The Kunigal Stud Farm bred Cassandra proved too good for the opposition in the Gr 3 Golconda Juvenile
Million, the highlight of Sunday’s (Feb 10) Hyderabad races. The Tejano-Cup of Gold three-year old filly
Cassandra who had impressed when finishing second best to Palazzio’s Sun at Bangalore, left the field
standing inside the final furlong to win pulling up from Reconnect who had won a richly endowed three-year old race last month.
Reconnect who had two wins to back his claims and the last one over the highly rated Vijayrath, was the
obvious favourite to win the race but Cassandra was supported by those who had noticed the potential of
the daughter of Tejano at Bangalore where she found the six furlong sharp when finishing second to
Palazzio’s Sun. The fact that Rimpuche who had finished third on that occasion, subsequently recorded
a smashing win at Bangalore in maidens’ company, surely enhanced the value of Cassandra’s performance.
Costa Mesa settled down to lead the field as the starter dispatched the contestants for the seven
furlong trip, followed by Common Knowledge, Reconnect, Cassandra, Lady Patricia, Stroke of Luck and Vijay Samrat who raced at the wrong end from start to finish, not improving at any stage of the race. Stroke of Luck who was sluggish at the gates quickly improved to run third but failed to sustain and dropped out of contention by the time the runners approached the final bend.
Common Knowledge led the field into the straight with Chris Hayes on Cassandra quickly pushing his mount to get the rails run while Reconnect was picking up speed on the outside of these two horses. The three were in a line till Cassandra went ahead inside the final 200 metres and kept increasing the lead, allowing the jockey the luxury of celebrating the victory throwing his fist in the air 50 metres before the winning post. Reconnect failed to live up to the expectations of his last run and petered out to be a tame second while Common Knowledge ran on to finish third. The other runners in the fray were simply left behind, unable to match strides with the three horses that pulled away on turning for home. The winner clocked a smart time of one minute 25.73 seconds. The victory of Cassandra was a big celebratory moment for young trainer Suleiman Attaollahi who was leading in his first graded race winner. Irish professional Chris Hayes, who has created a fine impression as a jockey of immense potential, had also reason to be elated by this success as he had narrowly failed to win the Indian Derby on Noble Prince.
Tejano has not been given many coverings in recent times after the induction of Burden of Proof and Brave Act as stallions at the Kunigal Stud Farm. However, Tejano has done reasonably well within the limited opportunities that he has been getting of late. His progeny seems to have taken a special liking for the Hyderabad Race Track, with Astrologica in the past winning the Gr 1 Golconda Derby and Adolfito claiming the Gr 1 President of India Gold Cup. Another Tejano progeny Auxiliary has had a bagful of victories to her credit including the beating of Onnu Onnu Onnu recently. The last named has won over 32 races at Hyderabad and is one of the best sprinters seen atthis centre for a long time along with Coral Gables.