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KARACHI: Running under the name of new owner, chestnut horse Whip’M, who was declared Horse of the Year in 2018, opened the new year on a winning note as he lifted the New Year Cup here on Saturday.

The outsiders swept the four-race card to add miseries for punters in the winter Gymkhana race meeting at the Karachi Racecourse.

Having won eight races, including seven on trot for previous owner Yasmeen Azhar, Whip’M collared front-runner mare Sweet Victory in home stretch to win by two lengths.

Mare Swarovski was placed third on board beaten by a length and-a-quarter as favourite bay horse Toofan completed the frame another two-and-a-half lengths behind.

Ayaash and Chief Sahab were scratched in morning declaration leaving six horses in fray for the cup race which was also feature event, combined scale order I and II.

Sweet Victory, who occupied third place on board in the Quaid-i-Azam Gold Cup last weekend, had a brisk start and led the pack eve after the bend and straight but there was no stopping for fast chasing Whip’M who justified his form.

Owned by Quetta’s Haji Sahib Jan and sent by trainer Mohammad Shahzad, Whip’M was piloted home by rider Tariq Baran.

Having failed to finish on the board in the preceding two runs, five-year-old bay horse Luck Pass lowered the colours of public fancy Poetry to post a length-and-a-half victory to land the next supporting race, combined scale order III and IV gone over five furlongs.

Meri Saba and Baab-e-The Rani occupied the following two places on board respectively among seven starters.

Both Sweet Victory and Poetry, who bit the dust, belonged to the stables of Irfan Mehdi.

At the outset, mare Mehak created quite a stir by upsetting favourite Paris as she pleased by five lengths to present owner Syed Sibghatullah Shah Pir Pagara with a win in the first race of the year.

Red Star and Sharapova could not make it to the races being scratched in morning declaration.

The trend continued in the second race when long shot Queen’s best got the better of favourite Native Prince by four-and-a-half length as I Gold and Sonia Again occupied the following two places on board.

Results:

THE NEW YEAR PLATE SCALE ORDER VIII 4 F:

Mehak (Syed Sibghatullah Shah Pir Pagara) 8-5, Mohammad Qais 1; Paris 8-7, Mohammad Manzoor 2; Quetta Queen 7-8 (cr7-9), Riaz Ahmed 3; Fakhr-e-Kashmir 9-0, Khalid Ali 4.

Won by 5 L, 4 L, 5½ L. Time: 0.53 2/5 seconds. Winner trained by Mohyuddin.

THE NEW YEAR PLATE SCALE ORDER IV, V, VI & VII 4½ F:

Queen’s Best (Syed Ismail Shah) 8-2, Zaki Zakir 1; Native Prince 9-0, Asad Aksir 2; I Gold 7-7 (cr8-0), Zohaib Qamar 3; Sonia Again 7-4 (cr8-0), Wasim 4.

Won by 4½ L, 6 L, 7 L. Time: 0.58 1/5 seconds. Winner trained by Ghulam Shabbir II.

THE NEW YEAR CUP SCALE ORDER I & II 5 F:

Whip’M (Haji Sahib Jan) 10-6, Tariq Baran 1; Sweet Victory 7-4, Zaki Zakir 2; Swarovski 7-10, Asad Aksir 3; Toofan 9-6, Mohammad Nasir 4.

Won by 2 L, 1¼ L, 2½ L. Time: One minute 4 seconds. Winner trained by Mohammad Shahzad.

THE NEW YEAR PLATE SCALE ORDER III AND IV 5 F:

Luck Pass (Syed Najam Saeed) 7-12 (cr7-13), Wasim 1; Poetry 9-0, Mohammad Manzoor 2; Meri Saba 8-12, Nazil Hussain 3; Baab-e-The Rani 8-11, Riaz Ahmed 4.

Won by 1½ L, 3 L, 1½ L. Time: One minute 4 2/5 seconds. Winner trained by Nazir.

Published in Dawn, January 6th, 2019