LAHORE: Favourite filly Costa Rica showed an impressive turn of speed in the dying strides to win the Amigo Cup in a spectacular finish during the eighth Lahore Winter Meeting at the Racecourse here on Sunday.

In the final strides of 1,100-metre event, geldings, the equally backed Salam-e-Lahore and Salam-e-Dera, were in front but failed to hold the spirited challenge put up by Costa Rica who won by two lengths from Salam-e-Lahore with Salam-e-Dera nosed out to third spot by a head at the line.

Filly Abdullah Princess made the frame long way behind the three. This was Costa Rica’s maiden success after she had finished second on eight occasions in previous 15 outings.

Owned by Mohammad Ahsan Irfan and trained by Mohammad Afzal. the daughter of Dunhill Star was powerfully guided to victory by experienced jockey Aftab Chaudhry.

Riders Babar Rehman and Mazhar Ali shared the riding honours as each brought home a brace of winners. Babar rode home bay filly Tell Me and Neeli The Great in the second and third races to give a double to trainer Tanvir Aslam, while Mazhar Ali strode bay horse Baland-o-Bala and Believe Me in the fourth and sixth races, respectively, both trained by Rashid Latif.

It was a good day for the favourite backers, who made a clean sweep when all the events were won by public fancy horses.

The attendance at the races was very large as people came to enjoy races in fine weather. Among those who watched the action on Sunday were Lahore Race Club (LRC) chairman Tariq Aziz, stewards retired Lt Col Masud Pervez, Khawaja Mohammad Arif, Fawad Ahmed Cheema, Jockey Club of Pakistan chairman Hafeez Akhtar Randhawa and JCP steward Mian Maahir Ahmed besides a number of LRC members.

The LRC, meanwhile, has announced that the next Lahore Winter Meeting will be held on Saturday instead of next Sunday.

Results:

THE BHALWAL PLATE CLASS VII DIV V (MAIDENS) — 1,000M:

Ishaq Prince (Safdar Ali Dogar) 8-10, Deenar Mirwani 1; Mr Brown 8-10, Mubashir Bhatti 2; Khizer Princess 8-4, Asad Abbas 3; It’s Me 8-4, Babar Rehman 4.

Won by 8 L, 7 L, ½ L. Time: one minute 4 4/5 seconds. Winner trained by Mohammad Mumtaz.

THE BHALWAL PLATE CLASS VII DIV V — 1,000M:

Tell Me (Asim Raza) 9-4, Babar Rehman 1; Bet Of The Day 7-6, Munir Hussain 2; Turab Prince 8-4, Shakeel Mahmood 3; Naveed Choice 8-4, Mohammad Ajmal 4.

Won by 3¼ L, 1½ L, 2½ L. Time: one minute 3 3/5 seconds. Winner trained by Tanvir Aslam.

THE BHALWAL PLATE CLASS VII DIV IV & V — 1,000M:

Neeli The Great (Asim Raza) 8-12, Babar Rehman 1; Fakhar–e-Shorkot 9-0, Mohammad Zulfiqar 2; Dancing Beauty 8-8, Deenar Mirwani 3; Bright Gold 9-0, Bilal Ahmed 4.

Won by 3 L, 1½ L, Neck, Time: one minute 3 2/5 seconds. Winner trained by Tanvir Aslam.

THE BHALWAL PLATE CLASS VII DIV III & IV — 1,000M:

Baland-o-Bala (Shahbaz Mukhtar) 8-8, Mazhar Ali 1; Zoaq-e-Yaqeen 8-2, Munir Hussain 2; Open Challenge 8-8, Mohammad Wasim 3; Humayun Choice 9-0, Babar Rehman 4.

Won by 2 L, 7 L, 1 L. Time: one minute 2 1/5 seconds. Winner trained by Rashid Latif.

THE AMIGO CUP CLASS VII DIV I & II — 1,100M:

Costa Rica (Mohammad Ahsan Irfan) 8-10, Aftab Chaudhry 1; Salam-e-Lahore 8-6, Deenar Mirwani 2; Salam-e-Dera 8-6, S. Raza 3; Abdullah Princess 8-10, Abdul Hakeem 4.

Won by 2¼ L, Head. Distance. Time: one minute seven seconds. Winner trained by Mohammad Afzal.

THE BHALWAL PLATE CLASS VII DIV III & IV — 1,100M:

Believe Me (Farrukh Mubarak) 9-0, Mazhar Ali 1; User 8-2, Bilal Ahmed 2; Safdar Princess 9-2, S. Raza 3; Dimple 8-4, Deenar Mirwani 4.

Won by 4 L, 3 L, 3½ L. Time: one minute 7 4/5 seconds. Winner trained by Rashid Latif.

Published in Dawn, October 21st, 2019