The expected battle royal between Star Superior and Adjudicate did not materialise as the former trounced the opposition in the Gr 2 2200 metres Maharaja`s Cup, a terms race for four-year-olds and over, the feature event of Sunday`s Bangalore races. The Indian Derby winner who was racing on the back of a superlative performance over a mile left the field stranded in the stretch after taking over the running from the pace-setting stablemate Super Smart. Adjudicate who was running in two weeks` time failed to display the spark that is associated with her and was a disappointing third.
The market got the equation wrong when it made Adjudicate as the overwhelming favourite to win the race. The odds should have reflected that both these stalwarts had an equal chance of winning as they had been brilliant in their lead up efforts. However, Adjudicate was backed to the exclusion of the rest while Star Superior was allowed to run at lucrative odds. Since Star Superior had smashed the opposition which included Adjudicate in the Indian Derby such disparity in odds was hard to fathom unless some rumour did the rounds effectively sending confusing signals about the Indian Derby winner.
Super Smart raced all alone in front with Star Superior heading the bunch with Adjudicate in proximity. Suraj Narredu waited with Star Superior till turning for home and set alight the progeny of Excellent Art. In a trice, Star Superior had gone away displaying his patented spark of excellence. Adjudicate who was handily placed failed to pick up steam and it was clear that the champion filly would flop when Salazaar came from the back of the field with a ground-saving effort and surged ahead. Star Superior had no problem checking in well clear of Salazaar who was driven out aggressively by jockey Pradeep Chouhan. Adjudicate just about held off Roberta to get the third position. There was a great deal of expectation about Chennai contender My Opinion to give a good account of himself but he was outclassed. Star Superior clocked a record time of two minutes 14.93 seconds better the existing mark of Alekona which stood at two minutes 15.12 seconds. Incidentally, jockey Suresh Narredu was associated with both these horses. This year fast timings have been par for each race as the track has nothing underneath expect thin grass cover and lack of rain has also ensured that the going is hard, more like running on a cement surface.
Suraj took his tally of wins in the Maharaja`s Cup to five. His other wins had come on Classical Act, Alekona, Tororosso and Ocean And Beyond. Suraj who is within reach of the coveted 2000 winners is one of the few jockeys who does his homework well and this trait helps him to get the right horse which has been a big factor in him consistently winning big races.
Sulaiman Attaollahi trained Constantinople had recorded a runaway win in the early part of the season and had a few useful acclimatisation runs in the higher class. Renegade who had won against the run of expectations was the favourite to win the 1400 metres Yeravada Stud Plate, a race for horses rated 30 to 50, but close to race time the flood of money on Constantinople pushed the original favourite to the second position not only in the ring but on the track as well. It has been time and again emphasised in these columns that the percentage of winning horses repeating in handicap races is negligible, Renegade started off as a strong favourite. In the event, Constantinople carried the weight of expectations with ease, getting the better of Renegade close home to end up an easy winner. The result confirmed that the handicapper in Bangalore is a spoiler of horses who are targeted to win again. Karadeniz finished third to suggest that his turn could come soon.
Arjun Mangalorkar trained On The Trot who had the benefit of a good forward run had it easy in the 1400 metres D Kumar Siddanna Memorial Cup, a race for maiden three-year-olds. Debutant Cuban Pete came in for solid support and went to the post as a strong favourite though he did not look the part in the paddock appearance. Suraj had On The Trot lead from the start and the progeny of Win Legend drew away from the pack in the stretch to win by a widening margin of five lengths. Cuban Pete had to settle for the second position while Sea of Cortez showed no significant improvement when finishing a poor third.
Dheeraj Venkatswamy trained Emidio had advertised his readiness to strike with a forward run last time out and the confident support in the betting ring to win the 1200 metres Parsiana Plate (Div I), a race for horses rated 15 to 35 was not misplaced. Emidio had the lead very swiftly from the jump off and led aggressively in front. Emidio, however, had to survive a scare as Amazonite finished with a flourish only to fall short by a narrow margin in the end. Princeazeem saved placed money while Aine who was in serious betting made no show and finished poorly. The lower division of the race saw a big gamble come off on Kishan Thomas trained Look Out whose odds came crashing even as that of Desert Angel went up. Jockey Prashanth Dhebe had Look Out lead from the start and it was clear that the others would not be able to catch even the shadow of the front-runner. Look Out won by a margin of over four lengths. Grecian Light headed Zhu Zhu Zest at the post to grab the second place.
Samar Singh trained Cashmere fought it out with Premier Premises to win the 1100 metres Supervite Plate, a race for horses in the lowest category. Both these horses were in serious betting. Cashmere who led from the start carried the lead to the post even though Premier Premises was fast catching up in the end. Have A Nice Day saved place money.
Cashmere (Naveen M up) winner of the Supervite Plate
Emidio (Akshay Kumar up) winner of the Parsiana Plate (Div-I)
On The Trot (Suraj Narredu up) winner of the D. Kumar Siddanna Memorial Cup
Star Superior (Suraj Narredu up) winner of the Maharaja`S Gold Cup (Gr.2)
Constantinople (Trevor Patel up) winner of the Yeravada Stud Plate
Look Out (Prashant P Dhebe up) winner of the Parsiana Plate (Div-II)