KARACHI: Five-year-old thoroughbred bay horse Class Leader sprang a big surprise when he edged a pair of fancied horses — favourite French Pass and defending champion Big Bravo — to land the Quaid-i-Azam Trial Cup in the Gymkhana race meeting at the Karachi Racecourse on Saturday.

Having placed fourth in The Shah Mardan Shah II Pir Pagaro VII Memorial Cup on Dec 1, Class Leader overtook front runners to post three-quarter-of-a-length victory over filly French Pass not only to avenge the preceding defeat but to upset the applecart.

The victorious horse clocked one minute 42 1/5 seconds for the race run over a mile and served as a curtain-raiser for the blue-ribbon Quaid-i-Azam Gold Cup which takes place on Dec 30.

Last year’s celebrity horse Big Bravo was pushed into third place by two-and-a-half lengths while Dandy’s Girl completed the frame, beaten by a distance.

Owned by Quetta’s Adam Khan Lango and trained by Mohammad Shahzad, the victorious horse was ridden home by Lahore rider Bilal Ahmed.

Punters suffered as outsiders dominated the six-race card by galloping to victories in four races.

With a win under his belt, favourite bay horse Skype repeated his feat sprinting to a facile four-and-a-half lengths victory over Tiger Jet to oblige all and sundry in the opening race.

Lahore’s rider Aftab Chaudhry, who had ridden Skype to success in his last run, was in the saddle again.

Public fancy three-year-old Determination defeated Poetry by neck in a close finish to oblige punters in the third race.

However, a race earlier, horses from the stables of KRC patron and owner Syed Sibghatullah Shah Pir Pagaro set a new course record by securing top three places.

Filly Glittery Eyes presented owner with a fabulous five-length victory as her stable-mates Romeo and Cigar Girl occupied second and third places respectively. Tip Top completed the board.

Four-year-old dark bay colt Chief Sahab stretched his winning run by getting the better of Ayaash by three lengths to clinch the fourth race. Favourite Toofan finished off the frame.

Mare Sharapova created quite a stir by upsetting favourite Mehak by three lengths to win the last race.

The last race was delayed for quite a while after two horses — Killing Eyes and Paris — were scratched one after the other by stewards who ordered re-betting twice.

Dark bay horse Maalik who became lame in the second race was destroyed while its rider Aftab Chaudhry escaped injuries.

Meanwhile, the next Gymkhana race meeting will be held on Sunday, Dec 23.

Results:

THE KARACHI PLATE SCALE ORDER V, VI AND VII 4½ F:

Skype (Ali Raza Zia) 8-1, Aftab Chaudhry 1; Tiger Jet 8-1, Mohammad Manzoor 2; Sonia Again 8-5, Mohammad Rashid 3; Sanam Kaif 8-10, Pervez Ali 4.

Won by 4¼ L, Dist, 2¾ L. Time: 0.58 seconds. Winner trained by Tanvir Abbasi.

THE KARACHI PLATE SCALE ORDER IV AND V 4½ F:

Glittery Eyes (Syed Sibghatullah Shah Pir Pagara) 7-12, Sohail Ahmed 1; Romeo 7-12, Mohammad Sajjad 2; Cigar Girl 7-10, Riaz Ahmed 3; Tip Top 8-10 (cr8-5), Zohaib Qamar 4.

Won by 5 L, 6 L, ½ L. Time: 0.57 4/5 seconds. Winner trained by Mohyuddin.

THE KARACHI PLATE SCALE ORDER III 5 F:

Determination (Gul Mohammad Rajar) 9-0, Mohammad Nasir 1; Poetry 8-8, Mohammad Sajjad 2; Funky Twist 8-4, Sohail Ahmed 3; Baab-e-The Rani (formerly Jan-e-Fida) 8-5, Mohammad Qais 4.

Won by Neck, 3 L, 5 L. Time: One minute 4 4/5 seconds. Winner trained by Nazir.

THE KARACHI PLATE SCALE ORDER I AND II 5 F:

Chief Sahab (Farhan Essa) 8-1, Zaki Zakir 1; Ayaash 8-9, Tariq Baran 2; Dhannak 7-8, Mohammad Qais 3; Shan-e-Kaif 9-0, Pervez Ali 4.

Won by 3L, 2 L, 3½ L. Time: One minute 4 3/5 seconds. Winner trained by Ghulam Shabbir II 4.

THE QUAID-I-AZAM TRIAL CUP — A HANDICAP RACE FOR THREE-YEAR-OLD AND UPWARDS IMPORTED AND PAKISTANI HORSES — I M:

Class Leader (Adam Khan Lango) 7-0, Bilal Ahmed 1; Big Bravo 10-0, Aftab Chaudhry 2; French Pass 10-0, Sohail Ahmed 3; Dandy’s Girl 10-0, Tariq Baran 4.

Won by ¾ L, 2 ½ L, Dist. Time: One minute 42 1/5 seconds. Winner trained by M. Shahzad.

THE KARACHI PLATE SCALE ORDER VIII 4 F:

Sharapova (Jawad Sattar and Tariq Mahmood) 7-10, Mohammad Sajjad 1; Mehak 8-1, Mohammad Qais 2; Quetta Queen (Dil-e-Arzoo) 7-10, Zaki Zakir 3; Aas Pass 7-10, Ali Ehsan 4.

Won by 3 L, ½ L, 1½ L. Time: 0.55 1/5 seconds. Winner trained by Ghulam Shabbir II.

Published in Dawn, December 16th, 2018