Bharath Singh Gets a Clear Mandate
Trainer Bharath Singh receiving The Alibi Cup from Mr. R. Gowli
When it comes to the day’s feature, it is always a risk to ignore a Bharath Singh runner at Calcutta. Though so early in the season, Bharath’s Clear Mandate (Burden Of Proof-Clear Cut) was turned out in the pink of condition and made mincemeat of his seven rivals in the sprint for the Alibi Cup. The property of Dr. Vijay Mallya was given a flawless ride by Shailesh Shinde who thus completed a brace of wins, having won the opening event astride Roxy.
Highland Music hugged the rails on expected lines, but found no answer to the quickfire acceleration of Clear Mandate at the top of the straight. The three fancied runners – Ocean Legacy, Record Breaker and Must Be Magic were disappointing to say the least. While Ocean Legacy was beaten fair and square in the straight, the ‘also ran’ status of Record Breaker left much to be desired. The top-weight was utterly disinterested from the outset and it would be best for form-workers to ignore this run.
Though Bharath completed a double in the day’s final event with Fairy Girl, he started on the wrong foot, when his heavily backed Saddle Chief failed to deliver. The gamble on the runner may have been a trifle pre-mature as he was at the top of the scale in the lowest class. One lung-opener may have done the trick for his owners. Nevertheless, the five-year-old will be worth keeping an eye on in the near future. Jockey Shailesh Shinde brought Javed Khan-trained Roxy (Classic Tale- Eternal Babe) with a fluent run in the straight and warded off a late challenge from Ebony Princess. The disappointment in the race was Fascinating who was slowly out of the gates and never posed a threat.
Barring Clear Mandate and Roxy, the rest of the winners in the seven-event card were all first favourites to make it a happy afternoon for punters.
Daniel David’s Songwriter (Ajaad-Lyricist) closed as the 10-to-8-on favourite in the Arcade Handicap and gave visiting jockey Sreekanth his only winner of the day. Tracking runaway Successful till the straight, the filly displayed fine acceleration to collar the front-runner and draw away in the final 100 metres.
Jabir Singh’s Poker Princess (Senure-Senorita Rose) opened at 6/4 but a flood of money on him soon shortened his odds to 10-to-7-on. He won as he liked with jockey Mohit Singh repeatedly looking back from the top of the straight.
It was a similar story with the three-year-old Kuan Yin (Steinbeck-Star Of China) from Arti Doctor’s yard. Jockey Christopher Alford enjoyed an armchair ride to open his account for the season.
Arti completed a double with Silken Dancer (Glory Of Dancer-Silken Magic) in the very next race. The top-weight with Shezad Khan astride tracked front-running Aston Martin till the top of the straight and then drew away from the field.
The curtain came down on the afternoon with Fairy Girl (Hymn-Activa) getting the better of Elusive Thought close home. The withdrawal of Alicante came as a surprise after she reached the starting gates. The trainer of the latter was however unhappy as he felt the filly had been exposed to the betting public as she was backed down from 6/1 to 5/2. But then, that’s all a part of the game! After all – the name of the game is ‘winning’ – whether short-priced or otherwise.