LAHORE: A seven-event card featuring a cup race awaits equine sports lovers when the 21st Lahore Winter Meeting gets under way here at the Racecourse on Sunday.

The main attraction, Thrill Cup, a handicap race for Class VI Division I and II (Class V included) being contested over 1200 metres, has six thoroughbred runners representing different top-class bloodlines.

The field includes runners who have recorded three to four wins each stamping the quality of their bloodlines while a new entry from Karachi — bay colt Fantastico — will be on debut representing the colours of Syed Sibghatullah Shah III Pir Pagaro VIII at the Racecourse.

Going by their recent form, only the quartet of mares Rapunzel Beauty and Sanctity and colts Alamgirian and Amanah attract attention. Sanctity is enjoying a slight edge over Amanah, Alamgirian and Rapunzel Beauty in the same order.

Lahore was under a long spell of intermittent light rain on Saturday and the underfoot conditions at the race track here will likely suit the light weight runners.

That will probably put the trio of Sanctity, Alamgirian and Amanah on equal chance, preferably advantage to Sanctity by her composed demeanour at the starting gate. It is noteworthy that three runners — Shorawak (Ex-Governor), Sanctity and Amanah -- are bred at the stud owned by great horse-lover Makhdum Syed Ahmad Mahmud, who has acquired thoroughbred breeding knowledge from abroad and his Jamal Din Wali farm is ranked among two top studs in Pakistan.

The Supporting event, the Murree Plate for Class VI Division III and IV to be gone over 1200 metres, has the largest field of 13 acceptors. It also includes some top bloodline thoroughbreds.

Three colts — Dear One, Roaring Lion and Raksh — and fillies Amazing Lips and Heart are the pick of the acceptors to fight for the top honours.

Meanwhile, the Lahore Race Club (LRC) has driven away the spectre of male chauvinism from its riders ranks, giving the only female rider Alishba Mohsin the chance to prove her riding aptitude. She will be the first-ever female rider to join equine sports in the country.

Thanks to the tough stand taken by senior LRC administrator Hafeez Akhtar Randhawa, who does not succumb to racing mafia pressure while conducting fair, free and impartial racing competitions.

The race-goers have appealed to the senior administrator for observing time punctuality and keeping a strict eye on the four riders, who they allege are known for notoriety and the agents of racing mafia, namely, Tahir Abbas, Deenar Mirwani, Aaamer Pervez and Zulfiqar, particularly when their mounts are public fancy horses.

In all, 53 horses are to make the field for the seven-race card with the first race to start at 12.00 noon.

Following is the field and our selections:

Kaghan Plate Class VII Div V & VI -- 1000M.

Mehrban 9-0 Chhota Pathan 9-0 Magical City 8-10 Bright Gold 8-6 Lucky Time 8-6 Mera Darwaish 8-4 Amazing Runner 8-0 Hidden Fire 7-13 and Sultan Jahanian 7-8.

Win: Chhota Pathan. Place: Mera Darwaish and Sultan Jahanian.

Kaghan Plate Class VII Div V -- 1000M.

Watto Choice 9-0 Gifts Of Gold 8-6 Merchant Of Venus 8-6 Nalain Princess 8-4 Safdar Princess 8-0 Soldier Queen 7-12 and Bright Bomber 7-8.

Win: Watto Choice. Place: Gifts Of Gold and Safdar Princess.

Kaghan Plate Class VII Div 111 and IV -- 1000M.

Chhota Dera 8-10 Lalay DeJan 8-8 Generosity 8-4 Tatla Princess 8-4 Statue Of Liberty 8-0 Meri Malangni 8-0 and Khabib 7-12.

Win: Generosity. Place: Meri Malangni and Chhota Dera.

Thrill Cup, Class VI Div I & II (Class V included ) — 1200M.

Shorawak 9-6 Rapunzel Beauty 9-2 Sanctity 8-10 Alamgirian 8-8 Amanah 8-8 and Fantastico 8-2.

Win: Sanctity. Place: Alamgirian and Amanah.

Murree Plate Class VI Div III and IV -- 1200M.

Raksh 9-0 Fair Beauty 8-10 Amazing Lips 8-8 Heart 8-4 G. One 8-4 Your Flame In Me 8-2 Roaring Lion 8-2 Queen Of Spades 8-2 Drums Of War 8-2 Dear One 8-2 Loyal One 8-0 Sanwli Saloni 8-0 and Market Leader 7-12.

Win: Dear One. Place: Roaring Lion and Heart. Up set: Raksh.

Kaghan Plate Class VII Div I -- 1200M.

Golden Gun 8-10 Banras Of Gowalmandi 8-8 Maha Princess 8-6 Bala Khatoon 8-6 American Gangster 8-6 Common Champion 8-2 and Hussan-e-Kainat 8-0.

Win: Banras Of Gowalmandi. Common Champion and Hussan-e-Kainat.

Kaghan Plate Class VII Div II -- 1200M.

Amazing Runner 9-2 What Is Secret 8-10 Marco Polo 8-8 Zaman Sahib 8-2 Wild Coast 8-0 and Hamlet 7-12.

Win: Wild Coast. Place: Zaman Sahib and Amazing Runner.

Published in Dawn, January 23rd, 2022

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