Malesh Narredu trained Be Safe`s splendid win in the ABV Nucleus Indian 2000 Guineas on Sunday highlighted the vast gulf that exists between him and the rest and this is something that is too huge to be quantified. The champion majestically strode past the opposition in resplendent fashion to win the second classic of the season in breath taking manner. It was a quick back to back classic double for the trainer and his nephew Suraj Narredu who is enjoying the best phase of his career.
An invincible determination and a matching talent to go with it can accomplish almost anything and in this lies the great distinction between champions and the pretenders is what Be Safe set out to prove. The shortest priced favourite in the recent history of this race, Be Safe went to the post without the benefit of a race run, his last victory on the turf being the Kingfisher Bangalore Derby in the month of July after which he had two mock races in the last one month as lead up to this classic event. Be Safe showed out in the paddock parade and it was expected to be a walk in the park for the champion. His striking acceleration without being asked to go at full steam was a treat to watch. It is rare to see champions like Be Safe. The Hazara Stud Farm bred Be Safe is so far ahead of his contemporaries that he looks like a post-graduate among under graduates.
Yash Narredu on Speed King looked clumsy in the job of pace setter unsure of the pace he had to go and had to repeatedly looked over his shoulders and under his legs to see whether he was doing it right till such time he was released from that position. Suraj on Be Safe was content to race in the rear group without bothering to look at the frenetic pace the race was developing in front. He brought Be Safe on the wide outside and the favourite devoured ground on tight reins before stretching out handsomely to win with so much in hand. Zacchary moved swiftly along the rails from about the seventh position at the final turn and edged past Congressional to get the second slot. Shivalik Storm failed to pick up speed but managed to fill up the frame. The fight if any was confined to the minor berths while Be Safe ran a separate race, all by himself as it were. Though the mile and half trip of the Derby may be taxing for Be Safe, he is so much superior in class that he should be able to win the mega event of Indian racing calendar on this factor alone if he trains on for that race without any hiccup.
Pesi Shroff trained Marinsky bounced back to winning form when she claimed the 1400 metres Radheyshyam Jhunjhunwala Million, a terms race for three year olds and over. Marinsky had advertised her readiness to strike when she had run a noteworthy second to Circle of Bliss in her last outing. Backed to the exclusion of the rest, Marinsky was held back in about the fifth position as Mysore challenger Keturah did the front running. With a furlong from the Judge, Trevor put Marinsky in top gear and the daughter of Burden of Proof responded readily to go storming clear to win easily from Deja Viu who overcame a sluggish start and finished with a flourish. Silver Streak rallied to finish third ahead of Heat Wave who came from way off the pace. Amelia, who looked far from ready, packed up after staying in touch with the front runners till the final furlong while Keturah disappeared without a trace.
Nazak Chenoy`s Brynhill, who has made significant progress, recorded an encore in the 1000 metres Ranjit V Bhat Memorial Gold Trophy, a race for horses races 80 and above, Mykonos was the favourite while Brynhill too was in receipt of some inspired support. Jockey Pradeep Chouhan had Brynhill lead from the front and just about lasted out to win from fast finishing Mykonos who was pinched soon after the start from holding a forward position. Victorious March had all the chances but had to settle for the third slot unable to find the extra gear.
Pesi Shroff trained Costa Del Sol proved too good in the 1200 metres Allah Rakhkha Gold Trophy, a race for two year olds. The progeny of Phoenix Tower swept past the front runners with a furlong left in the race and stretched away to win by a widening margin of eight lengths over Harvey who beat Blue Harbour to the runner up berth by a narrow margin.
The General brooked no opposition in the 2000 metres Nawabzada Rashiduzzafar Khan Trophy, a ace for horses rated 60 to 86. Top Commander led the field into the straight before packing up in distress. The General who chased him then went sailing clear and was not pressured by favourite Highlander who raced flat.
Sandesh restrained Savannah Sound in the third position till straightening for the 1400 metres Cole Gold Trophy before unleashing the horse. The favourite then readily picked up speed and went away for an easy over Shivalik Skies and Diesel Don.
Lesser fancied Alecto from the stables of trainer S S Shah fought on resolutely in front and hung on to win the 1200 metres Constellation Communication and Events Salver by the skin of his teeth over Stormy Princess whose jockey Bhawani Singh failed to add vigor to his riding. Home Advantage and Sun Spot were not far behind while Burgundy Rose who enjoyed favouritism despite letting down often, did what she was known for.
To break the monotony of favourites winning almost all the races of the day, Mansoor Shah trained Centaurus broke that trend in the concluding race of the day, the Gulamhusein Essaji Trophy, a race for horses in lowest category. In the hands of five kg claimer Bhati, Centaurus covered ground significantly in the final furlong to get the better of Bethpage who had shaped to win. Favourite Ramesses in the meanwhile had got into a mess and had to be pulled out from the rails to get a clear run. This maneuver cost the favourite the race.