OTHERS

Adamile shows her prowess

MYSORE

MYSORE SEASON got off to a start after a loss of two meetings. With the entire State gripped by anguish and deep concern for Dr. Rajkumar's near month long captivity in the forests, normal city life had totally been disrupted. Racing had its share of misery too. Breaks were forced. Mysore made way for Bangalore to stage two extra days. That fell by the wayside. There were genuine fears that a start to the Mysore season could be in jeopardy. But mercifully that threat disappeared.

As was to be expected there was a flood of entries. Fields filled well and Mysore for the first time in recent memory carded 10 races each. A breakdown of a float ferrying horses from Bangalore caused a spate of withdrawals. The practice in India is to categorise the going as good, soft or heavy. A jot of irony is that the going on the first two days of the season was all three in parts!.

In short it lay lifeless which probably robbed racing itself of fierce rivalry on the first day. The horses tended to prod and the last two furlongs seemed longer by another two! Things were much better on the second. In real appreciation of that improved going, Darius Byramji-trained Adamile put herself in line for strong 1,000 Guineas contention. That the Razeen-Climbing High filly is talented enough had never been in doubt. Time has proved a healer in her case. She has ripened a great deal and has never looked better. Paradoxically Adamile was the first to go off the bit in what was a painfully slow run race. It required Aslam Kader's relentless niggling to get her into a groove she would eventually relish. Having been trapped wide, Adamile perforce had to skirt the field. But two furlongs out the complexion of the race had dramatically changed in favour of Adamile who was all bounding energy. The rest looked pathetically lost.

A game effort by Symphony of Fire saw her into a respectable second even as Royal Satin ran above himself to nudge out Starry Scene, who was in fact the best looker in the paddock and attracted enough money to see Adamile's price drift a great deal. The general impression is that Starry Scene may perform much better if allowed to run ``free'' unlike the way she was ridden here. Restraint seemingly doesn't go well with her. While the Million win was the brighter side of things for Aslam Kader, he was indeed the butt of public chiding when he lost out on the hugely supported Al Dente who was caught close home by his owner- mate Acrosto. That is what fuelled public anger. This is not the first time that the punting public had vented its displeasure by booing the professionals whenever a lesser fancied one gets the measure of a popular choice especially when the two sport the same silks. The hard-nosed professional that he is Byramji stayed composed through a presentation ceremony that was dogged by catcalls and boos. Given the level of step up in rating for Al Dente in comparison to Acrosto's feather weight the win was not altogether unexpected. What was pleasantly surprising was the smoothness with which Imran Chisty brought Al Dente's reputation down. Obviously Al Dente has reached its ``mark'', though the temptation could still be to put a portion of the blame on ``dead'' going.

Apprentice jockey Harish has every reason to cherish his first career double. He is now riding freelance having come out of the Jim Foley fold recently. He won three races - two of them in pulsating finishes - and with them found three good reasons to drive out self doubt which has seemingly been dogging him. Prone to ride short, he was reportedly adviced by a former jockey of high standing to drop at least ``four slots in his iron''. That is what he did. Apparently with good results. Three wins in a day ought to do any five kilo claimer a world of good.

With a bit of luck, Harish would have ticked another winner when he managed to come within a neck of Paris Lights on the hollow- backed London Beauty, whose best run this was in quite a while. The in-form Prakash proved a notch too strong when it came to keeping a tiring horse going. Guernica rallied splendidly on the rails to beat-back a rejuvenated Alisa who put a couple of disappointing outings behind to advertise her return to some meaningful form. The much favoured Cavala was never a serious threat. Turf Queen is worth a fling over a slightly longer course.

Not long ago as a long shot Hot Property had displayed her sprinting prowess though that form had subsequently tapered off. But the mare had come down to a level of handicap where her basic fitness was rather more significant than anything else. Given the freedom to race in front, Hot Property proved too hot to touch. By the time Jersey Lightning warmed up to throw a challenge the race was in Hot Property's safe keeping. Surge of Power just couldn't quicken while Activated was inactive for the best part.

A doleful show by Always Dancing marked Resplendent Star's effortless victory. Frontier Hero put up a stout hearted performance and shadowed Resplendent Star far longer than any would have bargained.

Princelene's surface form held good. Apprentice Shobhan Babu rightly chose to ride a race of restraint and he stood to gain. Pretty Boy Floyd's turn should come sooner.

The sight of Gallagher goading Clyde Barrow half way through was more a pinprick. Eshwer's charge was no way near the scene of action and ended up a miserable flop. The usually consistent Almaz whose claim should have been as strong as any other's but for his age. But in the end the younger lot was made to look silly as the Ponnappa-trained Almaz in the hands of Rajesh spurted away to an easy win. Silver Toy managed to top the battle for minor honours. The one who caught the eye with his forward run was Red Cordon.

Sporting striking paddock looks Al Habib was a trifle unlucky in knuckling down by no more than a neck to Sea Witch on whom Harish kept his nerve. The winner did cross Al Habib at around the 800. That coupled with the fact that the final verdict was a mere neck seemed to strengthen Shafiq's objection. But the stewards rightly took the stance that the interference was not serious enough to merit a relegation. The heavily supported Stately Girl found the penalty too stiff to handle. Our Pedestal is basically Mysore- based, his leisurely fourth is worth keeping note of.

Since Atomic Fusion had matched strides with decidedly better horses, it was no surprise that the Darashah's ward found public favour. A late gush of money on Argyle Gold heightened prospects of a match race and it turned out to be one but for Appu's driving force proving decisive. Since this is the best Argyle Gold has done in recent past a win is definitely round the corner.

With the main event on Thursday falling on Acrosto's lap, the supporting event threw up an equally unpopular (for the sheer neglect in the betting that is) winner in Lizzie Borden. The presence of Khalander may have sent all the wrong signals. But he hardly put a stroke of his whip wrong, giving owner-trainer Michael Eshwer a victory he had no inkling about. Obviously a spot of Mysore summering is reviving the spirits in Eyewitness who ran an encouraging second ahead of Sun Reality, who having lost a forward position left no doubt that he needs much longer course.

The price drift on Dictate may have presented a wrong picture. Apprentice Md. Hesnain had all threats well covered and dealt sternly with River Dale who was not among the favoured lot.

Appu's deft handling of Mum's The Word did the trick while Cormac kept at bay a two pronged attack from Optical Illusion and Plain Truth. Shafiq's mount was an unsuspecting victim of a bump from Aethion in the back stretch which seemingly put him out of stride. To have come so close to the winner speaks up for Plain Truth's chances in similar company next time. Apprentice Amit managed to keep a visibly tiring Cormac going.

Red Angel left a nice impression when stretching well out of reach. Kool Kruiser was a hopeless chaser. Appu apparently had a lot in hand on this torch bearer of Mr. Rangarajan. This progeny of Bin Ajwaad- Little Beaut is capable of a few more headlines.

Prithviraj steered Sand Lord to a long overdue win. Krishnan put his might on Silver Warakh. But the grey just could not raise the tempo any more than he did. Over a sprint Silver Warakh could be a different proposition.

Ammeter was again a costly failure in a race which was won with a measure of comfort by Royal Emperor who had his band of steadfast support. Ispahan stuck to his place-ways.

An indiscriminate use of the whip cost Guruprasad the race on Days of Glory. In the bargain it also earned the stewards' wrath in the form of a suspension. There are those who argue that the rider should have been spared such harsh punishment since he might have over reached himself in his anxiety to win. But riders, in particular of the Guruprasad variety, ought to know that horses don't run any faster if you crack the whip harder. Just when it looked as if Avocation had covered Days of Glory's threat came this swerve to the left. Alarming that it was. Neverthless, Ruzzan got the nod but sympathies had to lie with Days of Glory.

When Fairy Prince bolted in untroubled eyebrows naturally went up. Rajendra Singh is by no means a frontline rider of the stable and thus it was understandable a lot many had discounted his chances. Freshened up well during Ooty summer campaign the Prince won with a touch of royalty. Key Witness needs more ground and interestingly so does Placid Ark. Both were doing their best when the race was as good as over. Fairy Prince was an unknown commodity this time. His ability is too well known now.

H. S. MANJUNATH

Recommended for you