Reigning champion jockey Dane Nelson, who has been riding successfully at Assiniboia Downs in Canada for the past four months, returns to the saddle at Caymanas Park today and should win the opening race over 1200 metres (claiming $350,000 – $300,000) aboard down-in-class SHADE OF BEAUTY.The Patrick Lynch-trained five-year-old mare showed little behind ITALIANO over this trip on a $450,000 tag last Sunday but has won three races so far this season, and on the strength of her good third to FORCE DE JOUR over 1100 metres on August 29, gets the nod over BELIEVE and AWESOME CODE in a field of seven.First-time runners ZUGULU, under leading jockey Shane Ellis, and the Wayne DaCosta-trained A THOUSAND STARS (Robert Halledeen up) have both looked well forward at exercise and should fight out the finish of the second race over 1100 metres for native-bred two-year-olds.It should be close based on their exercise reports, but preference is for A THOUSAND STARS, a bay filly by Storm Craft out of the Natural Selection mare Heart of Gold. The Richard Azan-trained ZUGULU is a bay colt by Hold Me Back out of Candy Girl, who was declared to run in the first race won by Blue Dixie on Sunday but was a late scratch.VALENTINE BOY, who showed good speed behind MEL AGAIN over 1200 metres some weeks ago, looks the best of a moderate lot of maiden five-year-olds and up in the third race over 1100 metres. Trained by Roy Matthews, VALENTINE BOY (Shamaree Muir up) is steadily improving and can put away WESTERN FAITH and TIZ A CAT in an eight-horse field.DEMOLITION BOY, with Ellis riding for trainer Welsh Soutar, is preferred to the lightly-raced but improving GOLD MEMBER and GANJA MAN in the fourth race over the straight for maiden three-year-olds. DEMOLITION BOY is well drawn at post position 11 and seems programmed to take this event.The last two races in the first Super-6 should be won by STAN ROY (Ellis up) and the well-prepared 3-y-o filly JESSE’S FAVORITE, with veteran jockey Ian Spence riding for 14-time champion trainer Philip Feanny. Their respective dangers are MISS ADDI and KING WITHIN.EARLY SUPER-6 FANCIES(1) SHADE OF BEAUTY/ BELIEVE(2) A THOUSAND STARS/ ZUGULU(3) VALENTINE BOY/ WESTERN FAITH(4) DEMOLITION BOY/ GOLD MEMBER(5) STAN ROY/MISS ADDI(6) JESSE’S FAVORITE- O.C.
Pooja Rani (81kg) clinched the second gold medal for India as she finished on top among the women boxers to bring a fine end to the country’s phenomenal campaign in the Asian Boxing Championships in Bangkok on Friday.India ended the event with 13 medals — two gold, four silver and seven bronze medals — in the tournament which was held simultaneously for men and women for the first time.The 28-year-old Pooja Rani, a silver-medallist at the event in 2012, struck gold among the women by defeating China’s Wang Lina.Pooja Rani took to boxing against the wishes of her father, who relented after a six months of pleadings by the boxer and her coaches in Bhiwani. She also has an Asian Games bronze medal, which she claimed in 2014.However, national champion Deepak Singh (49kg), Kavinder Singh Bisht (56kg) and Ashish Kumar (75kg) signed off with silver medals among the men after contrsating losses. In the women’s draw, national champion Simrajit Kaur (64kg) ended with a silver medal.Pooja’s Golden Punch!India’s #PoojaRani seals her 3 #AsianBoxingChampionship medal; wins after securing a thriller contest in split decision. She has earlier won (in12) and (in’15). Kudos Pooja on winning the first-ever gold in 81kg at AC.#PunchMeinHainDum pic.twitter.com/WZmVcTZlhSBoxing Federation (@BFI_official) April 26, 2019The previous best by Indian men at this tournament was in 2009, when the team won a gold, two silver and four bronze and they equalled that performance this year.Shiva Thapa (60kg), Ashish (69kg) and Satish Kumar (+91kg) claimed bronze medals among the men this time.advertisementThis was Panghal’s maiden international competition since moving up to 52kg from the 49kg division earlier this year. Panghal had won a bronze in the 2015 edition of the event.Up against a lanky opponent, who was willing to play the waiting game, Panghal started in his usual aggressive style.’s #Deepak ends his #AsianBoxingChampionship campaign with a well earned medal; marginally loses in a split 2:3 decision against Nodirjon M of in the Grand Finale. Great run, kudos on the silver! #PunchMeinHainDum #boxing pic.twitter.com/KWsyL9R6a3Boxing Federation (@BFI_official) April 26, 2019The strategy of stumping rivals with relentless attacks paid off against Inkyu and the Korean simply had no answer to Panghal’s aggression.The Indian managed to corner his rival quite often and his solid defences thwarted the feeble attempts at connecting by Inkyu.Earlier, at the end of Deepak’s highly contentious split loss to Nodirjon Mirzahmedov of Uzbekistan, the Indian contingent handed the referee the yellow card meant for seeking a review, which was introduced in the tournament on a trial basis this year.Kavinder secures!’s #KavinderSinghBisht display an indomitable spirit; fought with a lionheart despite his cut opening up but succumbed to an unfortunate loss in the Finals. Great spirit champ!Watch the best moments from the bout #PunchMeinHainDum #boxing pic.twitter.com/AJOu1aa5BeBoxing Federation (@BFI_official) April 26, 2019However, India’s High Performance Director Santiago Nieva told PTI that the gesture was merely to highlight “how wrong” the decision was.”We cannot get the decision changed. Just a protest here,” he said.”The system will officially start in the world championships,” added national coach C A Kuttappa.Bisht, on the other hand, also lost to an Uzbek in Mirazizbek Mirzahalilov, a unanimous decision. The boxer from Uttarakhand fought with a bandage over his right eye but did not back down from going for the offensive.The aggressive approach resulted in his wound, sustained in the semifinals, opening up just a minute into the third round. This made Bisht slightly defensive and allowed the Uzbek to edge ahead.Earlier, Deepak also put up a gutsy performance that failed to find favour with the judges.It was a bout in which both the boxers were mostly looking to counter-attack. Deepak’s focus was getting his straight punches across, while Mirzahmedov looked to connect right hooks occasionally.The Indian was a clear winner in the opening round but Mirzahmedov came back strongly in the second.The Uzbek turned a shade defensive in the last three minutes, which gave Deepak a chance to assert himself. However, the final outcome was in favour of the Uzbek, much to the surprise of the Indian camp.Later, Ashish went down to Kazakhstan’s Tursynbay Kulakhmet in a unanimous decision.In the women’s finals, national champion Simranjit squared off against China’s reigning world champion Dou Dan, before Pooja fought it out with Lina.Kaur took the ring first and lost in a unanimous decision to Dan. The Indian had her oments, especially in the second round, but was no match to Dan’s counter-attacks.advertisementRani was in action in the last Indian bout of the day and was grit personified in her battle against Lina.She started rather slow but picked up momentum as the bout progressed to fetch a split verdict from the judges.Settling for bronze medals among the women were veteran former champion L Sarita Devi (60kg), last edition’s silver-medallist Manisha (54kg), former junior world champion Nikhat Zareen (51kg) and world silver-medallist Sonia Chahal (57kg).Also Read | Asian Boxing Championships 2019: Amit Panghal wins gold, Deepak Singh bags silverAlso Read | Asian Boxing Championships: Kavinder Singh Bisht leads India’s charge into the finalsAlso Read | Asian Boxing Championships: Indian boxers are ruling Asia ahead of semifinalsAlso Watch: