KARACHI: Four-year-old chestnut colt Victor edged past co-favourite filly Cigar Girl by half length to clinch the Winter Cup in the Gymkhana race meeting at the Karachi Racecourse on Sunday.
Having won the Iqbal Day Cup in the preceding week in the same classification, Victor made good running to justify his name while securing back-to-back triumphs.
Three-year-old bay colt Romeo fell third six-and-a-half lengths away with colt Brave Champion completing the frame another two lengths away among nine starters.
Owned by Irfan Mehdi and sent by trainer Yousuf S, Victor was ridden home by rider Mohammad Sajjad who completed a good double.
Earlier, Sajjad created quite a stir by piloting home long-shot dark bay horse Wifi to a one length victory over mare Rukhsar to claim the opening race.
Dark bay horse Ahsan The Great settled for third spot, beaten by five lengths, while public fancy mare Soldier Girl completed the frame, another half length behind.
A quartet of horses — Watson, Sana Choice, Shiny and Fast Catcher — failed to make their presence felt as they were scratched in morning declaration leaving seven horses in fray.
The public suffered as another upset was in store when when rank outsider mare Dream Girl, with Lahore rider Mohammad Wasim Khan astride, won the second race as she pleased by seven lengths. She defeated mare Starka, formerly known as Dam Dama Dam, for honours. Running under new name favourite filly Win Win Win, ex-Cash Machine, had to be content with third place half length away as Public Fancy finished fourth.
The field was reduced to eight horses as bay horse Marshal was scratched in morning.
The racegoers managed to make breakeven when filly Billions In Mind cruised to a smart five-and-a-half lengths victory in the fourth race over co-favourite bay horse Royal Champion to avenge her last defeat.
Similarly, favourite filly Queen’s Best galloped to a dazzling 10 lengths success over Janbaaz to oblige all and sundry in the concluding race.
Rider-turned-trainer Ghulam Shabbir II sent out three winners in Wifi, Billions In Mind and Queen’s Best.
THE WINTER PLATE SCALE ORDER VIII — 4 F:
Wifi (Yasmeen Azhar) 8-2, Mohammad Sajjad 1; Rukhsar 8-12 (cr8-7), Zohaib Qamar 2; Ahsan The Great 8-4 (cr8-5), Mohammad Manzoor 3; Soldier Girl 8-13, Asad Aksir 4.
Won by 1 L, 5 L, ½ L. Time: 0.55 2/5 seconds. Winner trained by Ghulam Shabbir II.
THE WINTER PLATE SCALE ORDER VII — 4 F:
Dream Girl (Syed Sibghatullah Shah Pir Pagara) 8-12, Mohammad Wasim Khan 1; Starka (ex-Dam Dama Dam) 9-0, Mohammad Sajjad 2; Win Win Win (ex-Cash Machine) 8-12, Mohammad Manzoor 3, Public Fancy 9-0, Qadeer Ahmed 4.
Won by 7 L, ½ L, 1½ L. Time: 0.52 3/5 seconds. Winner trained by Mohyuddin.
THE WINTER CUP SCALE ORDER I, II & III — 5 F:
Victor (Irfan Mehdi) 8-0, Mohammad Sajjad 1; Cigar Girl 7-2, Zaki Zakir 2; Romeo 8-8, Mohammad Manzoor 3; Brave Champion (ex-Simba) 7-0, Wasim 4.
Won by ½ L, 6½ L, 2 l. Time: One minute 3 2/5 seconds. Winner trained by Yousuf S.
THE WINTER PLATE SCALE ORDER V & VI — 4½ F:
Billions In Mind (Syed Ismail Shah) 7-12, Ali Ehsan 1; Royal Champion 8-4, Asad Aksir 2; Faster Than You 9-0, Raees Ahmed 3; Piyara Faisal 9-0, Tariq Baran 4.
Won by 5½ L, 3 L, 4½ L. Time: 0.57 4/5 seconds. Winner trained by Ghulam Shabbir II.
THE WINTER PLATE SCALE ORDER IV & V — 4½ F:
Queen’s Best (Syed Ismail Shah) 8-7, Mohammad Manzoor 1; Janbaaz 9-0, Sohail Ahmed 2; Sultan 8-4, Zohaib Qamar 3; Shining Arrow 8-0, Mohammad Sajjad 4.
Won by 10 L, 12 L, 2 L. Time: 0.57 1/5 seconds. Winner trained by Ghulam Shabbir II.
Published in Dawn, November 18th, 2019