A Script that Doused Fire Within
There’s no substitute for class, goes the age old adage and that was proved beyond any reasonable doubt at the Calcutta racecourse on Saturday as the hibernating Ascriptive reproduced his morning track work to lift the Bahrain Trophy with a degree of comfort. The favourite Galashiels was running after nearly three months, without sufficient preparation, and never appeared to be in the hunt. The colt in fact finished dead last for all practical purpose. The sole horse behind him, Chagall, burst his blood vessels.
It was the second favourite Fire Within, with Christopher Alford astride, who set a scorching pace for the six-furlong sprint despite a crushing impost and appeared to have the race in the bag at the distance post. But he obviously did not reckon with the quietly fancied Ascriptive – who was running after nearly 18 months – that is after last winning the Monsoon Derby of 2008. To top it all, he was being piloted by none other than rookie Ajoy Roy.
In spite of losing a little ground at the start, Ajoy managed to get his act together in time to raise a rousing winning gallop in the straight. Kudos to the team for a stunning, well calculated coup. It was encouraging to see the management taking keen interest in the stiping as the senior steward joined the stipes in the open-hooded vehicle for this race.
It was a fairly quiet afternoon for the stipes barring a fine of Rs 5,000 imposed on young apprentice Pintu Das who was unable to get the best out of the much fancied Bay Magic in the Glen Muick Handicap. He was instructed to go to the front of the field but failed miserably in his quest to do so. The mare raced in the second-last slot till the straight while Smiles and Lightnin Blues called the shots. Top-weight Mystic Force was piloted fluently by apprentice Md Sameer to a brilliant victory over Lightnin Blues. The elated rider displayed his joy as he crossed the winning post. Mystic Force was Vikash Jaiswal’s first winner of the day. We will come to his second winner a little later.
The afternoon commenced with the Daniel David – A Imran Khan combination striking gold with Glorious Lady. The filly staved off first-outing colt Credit Swap without too much trouble. David and Imran Khan completed their brace when the heavily backed King Of Dance came with a spectacular gallop on the wide outside to get the better of Generous Thought who was ridden flawlessly by C. Alford. He kept his mount covered up beautifully as the filly inevitably hangs out in the straight. However, after showing some promise at the distance post, she succumbed to a superior horse on the day.
Silver Fox from Vijay Singh’s yard lifted the King’s Academy Cup after getting the better of Nitrous in the straight. The winner’s stablemate Validate set a scorching pace till the home turn and opened a huge lead. That ploy may have upset the naturally front-running Nitrous. Apprentice Mahesh rode a regulation finish astride the ‘Fox’.
Vikash Jaiswal combined with brother Vinay to pull off a superb coup with Brave Move in the afternoon’s final event, The Loch Clieveden Handicap. After changing house, Brave Move has improved with every run. It is to Vikash’s credit that the gelding came good over the metric mile after finding one better on the last two occasions.
Fortune also favoured the ‘Brave’ as he held on from the piping hot favourite Knight Valiant by the proverbial whisker and then had to win it a second time in The Stewards Room.