NEWSBRIEF

Published March 20, 2023

Thunder Star clinches Sky Walker Cup KARACHI: Thoroughbred chestnut horse Thunder Star kept his winning run intact while galloping to a length-and-a-quarter victory over co-favourite mare Princess Maria in the Sky Walker Cup of the Gymkhana meeting here at the Karachi Racecourse on Sunday.

With a hat-trick already under his belt, Thunder Star defied 12-10 handicap on his back to add yet another feather to his cap after Generation Cup,

Jet Stream Cup and Sunlight Cup in first quarter of the year.

Thunder Star, from the stables of Ather Abbas, clocked 0.562/5 seconds for four-and-a-half furlongs race with rider Zohaib Qamar astride. He was partnered by trainer Nazir.

The field was reduced to five after bay horse Azeem Choice was scratched at the starting gate following injury.

Fancied filly Croissant lived up to her billing while obliging all and sundry registering three-and-a-half lengths victory over bay horse Hi Alert to extend her unbeaten run in the third race.

Having won her last three outings, she has emulated four wins on trot performance of

Thunder Star.

She was ably ridden home by former champion rider Mohammad Essa in 0.511/5 seconds in the four furlongs contest.

Bay horse Cracks Man returned to winning ways imposing to a length-and-a-half victory over co-favourite bay horse Mr. On Job to annex fourth and supporting race. He returned home in 0.572/5 seconds in the four-and-a-half furlongs competition under rider Fahim K.

At the outset, punters suffered as fancied horses bit the dust in the first two races of a five-race card.

Connections played gimmick when they went with rank outsiders instead of favourite stable mates.

Bay horse Canadian King defeated bay horse Geo Ahsan by five lengths to bag honours in the first race as public fancy Money Shower was not on job and finished fourth.

The winning horse was ridden home by Ashiq Ali in 0.534/5 seconds in four furlongs race.

Similarly, chestnut horse Arsalan Choice captured the next race while prevailing over debutant Pedro by three lengths in 0.542/5 seconds for four furlongs race with rider Waheed Baran in the saddle.

—Anwar Zuberi

Saad, Imran to lead U-19s, Shaheens

LAHORE: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has appointed Saad Baig and Imran Butt as Pakistan U-19 and Pakistan Shaheens’ captains for the upcoming tours of Bangladesh and Zimbabwe, respectively.

Players born on or after Sept 1, 2004 were eligible for selection in the Bangladesh-bound squad.

The national U-19 squad’s tour to Bangladesh starts from April 30 and will feature one-off four-day match, five one-dayers and one-off T20 game.

The Pakistan Shaheens squad for the tour of Zimbabwe comprises seven players who have represented the country in international cricket. Imran Butt, who has been named as captain, has played six Test matches, while other players include Hussain Talat, Aamir Jamal, Kamran Ghulam, Mir Hamza, Sahibzada Farhan and Shahnawaz Dahani.

The Shaheens will tour Zimbabwe for two four-dayers and six one-day matches. The tour starts on May 3.

Squads:

PAKISTAN U-19: Saad Baig (captain), Ali Asfand (vice-captain), Ahmed Hussain, Aimal Khan, Amir Hussain, Arafat Minhas, Azan Awais, Hamza Nawaz, Mohammad Ibtisam, Mohammad Ismail, Mohammad Tahir, Mohammad Tayyab Arif, Obaid Shahid, Sajjad Ali, Shahzaib Khan, Shamyl Hussain, Wahaj Riaz.

PAKISTAN SHAHEENS: Imran Butt (captain), Hussain Talat (vice-captain), Aamir Jamal, Abdul Wahid Bangalzai, Haseebullah, Kamran Ghulam, Mehran Mumtaz, Mir Hamza, Mohammad Huraira, Mubasir Khan, Muhammad Umar, Omair Bin Yousuf, Qasim Akram, Rohail Nazir (wicket-keeper), Sahibzada Farhan, Shahnawaz Dahani.

—Sports Reporter

‘Pakistan to compete in 3 baseball events’

LAHORE: Pakistan will participate in three major international baseball events in this year, dates for which have been finalised in Japan in the Asian Baseball Federation Executive Committee meeting, Pakistan Federation Baseball (PFB) president Syed Fakhar Ali Shah said.

According to Fakhar, the events in which Pakistan will compete during 2023 included the third Asian Women Baseball Championship, the Senior Men Championships and the Boys World Cup Baseball U-15.

While the Asian women’s event, which also serves as a qualifying round for the World

Baseball Cup, will be held in Hong Kong from

May 21 to June 2, the Under-15 World Cup is slated for China during July. The Senior Men’s Championship will be hosted by Taiwan in November.

Pakistan had already qualified for the Taiwan event after winning the West Asia Cup title in Islamabad this year.

—Sports Reporter

Khokhar One shines at LRC

LAHORE: Favourite chestnut colt Khokhar One won the Mir Ikram Mahmood Memorial Cup while equalling the record for fastest time here at the Racecourse on Sunday.

The son of famous Irish sire Light Heavy came home storming to beat bay filly Sundari.

The Munir Ahmad Dar Memorial Cup, run over 1,300 metres, was won by favourite colt Bella Verde, which covered the distance in one minute 17 3/5 seconds. Bella Verde beat chestnut colt Macs King by over three lengths.

The March Cup was won by favourite horse Sardar Gee In the Desert Prince Cup, long shot chestnut filly Tempest prevailed over nine rivals to win the race by five lengths from gelding Sehar.

—Aftab Gilani

Published in Dawn, March 20th, 2023

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