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KARACHI: Fancied four-year-old bay filly WhatsApp made an impressive start of the year while favourite bay horse Skype’s winning streak was interrupted in separate races of the winter Gymkhana race meeting at the Karachi Racecourse on Saturday.

WhatsApp, who finished third in the Rasheed Jung Memorial Cup behind Skype and Native Prince respectively on Dec 30, returned to the winning ways with a fluent five-and-a-half lengths victory over seven-year-old chestnut horse Don Khalifa.

The victorious horse was efficiently piloted home by champion rider of last year, Mohammad Manzoor.

Unknown pedigree chestnut horse I Gold occupied third place four-and-a-half lengths behind while mare Mehak completed the frame after being pushed by three-quarter-of-a-length.

Earlier, the field was reduced to seven horses following withdrawal of mare Second Life.

Rank outsider three-year-old bay filly Cigar defeated stablemate colt Romeo by three-and-a-half lengths to land the next race which was also feature event — scale order II, III and IV gone over five furlongs.

Cigar Girl had a brisk start in a pack of nine horses and kicked up speed in home stretch to post commendable victory and upset the applecart.

Skype had to be content with third place beaten by four lengths while Native Queen completed the board further eight lengths away.

Young rider Mohammad Qais escaped injuries being fallen from his mount Native Prince after crossing the winning post.

At the outset, favourite dark bay mare Paris atoned for the Jan 5 loss while galloping to a five-and-a-half lengths victory over Quetta Queen to oblige all and sundry in the opening race.

Sharapova and Blue Revenue followed the top two respectively on board.

Winning Direction was withdrawn leaving five horses in fray.

Two debutant mares from Lahore — Kahkashan and Sohrab-e-Bhakkar — had their maiden runs at the course.

Results:

THE JANUARY PLATE SCALE ORDER VII & VIII — 4 F:

Paris (Akbar Ali) 8-9, Wasim 1; Quetta Queen 7-6 (cr7-7), Asad Aksir 2; Sharapova 8-0, Zaki Zakir 3; Blue Revenue 9-2, Shahzad Gul 4.

Won by 5½ L, 6 L, 9½ L. Time: 0.53 2/5 seconds. Winner trained by Mohammad Mazhar.

THE JANUARY PLATE SCALE ORDER V, VI & VII — 4½ F:

What’s App (Yasmeen Azhar) 9-4, Mohammad Manzoor 1; Don Khalifa 9-3, Nazil Hussain 2; I Gold 9-6 (cr8-13), Ali Raza II 3; Mehak 7-4, Mohammad Qais 4.

Won by 5½ L, 4½ L, ¾ L. Time: 0.58 4/5 seconds. Winner trained by Ghulam Shabbir II.

THE JANUARY PLATE SCALE ORDER II, III & IV — 5 F:

Cigar Girl (Syed Sibghatullah Shah Pir Pagara) 7-9, Zaki Zakir 1; Romeo 8-7, Sohail Ahmed 2; Skype 8-1 (cr8-2), Aftab Chaudhry 3; Native Prince 8-7, Mohammad Qais 4.

Won by 2½ L, 4 L, 8 L. Time: One minute 2 3/5 seconds. Winner trained by Mohyuddin.

Published in Dawn, January 20th, 2019