse drifting out under pressure. The fact of the matter was that the progeny of Excellent Art was cut above his opponents and nothing was going to halt him from winning the first Derby success for his sire. Incidentally, all the three classics of the season have been won by the Poonawalla bred and owned horses.
Suraj Narredu knew that he would not get any cover and took Star Superior on a start to finish mission followed by My Opinion, Corfe Castle and Evon Von Brando. Approaching the final bend, jockey Akshay Kumar made his move on My Opinion who inched closer to the favourite in the stretch run. Under pressure, My Opinion ran out and virtually ended on the outer end of the grass track which prevented the got-abroad from finishing closer. Trainer Suresh has been unable to correct this problem with his ward and the three-year-old continued to be wayward in the straight. On the other hand, Suraj was able to correct the outward drift of the horse and drove out the favourite for an easy win. Though Star Superior was flat out, critically he accomplished the mission that he was assigned. Corfe Castle was faraway third.
The Derby day races attracted a big field in almost every race and most of the races were resolved in thrilling finishes with a cluster of horses charging for the post. Racing was competitive and enjoyable even though winner-picking was not an easy task in such a highly competitive environment. Kudos to the professionals for putting up a quality fare.
Apprentice jockey Rohit Kumar rode a fine race on Dream Catcher to enable the last season`s champion performer to win the 1400 metres Turf Authorities Cup, a race for horses rated 74 and above. Dream Catcher had run a forward race last time out. The fact that trainer Satyanarayana opted to have an apprentice boosted the prospects of the progeny of Green Coast. Despite an outside draw, Rohit Kumar had Dream Catcher settled a handy third as Mr Baahubali set a scorching pace. Inside the final two furlongs, Rohit pushed Dream Catcher to take charge and the fancied runner picked up speed instantly and went sailing clear. Thereafter it was a futile task for the others to catch up though a formidable lot of horses made a bold bid. Likewise rallied strongly to take the second position ahead of Preciosa.
Hilton Sequeira trained Exclusivenorthwind recorded a smashing win in the1600 metres Madras Race Club Cup, a race for horses rated 42 to 62. Hailstorm and Exclusivenorthwind were both backed strongly to record an encore. After Takisha led the field into the straight, Hailstorm led briefly before being overwhelmed by the second favourite. Under a strong ride by jockey Akshay Kumar, Exclusivenorthwind stormed ahead of the favourite to win with a measure of comfort. Alta Vita ran on to finish third.
Trainer Robin Reddy who had recorded the maiden success of his career only on Monday, saddled his second winner when Exclusive Striker hung on grimly to win the 1400 metres Royal Calcutta Turf Club Cup, a race for horses rated 26 to 46. After Digger led the field into the straight, Exclusive Striker shot ahead in the final furlong and though he looked vulnerable all the way, he held on to win from Handsome Boy who made a powerful dash down the final furlong but found the winning post coming too soon. The well-backed Buddy Brothers was third. Digger stayed on to finish fourth.
Laxman Singh trained Isabella who had gone down fighting to Exclusivenorthwind in her last outing made amends with an easy win in the 1200 metres Mrs K Lakshmi Bhupal Reddy Memorial Cup, a race for horses rated 42 to 62. Suraj Narredu had Isabela track pace-setter Royal Green well into the straight before setting alight the favourite. Isabella easily picked up steam and stormed clear to win the race with a measure of comfort from Nayadeep who went wide under pressure. Royal Green stayed on to take the third position.
In a tightly packed field where horses were well matched, the luck of the race went the way of Sequeira trained George Cross who landed the spoils in a cluster finish in the 1100 metres Bangalore Turf Club Cup, a race for horses rated 42 to 62. Commanding Boy led deep into the straight before George Cross who got a clear run on the wide outside surged ahead. Favourite Indian Dreams who was baulked of a clear run and O Ms Akilah charged home in the dying moments of the race only to find George Cross reach the safety of the post. O Ms Akilah nosed out Indian Dreams for the runner-up berth. Another three horses were less than half a length of each other. George Cross was brilliantly ridden by the jockey of the moment Akshay Kumar for whom everything seems to be going right.
The 1200 metres Royal Western India Turf Club Cup, a race for horses rated 58 to 78, produced a nail-biting finish with Scooby Dooby Do who was nowhere in the picture till the final 100 metres beating a host of horses close home to land the spoils at big odds. Half a dozen horses were in with a chance in the furlong, but the charge of the late brigade turned the race on its head. Champion Bull and Eternal Angel shaped to win but were floored by the late flourish of Scooby Dooby Do who grabbed the verdict in the waning yards of the race.
The form of Satin Symphony was well disguised though the intent was not. A big flow of money on this Laxman Singh trainee in the 1600 metres Delhi Race Club Cup, a race for horses rated up to 30, was indicative of the fact that something was brewing. Jockey Kuldeep Singh steadily brought the well-backed runner into contention in the stretch run and by the final furlong, had covered the field and was motoring away to win by a widening margin of five lengths over Curcumin. Satin Symphony simply towered over the rest. Silver Dollar was faraway third.
Satheesh trained Classic Guy shot off like a scalded cat in the final furlong to win the 1100 metres Mysore Race Club Cup, a race for horses rated 26 to 46 in tremendous fashion. The inspired burst of speed left the favourite Inci standing and though the filly made a desperate effort to catch up, the winner proved too superior in the end. Max was third.
Apprentice jockey Md Ismail drove out Chinese Thought to a thrilling win over Wine N Dine in the 1200 metres Indian Pattern Committee Cup, a race for horses rated 26 to 46. Chinse Thought shot ahead with 100 metres left in the race and barely managed to stay put in front with a host of horse rushing in at the finish. Charlie Brown was third.
Exclusivenorthwind (Akshay Kumar up) winner of the Madras Race Club Cup
Exclusive Striker (Nakhat Singh up) winner of the Royal Calcutta Turf Club Cup
Isabella (Suraj Narredu up) winner of the Mrs K Lakshmi Bhupal Reddy Memorial Cup
George Cross (Akshay Kumar up) winner of the Bangalore Turf Club Cup
Satin Symphony (Kuldeep Singh up) winner of the Delhi Race Club Cup
Classy Guy (Akshay Kumar up) winner of the Mysore Race Club Cup
Dream Catcher (Rohit Kumar up) winner of the Turf Authorities Cup
Scooby Dooby Doo (Ajit Singh up) winner of the Royal Western India Turf Club Cup
Star Superior (Suraj Narredu up) winner of the Deccan Derby (Gr.1)
Chinese Thought (Md Ismail up) winner of the Indian Pattern Committee Cup