Trainer Javed Khan leading Gods Creation (Shailesh Shinde Up), winner of The Zealot Handicap
The penultimate day of the season at the Calcutta racecourse was well and truly the handicapper’s day out. Close finishes were the order of the day from the outset. The horse which set the ball rolling was none other than Jasbir Singh’s Bhima (International-Tapioca) who was in the eye of the storm a few days earlier for pipping Vence at the wire by the proverbial whisker. On this occasion, he was distinctly fortunate to get the better of Hot Iron by an identical verdict of a nose. The runner-up was the better moving horse and was severely interfered by Pine Valley when making his run in the straight. Jockey S.John was replaced by Chisty astride Pine Valley as the former was a late arrival at the Calcutta racecourse.
The lower division of the same race, The Astounding Handicap, was bagged by Vikash Jaiswal’s Blue Mountain (Razeen-Stolen Kisses) who was slow off and took the bend miles wide and yet got the better of the runaway leader Yamlapagladeewana close home to hand Imran Chisty his first of two winners of the day.
After his brilliant run a few weeks earlier when he went down to Secret Reward near home, Javed Khan’s Gods Creation (European-Sunlit Moon) made amends on this afternoon by making The Zealot Handicap a start to finish affair. Rutherford’s La Dominique with John astride closed the gap considerably in the straight but still fell short. The rest were never really in it.
Jockey Christopher Alford was replaced by Kamlesh on Social Network (Black Cash-Dancin With Bertie). However, the Vijay Singh ward won like a seasoned colt to notch up his fourth triumph of the season. Never letting Generous Thought out of his sight while Mission Chief set a good pace, Kamlesh put the property of Mr Deepak Khaitan into top gear near the distance post and though he squeezed out Generous Thought, the latter appeared to be outpaced at that point anyhow. Schwarzenegger continued to earn his cornbill with yet another minor placing.
Trainer Shafiq Khan’s Skyscraper (Rebuttal-Dark Orient) bagged the mile race for the Tender Heart Cup after staving off a fairly strong challenge from aged Temptation. The favourite Dance In China drifted out to the outer rails as apprentice Ajoy Roy lost control and lost all his chances thereby.
The afternoon’s biggest outsider was Farley Rodrigues-trained Supreme Summit (Black cash-Sartorial). Under Surjeet’s strong handling, the colt won the sprint for the Capital Risk Handicap by getting the better of two fancied runners Flightning and Mehzabeen.
The sprint for the Mandrake Handicap saw a nailbiting finish between bottom-weight Benjamin and Born To Race (Emerald Cat-Secret Charm). The latter prevailed after Aadesh Kumar used the stick freely on the Bharath Singh ward.
Even John’s presence could not convince Hundred Pipers to enter the stalls. Rutherford’s colt was withdrawn for the third time in succession. Trainer Richard Alford (Rutherford’s father) was understandably disheartened and opined that the handlers may have succeeded with a little more finesse rather than brute force. The race for the Calorific Handicap was won by Vikash Jaiswal-trained Impressive Win (Ikhtyar-Deceiver), who was piloted very impressively by Chisty. He furrowed his way along the rails after being in mid-division for a major portion of the way.