Trainer Vijay Singh receiving The Calcutta Juvenile Sprint from Mr. Ram Gupta, Steward of The RCTC
There is simply no entity to replace ‘class’ – I presume that holds true in all disciplines and not only thoroughbred racing. On Saturday, the six-horse field for the Juvenile Sprint was simply outclassed by a grey colt named Snowscape (China Visit-Snow Tiger) from Vijay Singh’s yard who was running over a trip a little too sharp for him. Nevertheless jockey Christopher Alford was alert to the task and ensured that his mount stayed in touch with the front-runners Hurricane Andrew and Accrews right after the start. When heads turned for home, Alford hit the front and kept the colt going in top gear with a couple of cracks of the whip. A little surprisingly, the challenge came from unexpected quarters in the form of Sunny Sue. The winner was available at 12/10.
Earlier, C.Alford had guided Vijay Singh’s Atwater (Mr Mellon-Taj Mahal) to a regulation victory in the lower division of The Moon Mission Handicap. Large betting on Naughty Lass ensured that the odds of Atwater expanded to 12/10. The colt had no difficulty whatsoever in collaring the mare and sailing away for an impressive triumph.
Vijay’s first winner was the filly Arabesk (Emerald Cat-Pupa Fiori) who won despite drifting out to the outer rails – much in the same way as Raffles won her race earlier in the season. Apprentice Ajoy Roy quickly switched his whip hand but the filly took no note of his intentions. After racing in-and-out a couple of times, Gowli decided to try Evening Mist flat out on this occasion and he finished powerfully along the rails but failed narrowly.
All three Vijay Singh winners are owned by his patron-in-chief Mr Deepak Khaitan. Their well known red-and-gold colours were prominent throughout the afternoon and ended the day with another victory – this time from Darius Byramji’s yard. Their fashionably bred filly (Ace-Forever Elegance) took advantage of her summering at Bangalore and low rating by virtue of her maiden status to make every post of the Sreepriya Cup her own. Top-weight Haddock ran a good race while ante-post favourite Brigadier was lost in the crowd.
The Calcutta Monsoon Sprint saw Pesi Shroff-trained Crown Rule (Burden Of Proof-Crown Treasure) fight out the finish with Clear Mandate. Both runners are owned by Dr Vijay Mallya and were bred at Kunigal Stud. The former prevailed under Trevor Patel’s hard riding. The other runner in the betting, Hall Of Glory, was kept dead last by C.Alford and plodded on to occupy a poor fourth slot.
The day was not without incident as the lower division of the Moon Mission Handicap saw an objection as well as a Stewards Enquiry. The heavily backed Star Of Roses appeared to be well position at the top of the straight when he was taken out by the front-running Autocrat on whom Melvyn Maseyk lost control. He drifted out to outer rails taking the favourite with him. Imran Chisty on the latter had to check his mount and ultimately finished fourth as Beethoven made a beeline along the rails to finish second. The disappointment in the race was well-backed Cee Four who was lethargic to say the least. The objection by Chisty was inevitable and the Stewards upheld it. The winner Autocrat thus ended up fourth as the fourth horse had objected.
Chisty however started the day with a double for owner Mr Ajay Jalan. His Passion N Flames (Royal Kingdom-Tantalising) lapped up the extra distance to win the Alcalde Handicap by a street. He then piloted Karki-trained Devilitto (Black Cash-Zografi) to a narrow victory over Moment Of Love.