Trainer D M David receiving The Ins Hooghly Cup from Vice Admiral Anil Chopra, AVSM, Flag Officer Commanding in Chief Eastern Naval Command
There was no dearth of season-end surprises at the Calcutta racecourse on Saturday. Nevertheless, racing was enjoyable as the pairings of Arti Doctor and Kamlesh, and Daniel David and Sreekanth shared five of the eight races.
The feature of the day, The Aperitivo Trophy, saw a clever piece of riding from Kamlesh astride Arti’s Amouresque (Mr Mellon- Complimentary) to get the better of fast-finishing El Tropico. Covered up till the bend, Kamlesh slipped the mare through the front-runners to steal a march on the favourite El Tropico. Mahesh on the latter rode a waiting race and a good finish but to no avail as Kamlesh and Amouresque were in no mood to relent. The fact that El Tropico traversed a greater distance as compared to the winner may have cost him the race as the winning post came to the winner’s rescue.
Jockey B. Sreekanth was in his element as he notched up a lucrative treble for trainer Daniel David with Incanto Bliss, Work Force and Ashwa Prabir. All three winners had to be driven out on full throttle to get the better of their rivals.
A miserable failure in her last essay with Speed Angel and Noble Defender, Incanto Bliss (Emerald Cat-Fabulous Fortune) devoured ground on this occasion to get the better of runaway leader and favourite La Dominique in the INS Hooghly Cup. Dance In China was a notable third. The others including the much touted Andromeda were never in it.
Sreekanth’s second winner was Work Force (Placerville-Amnesty Bay). He bagged the Sun Lion Handicap after a close contest with stablemate Tintoretto in a slow run race. The Mysore champion jockey completed his treble by bringing the curtain down with Ashwa Prabir (Royal Kingdom-Fly The Fury) who got the better of the public choice Desert Dreamer in the very last stride. The defeat of Desert Dreamer also meant that Christopher Alford drew a blank for the day.
The day’s biggest outsider was Javed Khan-trained Generous Thought (Bees Prospector-Waggamamma) with Shailesh Shinde in the saddle who lifted the Navy Cup in great style. However, it was anything but generous for punters as it burnt holes in their pockets. The on-money favourite Royal Companion was in futile chase in the straight.
Trainer Bharath Singh commenced the day for punters on a fairly happy note as his Classical Romance (China Visit-Magical Romance) romped home a clear winner in the hands of Aadesh Kumar. The gelding was never threatened by the other fancied runner Oscar while Harness Free finished a none too impressive third.
Vijay Singh-trained Alearia (Gaswar-Alannah) came back to the track after a one-year lay-off to record a creditable victory in the upper division of the Adelina Hanicap. The filly with apprentice Ajoy Roy in the saddle, took the shortest route home but had to stave off a strong challenge from Fankaar on the wide outside.
Both Arti Doctor and Bharath Singh have been fairly successful with youngsters this season and it was indeed their pair of Wild Card and Green Pasture which were backed in the Adelita Plate. However, it was Arti’s Wild Card (New Famous-Rasha) which gave Kamlesh an armchair ride.