KARACHI: Public fancy five-year-old bay horse Big Bravo enthralled the sizeable turnout at the Karachi racecourse galloping to a fluent five-length victory over six-year-old bay horse Toofan to retain the prized Quaid-i-Azam Gold Cup, while equalling the feat of three horses in the 70-year old event.
The packed to capacity house chanted “Big Bravo, Big Bravo” as the horse emerged frontrunner while heading home to the finishing line. There were jubilation all around as the victorious horse with jockey Aftab Chaudhry in the saddle entered paddock after the race.
The three other horses who have made won back-to-back Quaid-i-Azam Gold Cup are Main Aie (1949 and 1950), Pastime (1967 and 1968) and Stride By Stride (1984 and 1985).
On a day when seven favourites obliged all and sundry in a smart nine-race card, two horses — Victory King in the Nursery Cup and Class Leader in the Quaid-i-Azam Gold Cup — fractured their legs during the races and were destroyed.
Displaying endurance, the quartet of Big Bravo, Toofan, Class Leader and Sweet Victory ran neck-and-neck at the start of the prestigious race which was contested over 10 furlongs.
Big Bravo, who was 30 to 100 favourite, kicked up speed after negotiating the bend and gained lead followed by Class Leader who was seen running on three legs for some distance after fracturing one of his legs at two furlongs.
Big Bravo, carrying 10 stones and six pounds weight on his back, clocked two minutes 9 3/5 seconds for the distance.
“It’s another memorable day for me to have piloted Big Bravo to victory in the Quaid-i-Azam Gold Cup for the second year running,” a jubilant 27-year-old Aftab told Dawn.
It is pertinent to mention that Big Bravo had entered its name in the annals of the equine sport by capturing the Pakistan Derby and the Quaid-i-Azam Gold Cup under the same rider last year.
The Lahore-based rider said he was confident of making amends following back-to-back second place finishes of the horse in the Shah Mardan Shah Pir Pagara Cup and the Quaid-i-Azam Trial Cup.
Co-owned by S.M. Raza and Ali Raza Zia, the victorious horse was sent out by trainer Tanvir Abbasi.
The owners, rider and trainer received the glittering cup from president of the Karachi Race Club, Syed Sadruddin Shah, amidst applause.
The owners of Big Bravo further earned a rich purse of Rs500,000, while the owners of second and third place horses were given Rs125,000 and Rs75,000 respectively.
Cash prizes worth Rs two million were at stake in the nine races.
Meanwhile, the scintillating nine-length win of Skype over Native Prince in the M. Rasheed Jung Memorial Cup enabled the owner, rider, trainer trio of Ali Raza Zia, Aftab Chaudhary and Tanvir Abbasi complete a double.
Local rider Sohail Ahmed also excelled by securing back-to-back victories; first he powered Romeo to a three-length victory over Cigar Girl to present owner Syed Sibghatullah Shah Pir Pagaro with the Nursery Cup while in the next he guided Winter to an exciting four-lengths success over Swarovski for owner Zainab Ali and Aariz Nawaz in the X-Mas Cup.
Determination edged Chief Sahab by a distance to claim the 2,000 Guineas of Pakistan.
THE M. RASHEED JUNG PLATE SCALE ORDER VIII-B — 4½ F:
Justify (Zainab Ali and Iman Ali) 8-10, Mohammad Hanif 1; Mehak 8-5, Mohammad Qais 2; Quetta Queen 7-11, Riaz Ahmed 3; Saudagar 9-0, Aksir A 4.
Won by 3 L, 3¼ L, 3 L. Time: One minute 0 1/5 seconds. Winner trained by Mohammad Sharif.
THE M. RASHEED JUNG PLATE SCALE ORDER III & IV — 5 F:
Salam-e-Kaif (Saeed Raza) 8-5, Pervez Ali 1; Baab-e-The Rani 8-5, Mohammad Hanif 2; Shining Arrow 7-11, Mohammad Sajjad 3; Tip Top 8-9, Zohaib Qamar 4.
Won by 3 L, Neck, 2 L. Time: One minute 5 1/5 seconds. Winner trained by Nazir.
THE M. RASHEED JUNG MEMORIAL CUP SCALE ORDER IV & V — 5 F:
Skype (Ali Raza Zia) 8-1, Aftab Chaudhry 1; Native Prince 8-9, Bilal Ahmed 2; Whats App 8-4, Mohammad Manzoor 3; Duran Duran 9-0, Riaz Ahmed 4.
Won by 9 L, 3 L, 3½ L. Time: One minute 3 4/5 seconds. Winner trained by Tanvir Abbasi.
THE NURSERY CUP — A TERM RACE FOR TWO-YEAR-OLD PAK COLTS AND FILLIES — 5 F:
Romeo (Syed Sibghatullah Shah Pir Pagara) 8-4, Sohail Ahmed 1; Cigar Girl 8-1, Mohammad Sajjad 2.
Won by 3 L. Time: One minute 4 1/5 seconds. Winner trained by Mohyuddin.
THE X-MAS CUP SCALE ORDER I, II AND III 6 F:
Winter (Zainab Ali and Aariz Nawaz) 8-7, Sohail Ahmed 1; Swarovski 8-5, Mohammad Manzoor 2; Ayaash 10-0, Tariq Baran 3; Poetry 7-7, Mohammad Sajjad 4.
Won by 4 L, 6½ L, 1¼ L. Time: One minute 19 2/5 seconds. Winner trained by Mohammad Sharif.
THE 2,000 GUINEAS OF PAKISTAN — A TERM RACE FOR THREE-YEAR-OLD PAK COLTS AND FILLIES — I M:
Determination (Gul Mohammad Rajar) 8-7, Mohammad Nasir 1; Chief Sahab 8-7, Bilal Ahmed 2.
Won by Dist. Time: One minute 40 3/5 seconds. Winner trained by Nazir.
THE QUAID-I-AZAM GOLD CUP — A HANDICAP RACE FOR THREE-YEAR-OLD AND UPWARDS PAKISTANI HORSES — 10 F:
Big Bravo (S.M. Raza and Ai Raza Zia) 10-6, Aftab Chaudhry 1; Toofan 8-2, Mohammad Nasir 2; Sweet Victory 7-8, Mohammad Manzoor 3.
Won by 5 L, Dist. Time: Two minutes 9 3/5 seconds. Winner trained by Tanvir Abbasi.
THE M. RASHEED JUNG PLATE SCALE ORDER V, VI & VII — 4½ F:
Tiger Jet (Ali Raza Zia) 8-2, Mohammad Hanif 1; Hi Honey 8-4, Mohammad Sajjad 2; Don Khalifa 9-0, Nazil Hussain 3; Black Smoke 8-9, Khalid Ali 4.
Won by 6 L, ¾ L, 4 L. Time: 0.58 2/5 seconds. Winner trained by Naveed Baran.
THE M. RASHEED JUNG PLATE SCALE ORDER VIII-A — 4½ F:
Fire N Furry (Syed Ismail Shah) 8-0, Mohammad Sajjad 1; Paris 8-1, Wasim 2; Sala Star 8-4, Mohammad Nasir 3; Pick Power 8-2, Pervez Ali 4.
Won by 7 L, 1½ L, 3 L. Time: 0.59 1/5 seconds. Winner trained by Ghulam Shabbir II.
Published in Dawn, December 31st, 2018