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Ancient Wonder will stake claim for Sprinters' Cup: Haresh Mehta

Ancient Wonder's owner Haresh Mehta

Ancient Wonder, the speed machine that yet again demolished top class rivals to win the Morelatto by Gitanjali Lifestyle Million yesterday at Mahalaxmi, will set his sights on this year's Sprinters' Cup. Haresh Mehta, owner of the China Visit � Dazzling Queen six-year-old, revealed his plans to MiD DAY after leading in the winner.

The feature event of the Sunday card saw a level start for all 11 contestants, with Star Trainer (Richard Hughes up) cutting pace with Elizabeth (S Zervan up), followed by Star Future, and Beautiful Stranger, with the fancied trio of Ancient Wonder, Attila & Siachen all racing close to the rear.

David Allan astride deftly manouvered Ancient Wonder through a traffic maize soon on hitting the homestretch to finally post an easy victory of 1-1/2 lengths over Star Trainer who was later deprived of the runner up spot in the stewards' room after S Zervan (Elizabeth, placed 8th) protested against Richard Hughes for foul riding.

"Frankly, we thought he (Ancient Wonder) would win much more easily," owner Mehta said after the race, "but he didn't have a clear run." Mehta went on to explain that thanks to this victory, Ancient Wonder's rating would now go further up (he ran at 116 on Sunday), "That means no races for him except the graded sprints �S C Jain here & the Sprinters' Cup at Bangalore."

It may be noted that the grade 1, Sprinters' Cup will be staged on the first Saturday of March this year at the Bangalore racetrack where top sprinters from each of the five turf authorities of India will get invited to match strides with one another.

"Ancient Wonder is a horse who runs best when he gets a good amount of rest," Mehta revealed another secret about the horse, "and because there will only be a three-week gap between the two sprints, we might have to choose only one of them. Right now, we are inclined towards the Sprinters' Cup at Bangalore, but I and Mansoor Shah (trainer) will take a final call within maybe two weeks."

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