Trainer R R Byramji receiving The Monsoon Cup from Mr. Ranajit Nobis
The penultimate day of the Monsoon meet possibly witnessed the most competitive fields, resulting in quite a few outsiders making their way into the winner’s enclosure. In their championship race, jockey Christopher Alford wrenched the lead away from Sailesh Shinde with a brace, while trainer Patrick Quinn displayed once again that he is unafraid to declare apprentice jockeys astride potential winners. Wily schooler Jasbir Singh also notched up a double.
The afternoon’s main event, The Monsoon Cup, saw Darius Byramji-trained Unleashed (Warrshan-Santarelle) sail past owner-mate Arktouros in the straight without too much exertion. It was a welcome sight to see ‘Indian Racing Legend’ Rashid Byramji lead in the winner in one of his rare trips to the city. The winner was available at playable odds of 12/10 and brought considerable respite to followers of money after the thrashing they received in the early part of the afternoon. The win completed a cup-double for C. Alford as he had earlier piloted Imtiaz Sait-trained Bullet (Major Impact-Euro Star) to a narrow triumph over Accurate in the No Regrets Cup. The winner was available at 7/1 as the owner-mate Amaretto was the firm even-money favourite.
The afternoon commenced with a shocker in the form of Gonna Be A Rockstar (Ikhtyar-Sweet Spot) with Gajender Singh astride. Joint favourites Apical Light and Saddle Chief had their chances but failed to produce the requisite acceleration at crunch hour. The best of the rest was Ballantyne who will be worth keeping an eye on. It is encouraging to see that despite a small string, trainer Christopher Gleich has been maintaining his wards in racing fit condition.
The next race of the day, The Replicate Handicap, saw the hot favourite Consensus bite the dust after a show of early speed while the quietly fancied Generosity lost ground at the start and never recovered fully to issue a serious challenge. It was left to rank outsider Fankaar (Inner City-Arches Of Gold) , from Jasbir Singh’s yard, to collar stablemate Rithambhra for a fairly easy victory.
Jasbir completed his double with the heavily gambled Lord Aragorn (backed down from 8/1 to 5/2) in the Annihilator Handicap. The gelding seemed rather fortunate as he had lost pace mid-way during the six-furlong sprint and appeared to drop out of contention. Under Mohit Singh’s urgings, the youngster by Ivory Touch out of Oh So Quick picked up a late gallop on the wide outside to peg back the totally friendless Spur Of The Moment. Ante-post favourite Tennessee Waltz failed to make the frame.
After knocking on the door for almost a year, Bath-trained Yamlapagladeewana (Serious Spender-Great Request) finally came good in the Everynsky Handicap. He however had to stave off Stiling Veil who was looking threatening at the distance post. Ijlal was a tame third.
By using apprentices to good effect, trainer Patrick Quinn saddled a high-priced double for his patrons Rakesh Kumar Wadhawan and Waryam Singh. The first of these, Ocean Legacy (Diffident-Raziya) , won the Rockfellar Handicap with apprentice Zarar Alam. He did well to keep the mare going at top speed while Mesmerizer and Silken Dancer challenged her in the straight.
Apprentice Tamang astride Lake Leader (Mr Mellon-Aliventi) had to use a little more endeavour to deliver the goods. The chestnut was squeezed from an inside draw and had to be brought late on the wide outside to collar the runaway leader Memories. It was the jockey’s first win of the season.