• Punjabi Girl wins The Fillies Championship Stakes (Gr.1)
  • Sir Cecil wins The Colts Championship Stakes (Gr.1)
  • Sir Cecil wins The Kingfisher Ultra Derby Bangalore (Gr.1)
  • Desert God wins The Tetrasoft Inc. Bangalore St. Leger (Gr.2)
ONE MAN ARMY FLOORS RIVALS
KOLKATA
By Epsom Ace
Tuesday 10 Jul 2018
Trainer Vikash Jaiswal leading One Man Army (P Tejeshwar Up), winner of The Artesia Cup

Trainer Vikash Jaiswal’s six-year-old gelding One Man Army (Noverre –Ashka/ Sohna Stud) was piloted to a pillar-to-post victory by apprentice P Tejeshwar in the five-and-half furlong race for the Artesia Cup. Aided by a top-weight run on the opening day where he finished second to the winner Ascension, the speedy front-runner outpaced his far younger rivals in the higher class with the help of his apprentice jockey’s 4kg allowance.  In a nail biting blanket finish involving four horses, One Man Army edged out Amorous White, Tweedle Dee and Fortune Express.

 Visiting jockey S John drew a blank from his five mounts while CS Jodha and trainer Javed Khan combined fruitfully to fetch home a brace with Stelvio Pass and Xlite. Trainer Vijay Singh and apprentice Nikhil Naidu also had two winners apiece.

The curtain-raiser saw the Jasbir Singh stable land a fair gamble on five-year-old mare Blaze To Glory (Rebuttal-Colour Me Pretty/ Hazara Stud) with Rajender Singh astride – possibly one of the reasons why she was ignored in the ante-post market. After collaring speedy front-runner Amaranthus, Rajender did well to keep at bay Glamorous Glory.

The first of Javed Khan and CS Jodha’s winners was the fashionably bred three-year-old Stelvio Pass (China Visit-Analeah/ Usha Stud) who was a little unruly at the gates. Tracking Romantic Zeal till the distance post, he sailed away for a fairly easy triumph in The Hokaido Plate as the favourite Vrishank failed to concede 6kg to him despite his best efforts.

In the very next race, The Appolotina Handicap, another well-backed favourite bit the dust as Lancaster failed to overhaul Novikov despite the best efforts of Jodha. Competent apprentice Nikhil Naidu rode a powerful finish astride James Mckeown – trained Novikov (Holding Court – Dancer’s Fan) to edge out City Heights and Lancaster who looked menacing on either side of her.

Naidu completed his double astride Vijay Singh-trained Levante (Burden Of Proof-Belladeee/ Kunigal Stud) who raised a thunderous gallop in the closing stages of the True Colours Handicap to peg back Malana who was threatening to land the spoils.

It was good to see the centre’s two leading professionals - Vijay Singh and Christopher Alford – join hands to bring home the honours with the chestnut filly Akshaya (Varenar-Spiffy). She was give a chanceless ride by Alford to make the Sreepriya Handicap her own without much ado. Whether we will witness more of this once prolific partnership during the course of this season is left to be seen.

The curtain came down to the second day’s proceedings with Xlite (Sussex-Bling/ Pratap Stud) completing the double for the Javed-Jodha combo. There was some inspired betting on the filly and her odds shortened from 5/1 to 3/1. In fact she closed as the favourite in the tote. Jodha had her racing fourth till the bend before pulling away from the field for a comfortable victory.