Mrs. Ananya Basu Saxena & Mrs. Antara Bose leading, Raznandan (Imran Chisty Up), winner of The Arcology Handicap
You just can’t keep the Alfords out of the news on the Calcutta racetrack. So what if Christopher was indisposed and conspicuous by his absence, uncle Richard and the latter’s son Rutherford completed the formalities with a fine double featuring Raznandan and La Dominique. Both were available at fairly decent odds of about 6/4 and were piloted by Imran Chisty. Chisty went on to complete a treble astride rank outsider Mama’s Delight from Robert Gowli’s yard. Besides a couple of unfancied runners, it was an afternoon when gambles by and large obliged.
Rutherford-trained La Dominique (Ikhtyar-Accentuate) was Chisty’s first winner of the day. The chestnut filly is known to enjoy her tearaway runs from the gates and it was to Chisty’s credit that he held back the forward runner as Alicante set a good pace followed by Benjamin. The latter took over the running in the straight and was hotly chased by the favourite who was given a free rein in the straight. She eventually pulled away for a comfortable victory.
Richard Alford-schooled Raznandan (Razeen-Athabasca) made every post of the Arcology Handicap a winning one. Chisty took the property of Mr A.K. Basu to the helm of affairs as the gates opened and maintained his useful lead under the stick when Secret Reward threatened to close the gap in the final 300 metres. Jockey Kamlesh on the latter rode a good finish despite being compelled to take the bend a little wide.
Mama’s Delight , jointly owned by trainer Gowli and A.K. Basu, produced the afternoon’s biggest upset as the colt by Eljohar out of Mama Mia was cleverly piloted by Chisty to sneak through a passage between two front-runners after gaining ground along the rails. The favourite Knight Of Romance tried his utmost to overhaul the winner but to no avail. The defeat also meant that leading trainer Vijay Singh drew a blank during the afternoon.
The day commenced well for trainer Bath as the 14/10 public choice Secret Gloss (Quest Star-Park Petard) was piloted to a hard-fought triumph in the Midnight Coup Handicap. Vence was threatening to steal a march over her rival but was pegged back close home by a determined Shezad Khan astride the favourite. Golden Square had a sad-luck story to tell as he was slow off the mark and drifted out to the outer rails after the bend. He was still not too far behind the winner.
Bharath Singh-trained Credit Ease (China Visit-Safari Girl) won the Star Perfection Handicap in great style. Noble Defender led by lengths but shot his bolt near the distance post after drifting out, where Shailesh Shinde on the eventual winner grabbed the rails and sailed clear. The winner was available at 2/1.
Farley Rodrigues-trained Agnation (San Francisco-Fancy Design) has been earning his cornbill throughout the season by placing on the board every now and then. On this occasion, the game eight-year-old went one better by hoisting the winning flag under Surjeet Singh. He pegged back Harness Free who ran a decent race.
Trainer Patrick Quinn continued his winning ways with apprentice Zarar Alam as the latter rode a great finish on the 4/1 shot Whispering Hills (Placerville-Maevella) to bag the Miss X O Lence Handicap. The speedy filly from the renowned Wadhawan stable was held behind the front-running Maria Teresa and hugged the rails as heads turned for home. The favourite Desert Dreamer challenged her strongly but Alam maintained his cool and a straight path despite the favourite hanging in and coming onto him.