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Moondancer steamrolls opposition
Review: By: Tippu Sultan
August 4 , 2019

Satyanarayana trained Moondancer who was running after a long break of 279 days benefitted by the same and came back to the racing action fresh as he trounced the opposition with an aggressive start to finish mission in the hands of apprentice jockey Rohit Kumar to win the 1400 metres Air Command Cup, a race for horses rated 75 and above, the feature event of Sunday’s Hyderabad races. Moondancer who was a prolific performer in his formative years, thus recorded the seventh win of his career after a lapse of 521 days.

Exclusive Northwind who had cut an erratic course and lost a winning opportunity on the last occasion was made the firm favourite to make amends though jockey Akshay Kumar had preferred to ride That’s My Class on this occasion. Moondancer had always been a tough customer whenever he had a free, uncontested run in the front. Rohit Kumar pushed Moondancer to the front, rode a clever race, kept a handy lead and waited till the final furlong to get more vigorous. Moondancer who had a good lead over the rest responded well and expanded the lead to over five lengths while crossing the post. That’s My Class was second followed by Exclusive Wind while the favourite performed miserably and finished last of the four runners. The favourite reportedly bled through both his nostrils. Rohit Kumar thus had a field day booting home three winners.


Newly licensed trainer S Sreekant got the first winner of his career when the well-backed Brave Warrior recorded an emphatic win in the 1600 metres Vikarabad Plate, a race for horses rated up to 25. Both Brave Warrior and N R I Symbol had support in equal measure. Limousine set a fast pace before weakening in the stretch. Brave Warrior who was in about the fourth position moved up swiftly approaching the final bend with big strides and overhauled the front-runners with ease. Brave Warrior, in the hands of apprentice jockey Rohit Kumar, left the others stranded to win by a widening margin of six lengths. Turf Prospector who had paced with Limousine stayed on to take the second position ahead of the struggling N R I Flame who barely managed to keep the third position from Mossad.

Laxman Singh trained Cincia Azzurra who had performed below expectations but nevertheless had a good forward run, came into her own with an assertive performance in the 1600 metres Tanasha Plate, a race for horses rated 20 to 45. Gusty Look who had performed poorly at Bangalore was backed strongly to win the race despite the apparent lack of performance, the only change in the scenario being the discarding of blinkers. Cincia Azzurra was the second favourite. Et Voici led the field into the straight with Gusty Look in a handy position ahead of Cincia Azzurra and fast-improving Soul Empress. The expected three-way battle did not materialise in the stretch as Cincia Azzurra responded well to the urgings and sped clear in the final furlong to provide an easy win for jockey Akshay Kumar. Gusty Look stayed on to take the second position ahead of Soul Empress.

Satyanarayana trained Shivalik Valley survived by the skin of her teeth in the 1200 metres Silverado Plate (Div I), a race for maiden three-year-olds. Rohit Kumar managed to angle Shivalik Valley to get a clear run on straightening for home and the progeny of Saamid quickened well to go storming clear. Favourite Linewiler who had the benefit of a solid race run took time to warm up and covered the leeway with big strides. Unfortunately for the favourite, the winning post came to the rescue of the front-runner who managed to prevail by the proverbial whisker. Shivalik Valley who was at longer odds, to begin with, was in receipt of sustained betting and managed to oblige expectations as luck was in her favour. Moskova was third. The lower division of the Silverado Plate, a race for maiden three-year-olds was won by Laxman Singh trained debutant My Queen who came in for spirited support to have a bold show. My Queen did not disappoint as she chased the pace-setting Stepper well into the straight before stepping on the accelerator. My Queen who sported steel shoes showed tremendous acceleration and went beyond the reach of the rest to record an emphatic win. Premier Action was second ahead of Explosive while Stepper weakened to finish fourth.

Laxman Singh saddled the third winner of the day through favourite Super Dart who toyed with the opposition in the 1400 metres Wanaparthy Cup (Div I), a race for horses rated 40 to 65. Backed strongly to oblige, Suraj Narredu had Super Dart in a handy position as Star Gazer set the pace. Inside the final two furlongs, Super Dart moved up with a flourish and had the field stranded in the final furlong to win by a margin of over four lengths. The Special One was second ahead of Dunkirk who covered a lot of ground to save place money. The fancied King Maker was stranded at the gate. Meka’s who was ably handled by apprentice jockey Afroz Khan won the lower division of the Wanaparthy Cup at nourishing odds. Meka’s had a forward run but the one to receive maximum support for Durango. With many horses in the betting, it was an open betting affair. After Southern Crown led the field into the straight, Afroz Khan who had placed Meka’s in about the fourth position, moved the filly to the outside and began to ride out hands and heels. The filly responded well and stormed clear in the final furlong and looked a winner all the way. Solar Heights ran on to take the second position. Lockhart who rallied late managed to get the third position ahead of the struggling favourite Durango whose rally from way off the pace went in vain as the ground conceded was too much to bridge.

Hilton Sequeira trained Call of the Blue flashed on to the scene late to get the better of favourite Wings of Eagles in the final stride of the race to win the 2000 metres Nizam Sagar Plate, a race for horses rated 20 to 45. Favourite Wings of Eagles who was hanging gave considerable trouble for jockey B R Kumar despite which the favourite managed to get the better of the front-running Royal Style and Ashwa Arjun and shaped to win but the finishing burst of the lesser fancied Call of the Blue put paid to the hopes of the favourite. Akshay Kumar was astride the winner.


Brave Warrior (Rohit Kumar up) winner of the Vikarabad Plate

My Journey (A Ashhad Asbar up) winner of the Silverado Plate (Div-II)

Cincia Azzurra (Akshay Kumar up) winner of the Tanasha Plate

Meka's (Afroz Khan up) winner of the Wanaparthy Cup (Div-II)

Shivalik Valley (Rohit Kumar up) winner of the Silverado Plate (Div-I)

Moondancer (Rohit Kumar up) winner of the Air Command Cup

Super Dart (Suraj Narredu up) winner of the Wanaparthy Cup (Div-I)

Call Of The Blue (Akshay Kumar up) winner of the Nizam Sagar Plate

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