NOBU PULLS OFF A CALCULATED WIN
Mr C K Pasari & Miss D Pasari leading Nobu (Neeraj Rawal Up), winner of The Rasalas Handicap
Amazingly available at nourishing odds of 8/1, James Mc Keown’s filly Nobu (Burden Of Proof-Soviet Lake) was flawlessly piloted by low-weight visiting jockey Neeraj Rawal to bag the Rasalas Handicap at RCTC on Sunday. Lying in mid-division till the half-way mark, the game sprinter gradually moved to be in striking position at the top of the straight. Once into the home stretch, a three-way contest for supremacy ensued, the other two runners being the tote favourite Gryffindor and Naumee. Neeraj never released the pressure on his mount and at the wire , he spared two lengths to the runner-up Naumee. The ante-post favourite Midnight Star was never in it.
Trainer Vijay Singh’s Devotion (Top Class – Temple Bells) caused a major upset when she edged out the piping hot public fancy Lumos at the all important end in the Allaying Handicap. Winning jockey Nikhil Naidu was seen at his purposeful best and seems certain of wearing the ‘champion jockey’ sash this season. Lumos was available at 85/100 and considered to be visiting jockey Trevor Patel’s best mount of three. He would have probably pulled it off had the young Naidu not persevered with his mount in such vigorous manner.
The afternoon commenced happily enough for railbirds as Vikash Jaiswal-trained Hail The Queen (Arabian Gulf-Thundering Power) was backed down to 14/10 and PS Chouhan made no mistake. Allowing Dark Angel and Modification a free run till the distance post Chouhan urged his mount in the straight to sail past the front-runners. After lying in the rear of the field for most part, Power Of Freedom finished a good third.
Trainer Vijay Singh’s Romanoff (Air Support-Jersey Girl) made every post a winning one in the race for the Star Precision Handicap. The favourite Oak Brook did move up menacingly in the final furlong but once again it was the calm and collected Naidu who did the needful – never taking his eye off the winning post while negotiating the shortest distance home. Heavily fancied Viareggio rather unfortunately burst her blood vessel.
The two divisions of the Jujube Handicap saw gambles being landed in the form of Praise Her Gaze and Perfect Balance – both from the stable of trainer Manvendra Singh. The former bagged the upper division after squeezing out the favourite Romantic Lass at the start. Young apprentice Rupal Singh atop the public choice obviously has a lot to learn about ‘gate manners’ of rival camps. Apprentice Vikram on Praise Her Gaze (Express Wish-Foot Tapper) made no mistake from the outset, taking the shortest route home. An elated Afzal Khan astride Perfect Balance (Tariq-Balance De Power) did well to stave off a strong challenge from Stunner who may have landed the spoils with more forceful handling.
The curtain came down with a dismal performance from the favourite Capo De Capi who was seen to gallop in snatches. Vikash Jaiswal’s Jester completed a fabulous hat-trick with PS Chouhan in the saddle on the last two occasions. Stablemate El Cid was a worthy runner-up.