Malesh Narredu trained Quasar expectedly won the Gr 1 Deccan Bookmakers Golconda Derby, the star event of the Hyderabad racing season in front of a packed crowd at Malakpet on Sunday. Quasar was decisively superior to the opposition he was taking on but the energy sapping performance at Kolkata and the travel perhaps had taken the sheen out of Quasar who had to be fully extended to measure local challenger Dare To Dream to land his third Derby. Regular partner Suraj Narredu guided the Hazara Stud Farm produce who thus was recording his sixth straight win.
The big made Quasar thrives on racing as evidenced by his prolific performance but he was the shadow of the giant he was. He was expected to trample the opposition but Suraj Narredu had to drive him out with all the resources at his command. Had Dashrath Singh rode a more competent race, the result could well have been different. Dare To Dream travelled wide into the straight and was hurried to take over which perhaps hurt his chances. What made the difference to the outcome of the race was the superior riding skills of Suraj Narredu who is now at his peak and riding with supreme confidence. One is not sure whether the connections would take a shot at the Indian Derby next week but on the evidence of this performance, Quasar appeared a tired horse and possibly would enjoy a good break from grueling racing schedule that he has been subjected to over the last few months which has seen him capture the Pune, Calcutta and Golconda Derby on diverse tracks. Trainer Malesh Narredu who is enjoying a dream patch has done a wonderful job of getting maximum result from his ward.
Vijay Vaishnavee took over the running after the field had travelled the first furlong with Veloz in second position followed by Nerves of Steel, Dare To Dream, Quasar, Supreme Fairy and the rest. Nerves of Steel displaced the pace setter at the top of the straight with Dare To Dream hurried to make his run taking the turn very wide. The progeny of Epsom Derby winner Oath responded gamely and went sailing clear. With Quasar taking time to warm up, an upset looked a possibility. However, Dare To Dream began to slacken close home and Suraj`s perseverance paid rich dividends as the short priced favourite managed to overhaul the front runner by one length. Nerves of Steel stayed on to take the third place more than six lengths adrift followed by stablemate Right Dimension.
Srinivas Reddy trained Desire had the best credentials to win the 1400 metres Secretariat Cup, a Category I race as her last win was suggestive of the filly being in top form. Jockey Dashrath Singh had Desire race in a handy position before unleashing the filly inside the final 300 metres. The progeny of Glory of Dancer quickened well and established a winning lead. Galiat who went in chase of the favourite however had to be content with the runner up berth ahead of late finishing Movie Moghual.
Donald Netto trained Silver Cruise was the favourite for the concluding race of the day, the 1400 metres Allez Vite Plate, a Category III race as the six year old mare had come down a category. There was betting on Kianoosh which perhaps was the reason why the odds drifted out on the favourite. Kianoosh led in earnest and had the lead going into the final furlong. But Silver Cruise responded readily when Trevor asked for an effort and easily overhauled the front runner for a comfortable win. Kohinoor Thunder stayed put in third position and saved place money.
Vittal Deshmukh trained Odysseus was strongly backed to win ahead of Time To Climb in the 1200 metres Youngsters Million, a terms race for three year olds. Time To Climb showed lot of speed and opened up a useful lead in the straight. With Odysseus having considerable leeway to cover, one was left wondering whether substitute jockey Akshay Kumar had left himself a difficult task. However, the Manjri Stud Farm produce responded well when called for aggression and covered the leeway swiftly and won by a shade over one length.
The 1200 metres Sikander-E-Azam Cup, a Category III race, turned out to be eventful. Yet Another began to veer out in the straight with jockey Akshay Kumar unable to correct the drift resulting in Aston Doulton being taken out. Suraj on the favourite could not do anything as he had no time to shift in or ride out on the extreme outside as Yet Another took his ground relentlessly. Kireeti who got rails run led the field but was floored by True Pearl who shot through in the middle in the final stages and won comfortably. With all the travails, Yet Another finished second best. There was a Stewards enquiry into the running of the race as also an objection by trainer Prasad Raju against Akshay Kumar who rode Yet Another for taking his horse out which prevented his jockey from riding out his horse. Yet Another was eventually disqualified.
The speedy Parade Queen who was backed to record an encore assumed command from the word `go` in the 1100 metres Brown Sugar Plate, a Category III race and went beyond the reach of the rest in the final furlong. Parade Queen won by a widening margin of six lengths over Vijay Sakhi. Jockey Louis Beuzelin had an arm chair ride on the favourite.
French jockey David Breux drove out lesser fancied Westminster to a resolute win in the 2000 metres Nelston Plate, a Category II race. Vijays Victory led the field into the straight followed by quickly improving Westminster and Gentle Chief. Inside the final furlong, Westminster shook off Gentle Chef and had sailed ahead and easily held off the late rally of favourite Machine Gun.
Srinivas Reddy trained Rajkumar who had run a forward race last time out brought off an upset in the 1200 metres Squanderer Cup, a Category II race. Rajkumar chased Aware into the straight before storming clear to win with great deal of ease to provide David Bruex with a double. Aware stayed on to finish second ahead of late finishing Lips Locking.
The strongly backed Red Ramble pulled it off in the 1600 metres Aristocrat Cup, a Category III race. Ondha Ondha Ondha had the first run on his opponents in the homestretch with Red Ramble going in chase of him. Red Ramble hung in but jockey Deep Shanker did well to correct the inward drift despite which Ondha Ondha Ondha was slightly inconvenienced. Red Ramble broke clear in the final furlong and won easily from Graceland who necked out Ondha Ondha Ondha for runner up berth.
Leo D`Silva trained Golden Essence won the day`s opener, the 1400 metres Deccan Prince Cup, a Category II race, at long odds. Golden Essence got a smooth passage along the rails which enabled the long shot to slip ahead. Though favourite Vijay Vidhata finished with a rush, the front runner managed to cling on to the lead. Rosemonde put in good work while taking the third spot.