The Hazara Stud Farm bred Quasar continued his upward march with an authoritative win in the Gr 3 Chief Justice`s Cup , a terms race for four year olds and over, the feature event of Saturday`s races. The race billed as a match race between Quasar and the best of previous year Amazing Grace turned out to be a damp squib with the latter showing the ill-effects of a long and hard campaign by surrendering without a fight. The multiple group race winner Quasar is in such form that more races are his for the asking.
Quasar was the firm favourite to win the race especially after the below par effort of Amazing Grace in the Invitation Cup at Mumbai in March. Amazing Grace was under a cloud as she had a setback prior to the running of the prestigious race and was far from ready. As such, there was belief that the got abroad filly could bounce back to her wonted form with the break from racing. The fact that she sported bandages was a concern. The wear and tear was apparent as she failed to produce her wonted acceleration and was a beaten cause long way from home. However she did well to finish second ahead of veteran Agostini.
Tiger Tops cut the early fractions with Native Force, Agostini, Quasar, Oceanic Storm, Amazing Grace, Bold Majesty, Ambitious Reward and Czar of Romance racing behind in the order mentioned. The last named was slowly off from the gates as usual. The order remained the same till the horses straightened for home. It required minimum of goading on the part of jockey Yash Narredu to ask Quasar to quicken. The four year old showed good acceleration and went storming ahead with Agostini going in hot pursuit. In the meanwhile, Trevor had brought Amazing Grace into contention. It was clear well before the final furlong that Quasar was travelling well within himself and getting better as the winning post approached. Amazing Grace tried hard but found the front runner unrelenting. Agostini stayed on to finish third. The winner clocked one minute 49.78 seconds which was fractions less than the course record held by Noble Prince.
Trainer Ganapathy is a good trainer who can consistently produce champions. But nobody has been able to understand how he can disguise a champion by making him run way below potential. One such horse was Bold Command whose only effort had seen him finish more than 12 lengths adrift of the winner. Now running over a mile for the first time in the season, Bold Command showed such form that it was hard to predict. The progeny of Arazan tracked favourite Amazing Charm into the straight and shook him off in no time and went clear to win by a distance in an excellent time of one minute 37.96 seconds. The quantum improvement showed by the winner marks him out to be a horse of classic potential. Brilliant Cut who was running for the first time in his career, showed some spark with a late rally to be a suggestive third.
Gregory Sandhu`s Ungoogleable had recorded such a runaway win that a repeat win for the five year old in the 1200 metres M Ali Asker Memorial Trophy (Div I), a race for horses rated 40 to 65, looked a distinct possibility though there were a couple of horses which were capable of upsetting the favourite. Apprentice jockey Munna Alam has been having a profitable season in Bangalore. The Kolkata apprentice guided Ungoogleable to a start to finish win but barely managed to do so as Pacific Blue came within reach of toppling the favourite. Shinnecock Hills and Real Steel were close behind, with both of them dead-heating for the third place. The relative merits of the jockey made a crucial difference to the outcome of the raced. Volcano`s encore appeared a clear possibility in the lower division of the race especially as his form was flanked by the runaway win of Expert who had finished within an arm`s length of him in his last run. Volcano ran at lucrative odds as Vigorous surprisingly ended up cornering all the support. In the event, Volcano easily overhauled Rumour Has It who kept company for a long while in the straight before gaining ascendancy in the final furlong and with a measure of comfort. Diamond Quest raced in earnest but in the end was nosed out by Sunstone for the runner up berth. One could not spot Vigorous among the horses in the hunt for the spoils.
Though Southern Fantasy had been severely penalized for her runaway, she looked capable of a repeat performance in the 1400 metres A M C Gowda Memorial Trophy, a race for horses rated 40 to 65. But the intent was not there as Sandesh gave an uncharacteristic ride, racing him wide into the straight which meant that the fancied runner would not be sighted at the busy end. Pearl Reward who looked far from ready, benefitted from a lackluster opposition which lacked the will to win, led from the start and skipped away to claim the race from the only challenger Yellow Zone. Wings of Fortune held off Madame Sultana to take the third slot.
Trainer Nityanand had a big day with a fancied double. Expert who had run a suggestive third in his previous run, was backed strongly to win ahead of rest was taken on a start to finish mission by jockey Arshad Alam and the front runner kept distancing himself from the rest in the run in for home. Forest Queen pipped Interactive for the runner up berth, with both these horses giving good dividend for place pool.
Nityanand`s other win came on Great Secret which was backed down from a higher quote to end up as a favourite at 4/1. Only Goddess of Love seemed to be in earnest as the filly, in the hands of apprentice Rayan Ahmed bolted to the front and shapes to cause an upset. However, T S Jodha`s persevering and strong effort saw Great Secret get the nod in the final moments of the race. Tic Tac Toe was a tame third.