Trainer Arti Doctor leading Welcome Smile (P Kamlesh Up), winner of The Gurkirpal Handicap
The first day of March provided Arti Doctor with a fabulous high-priced treble that commenced with Apple Candy and ended with Daddy Cool – in between she led in Welcome Smile. Her two knights in pigskin who completed the formalities were Kamlesh and Shailesh Shinde. While the former notched up a brace with Apple Candy and Welcome Smile, Shailesh left nothing to chance on this occasion as he brought Daddy Cool with a flourish through a gap near the distance post. Mind you, the gelding drifted out under the whip in the straight and maintained a straight course the moment the stick was put away after a couple of cracks.
The main event, The Mysore Race Club Trophy, saw the big-hearted filly Abriella (China Visit-Allaire) from Vijay Singh’s yard pull off a marvellous victory in the 2000 metres race. This was her fifth win in succession and she was available at even-money. She commenced her career on the lowest rung this season and very quickly climbed to the top most category. On this afternoon, she was held in check by Neeraj Rawal as Angelo set a fairly slow pace with Topkapi in tow. Neeraj gradually improved his position along the rails and challenged the front-runner after heads turned for home. The filly did just enough to fetch the honours for her owner Mr Deepak Khaitan and may even pick up one more race before the end of the season if placed judiciously.
The afternoon commenced with a good gamble on Vikash Jaiswal-trained Ive Done It (Conquerig Hero-Brave Ballerina) with Christopher Alford astride. The six-year-old made The Phoenician Handicap a start-to-finish affair and pulled away from the threatening Chinatown in the straight.
Apple Candy (China Visit-Deserving Lady) appears to have shed her unruly gate manners for good and galloped to yet another facile start-to-finish triumph over a mile in the hands of Kamlesh. It was in fact the other fancied runner Roman Centurion who was tardy at the take-off and finished off the frame.
The 4kg that Haddock (Ace-Bold Bird) was receiving from Abubble helped him land the spoils in the Royal Challenge Plate. Imran Chisty rode a hard finish atop the eventual winner to ward off C.Alford and Abubble who came up at par with him near the distance post. Both Wild Card and Glynneath are worth noting for the future.
Welcome Smile (China Visit – Stream Of Love) was the best on handicap among the four-year-olds in the Gurkirpal Handicap and despite a fairly long slumber, he was in the pink of condition. He collared front-running Social Network in the straight without fuss while Il Bronzino failed to accelerate despite finding space along the rails.
Ridden in check by Shinde, Daddy Cool (Dark Nile-Everlasting Love) provided owners Mrs Menaka Gupta and Mr Rakesh Sahani with their third win of the season. The sprinter has an excellent burst of acceleration and Shinde utilized it well to collar the runaway favourite Blazing Spectacle. What was surprising was that the odds of the eventual winner expanded to 5/1 after opening shop at 2/1 as considerable money came on Istanbul.
Despite an outside draw, Vijay Singh-trained Desert Dreamer (Diffident-Suave Star) with Neeraj Rawal astride, displayed plenty of zest to peg back Born To Race and Exxin in the straight and pocket the Fair Haven Handicap.