Trainer Vijay Singh leading Dandified (C Alford Up), winner of The Tangiers Cup
The Calcutta punters cheered all the way as their dethroned local hero Dandified made a smashing comeback to lift the Tangiers Cup on Tuesday at cruising speed. His closest rival Bold Police was badly outclassed after the turning for home. However, the presence of the south India challenger did ensure a fairly good price for the Rebuttal-Dandoona colt who was available at even-money. As expected, the pace of Accurate was scorching and Christopher Alford atop the favourite bided his time in fourth slot and waited for the pacemaker to shorten his strides. Thereafter, his mount smoothly took over the running in the straight for a delectable start to his monsoon campaign.
The other colt to impress was Malpensa (Hurricane State-Northern Frontier) who won the Allaying Handicap in taking style despite a hefty penalty of 8.5kg for his earlier win. The weights were raised a further 4 kg but it did not bother the Bharath Singh ward in the least. In fact, Trevor Patel was oozing confidence as he settled the grey to a sedate pace up front. Though Alderson was trying to keep pace with the favourite, he was struggling. The other fancied runner Artemisia put up a very poor show as well as Sea Of Kisses ran on to occupy the runner-up berth.
While Malpensa impressed no end, another three-year-old Impressive Win was anything but what his name suggests. He closed as the 10-to-7-on public choice in the Andrada Handicap but planted at the gates, much to the chagrin of Bangalore champion PS Chauhan who was booed by the crowd. One wonders how the connections could be so confident of a colt in his first outing of the season, as his gate manners have been known to be erratic. The seven-furlong race was pocketed by Vijay Singh-trained Romantic Sunset (Razeen-Ocean Sunset), atop whom Ajoy Roy rode an understanding race with his new found confidence. Tardy beginner Roman Centurion occupied the runner-up berth six lengths behind.
The Imperial Stride Handicap for youngsters saw Colonel Boogey with able apprentice Zarar Alam astride, put his best foot forward while a couple of fancied runners like Don Magnifico and Apical Light were simply struggling to get a foothold in the sprint. After sailing past Apical Light, the Shafiq Khan-trained colt by Hurricane Center out of Acquire had to stave off a strong challenge from stablemate Tennessee Waltz.
Like Malpensa and Dandified, Jasbir Singh-trained Heer Saleti (Rebuttal-Sushmitha) recorded a facile triumph.The 5/2 favourite was very well prepared for his first outing of the season and Mohit Singh was a shade overconfident from the outset as his mount glided into a box seat before breaking clear. Mohit was turning back from the distance post. Divine Symphony plodded on to bag the second spot.
The afternoon commenced with Robert Gowli pulling off a fine triumph with the ever-consistent Ebony Princess (inner City-Wild Dreams). Both Requite and Sugar N Salt were fancied by their connections but could not overhaul the in-form ‘Princess’ who collared stablemate Accoast and never looked back.
The curtain came down with a duel between Vikash Jaiswal’s Flightning and Ashwa Prabir. The former came off better thanks to superior positioning of his mount (despite an 11 draw) and a power-packed finish by PS Chauhan. He must have been relieved to earn this victory as the local track has not been too generous to him.