KARACHI, Sept 9: Fancied three-year-old bay filly Reach The Heights acclaimed new heights while galloping to a three-length victory in The Defence Day Cup at the Karachi Racecourse here on Sunday.
The filly beat colt Babu for the honours that helped her atone for the last week’s loss at the hands of Poonam. Mare Dexterous was placed third a length-and-a-quarter away while dark bay horse Daniyal Prince completed the board among 10 starters as Gallant Act was withdrawn earlier while Generosity was scratched at the gate which led to re-betting.
Arif Nazir, who rode Daniyal Prince, was suspended for a month and fined Rs10,000 for ‘unsatisfactory’ riding.
In an earlier race, co-favourite colt Medal Of Honour gets the better of filly Rija by three lengths to lift The Nishan-i-Haider Cup.
The race, run over six furlongs, featured small field of four horses following withdrawal of filly Jhalwan Love. Easy To Walk and Black Caviar followed the top two in same order.
Chairman of the KRC, Brig (retd) Iftikhar Haider, awarded The Defence Day Cup and Nishan-i-Haider Cup to winning owners Kamal Farooq and Zain Rahim respectively in the paddock amidst applause from the crowd.
But it was rider Wasim who stole the day’s limelight by riding home a treble including The Defence Day Cup. He piloted home favourite colt Phenominal to a fluent six lengths victory in a start-to-finish bid and rounded off the feat by guiding outsider Fly To The Moon to two-and-a-half lengths win over fancied Racing Fire in the eight race.
The ninth and concluding race was cancelled for want of competition following the withdrawal of Lajawab and One Way II, while leaving five horses in fray.
At the outset, favourite filly Jal Pari made amends while recording a three-quarter-of-a-length victory under rider Zaki Zakir, who went on to complete a double with fancied Punter’s Dream registering a two-length success over Delightful Diva in the fourth race.
Long shot Hit The Target lowered the colours of Shahzadi by four lengths to claim the second race while favourite Big Joy was home edging Concept by half-a-length to win the third race.
Ace rider Mohammad Essa also won the riding honours with a double – Big Joy and Medal Of Honours.
Three trainers – Salim Durrani, M. Mazhar and M. Rafiq K – saddled a brace of winners apiece.