Leo D`Silva trained Paso Robles who enjoyed the reputation of being a formidable local horse lived up to the expectations with a resolute win in the Gr 2 Golconda 1000 Guineas, the first classic of the season on Monday. The progeny of Arazan, Paso Robles had recorded two back to back impressive wins and the filly justified the confidence of her pilot by measuring the opposition with great competence.
With none of the other contestants inspiring confidence, it was no surprise to find Paso Robles as the most preferred horse in the betting. David Allan took Ice Floe on a start to finish mission with Winall giving the chase followed by Paso Robles and Cape Kidnappers. Paso Robles cruised up to draw level with Ice Floe in the straight and Suraj drove out the favourite to go storming clear and had something in reserve when Cape Kidnappers came up with a menacing run. British Empress flashed home on the wide outside to nose out Ice Floe to snatch the third place.
NRI Symbol who had recently migrated to trainer Satyanarayana`s yard put up a gutsy display in the hands of apprentice jockey Rohit Kumar to get the better of Top Contender in the closing stride of the race to land the spoils in the 1400 metres Kuntala Plate, a race for horses rated 40 to 65. Trevor Patel had Top Contender positioned well to launch an assault in the stretch. Top Contender shot ahead inside the final furlong with NRI Symbol putting up a big fight. The latter was able to put her had in front at the all-important end. Vancouver ran on to take the third position.
Jockey Akshay Kumar drove out last start winner Nayadeep to yet another facile win in the 1600 metres Ch V Lakshmi Prasad Rao Sirdesai Sircilla Memorial Cup, a race for horses rated 60 to 86. Shaquille attempted runaway tactics but inside the final 300 metres began to falter. Nayadeep showed out on the outside and in a trice had gone away from the front-runner in the final furlong to win by a widening margin of five lengths. Fancied Pontius Pilate could only manage to head the tiring Shaquille to clinch the runner-up berth.
Apprentice jockey Abhay Singh was able to guide favourite Buttonwood to an impressive win in the 2000 metres Galactica Plate, a race for horses rated 20 to 45. The jockeys were not permitted to carry the whip in this race. Ashwa Arjun led the field into the straight before Buttonwood moved up with raking strides and had the race sewn up a long way from home. Solo Winner ran on to take the second position more than three lengths adrift of the winner. Ajmal Birju was third another five and three-fourths of a length. The contest became one-sided as the free-running Buttonwood had the speed to swamp the opposition with the jockey not having to use forceful tactics.
Classic hopeful Prince Valiant had an easy outing in the 1400 metres Golden Dagger Plate, a race for horses rated 40 to 65. Jockey Ajeeth Kumar had Prince Valiant in the rear group as City of Wisdom went at a scorching pace only to pack off in the straight to finish a dismal last. Marinetti had the lead going into the final furlong but could not sustain it till the post as Prince Valiant produced a big burst on the wide outside to go storming ahead close home to win by a margin of two lengths. Midnight Dream held off Artistryy to get the third position.
Faisal Hassan trained Ayur Shakti who had cost Suraj Narredu one winning point got it back when she won the 1400 metres Gallant Commander Plate, a race for horses rated 20 to 45, in the hands of the same jockey in taking style. Ayur Shakti had been disqualified after winning because of breach of medication rules. Now running at the same winning mark. Ayur Shakti was offered at good odds with Beyond Limits being the firm favourite. Ayur Shakti moved up with big strides approaching the final furlong and burst clear to win by a comfortable margin of three lengths. Beyond Limits ran on late and could only take the second spot. City of Blossom was third some lengths adrift.
Faiyaz Ali Khan trained Takisha brought off a big upset in the 1100 metres Flying Treasure Plate (Div II), a race for horses rated 20 to 45. Takisha chased Secretary well into the straight before overhauling the front-runner in the final furlong. Air Salute came up with a late bid and could only manage to get the better of Secretary as by the time she could do any damage, Takisha had reached the safety of the winning post.
Prince Valiant (P Ajeeth Kumar up) winner of the Golden Dagger Plate
Takisha (Gaurav Singh up) winner of the Flying Treasure Plate (Div-II)
Ayur Shakti (Suraj Narredu up) winner of the Gallant Commander Plate
N R I Symbol (Rohit Kumar up) winner of the Kuntala Plate
Nayadeep (Akshay Kumar up) winner of the Ch. V. Lakshmi Prasad Rao `Sirdesai` Sircilla Memorial Cup
Paso Robles (Suraj Narredu up) winner of the Golconda 1000 Guineas (Gr.2)
Buttonwood (Abhay Singh up) winner of the Galactica Plate