KARACHI: Co-favourite dark bay horse Maradona stretched his winning run after edging challenger dark bay horse Parachuter by a head to lift the Upbeat Cup in the Gymkhana race meeting at the Karachi Racecourse on Sunday.
This was Maradona’s second straight cup triumph in a fortnight, having won the Teamwork Cup in scale order V and VI on Sept 28.
Making her appearance after a long layoff, filly Hi Honey was opened favourite but later odds of Maradona and Soldier Queen soared. However, the latter finished off the frame, while its rider Qadeer Ahmed was penalised and his licence was cancelled for ‘unsatisfactory’ riding on his mount.
Maradona and Parachuter fought a neck-and-neck battle and the former managed to secure a repeat finish with rider Sohail Ahmed astride.
Chestnut horse Royal Fort occupied third place, beaten by four lengths followed by Faster Than You who finished another eight lengths behind among seven starters.
Riding on crest of a wave, rider Sohail completed a grand double when he powered five-year-old dark bay horse Big Frank to a four-and-a-half lengths victory in the next race which was also the day’s feature event. He got the better of Tip Top for honours.
Owned by Sheikh Mohammad Ismail and sent by trainer Mohammad Hanif, Big Frank atoned for successive poor performances.
Lovely Baby and Queen’s Best followed the two in same order.
At the outset, rank outsider bay mare Fast Lady created quite a stir by making an impressive debut with a half-a-length victory over mare Rukhsar in the opening race. Favourite Jungle Queen was not on job and finished off the frame.
Fast Lady and Maradona belonged to the stables of Quetta owners Haji Sahib Jan Braech and Adam Khan Lango respectively.
Four-year-old bay filly Billions In Mind galloped to a length-and-a-quarter victory over favourite bay horse Sultan to annex the second race while bay horse Mohallaydar defeated co-favourite Native Prince by two-and-a-half lengths to clinch the next race.
Meanwhile, the next Gymkhana race meeting will be held on Saturday to avoid clash with the Chehlum of Hazrat Imam Hussain that falls on Sunday.
THE UPBEAT PLATE SCALE ORDER VIII — 4 F:
Fast Lady (Haji Sahib Jan Braech) 9-0, Yousuf Ikram 1; Rukhsar 8-7 (cr8-3), Zohaib Qamar 2; Sana Choice 8-11, Mohammad Alam 3; Wifi 8-3, Mohammad Sajjad 4.
Won by ½ L, 1½ L, ¾ L. Time: 0.56 1/5 seconds. Winner trained by Amjad Ali.
THE UPBEAT PLATE SCALE ORDER VII &VIII — 4 F:
Billions In Mind (Syed Ismail Shah) 8-9, Mohammad Manzoor 1; Sultan 9-2, Qadeer Ahmed 2; Dance And Dance 8-6, Riaz Ahmed 3; Public Fancy 8-0, Mohammad Alam 4.
Won by 1¼ L, 14 L, ½ L. Time: 0.52 4/5 seconds. Winner trained by Ghulam Shabbir II.
THE UPBEAT PLATE SCALE ORDER V & VI — 4½ F:
Mohallaydar (Khadim Hussain) 9-0, Qadeer Ahmed 1; Native Prince 8-10, Riaz Ahmed 2; Sonia Again 8-2, Ali Ehsan 3; Black Tiger 8-4, Wasim 4.
Won by 2½ L, 7 L, 2 L. Time: One minute. Winner trained by Afzal.
THE UPBEAT CUP SCALE ORDER IV & V — 4½ F:
Maradona (Adam Khan Lango) 8-3, Sohail Ahmed 1; Parachuter 8-8, Mohammad Manzoor 2; Royal Fort 8-10, Ali Raza II 3; Faster Than You 8-6, Mohammad Sajjad 4.
Won by Head, 4 L, 8 L. Time: 0. 59 seconds. Winner trained by Mohammad Shahzad.
THE UPBEAT PLATE SCALE ORDER I, II, III &IV — 4½ F:
Big Frank (Sheikh Mohammad Ismail) 7-11, Sohail Ahmed 1; Tip Top 9-0, Riaz Ahmed 2; Lovely Baby 7-10, Mohammad Alam 3; Queen’s Best 7-7, Asad Aksir 4.
Won by 4½ L, Dist, 8 L. Time: 0.58 3/5 seconds. Winner trained by Mohammad Hanif.
Published in Dawn, October 14th, 2019