SREEKANTH PROVIDES SOLACE TO REGULAR RAILBIRDS
Mr. Salomon N Benveniste & trainer D M David leading Rembrandt (B Sreekanth Up), winner of The Rohan Lifescapes Cup
On an afternoon when visitors from all walks of life thronged the stands to get a glimpse of their favourite thoroughbreds, ‘Lady Luck’ played truant and most of them burnt their fingers. However, there was some solace for followers of rider B Sreekanth as he notched up a lucrative double with Cynosure (2/1) and Rembrandt (11/4).
The popular rider’s first winner was Cynosure (Mull of Kintyre-Miss Discreet) in the Sans Craintes Cup. The filly was the first to jump out but held in check as Conquest called the shots. After entering the straight, Sreekanth gave the Daniel David ward a free rein and she pulled away without much ado with Luck Luck Lucky finishing on to occupy the runner-up berth.
David and Sreekanth combined once again to bring home the bacon with Rembrandt (Royal Kingdom-Elite Society) in the Rohan Lifescapes Cup. Once again Sreekanth handled his mount judiciously as he permitted Stiling Veil to set the pace till just after the turn where he shot the grey ahead. However, the gelding does have a tendency to shorten his strides once he sees daylight and Sreekanth had to use the stick to keep him going and keep at bay the fast-finishing Combined Operation. The favourite for the race Hills Of The Moon was slow off the blocks and graced the wrong end of the field.
The two divisions of the Hoverplane Cup saw favourites fall and the beginning of the rout. In the lower division, it was the top-weight Alacrity who got the better of fancied runners Piaffe and Rappadan Glory. The Vikash Jaiswal-trained seven-year-old was ridden intelligently by Imran Chisty who did not hurry him unnecessarily in the early part of the race but took over the running from Petaloid in the straight and won quite comfortably from Hurricane Andrew who had lost some ground at the start.
In the upper division, Bath-schooled Secret Gloss closed as the second favourite at 4/1 while Fankaar was backed down. As the gates opened, Regal Bearing veered out and refused to gallop. As is his wont, Don Magnifico shot into the lead with Focus, Secret Gloss and Ijlal in tow. Once the ‘Don’ started to shorten his strides, apprentice Tamang managed to coax a winning gallop out of Secret Gloss and she won in commanding fashion.
Trainer Patrick Quinn was having a lean time and it was not surprising that he tried both his runners Sreedhan and Fireback in the six-furlong sprint for the In The Spotlight Cup. Martin Dwyer was on a start-to-finish mission on the former while Sreedhan was third along the rails. The two fancied runners Iverness and Charlemagne were racing prominently till the straight but retired from the fray as Quinn’s pair was a little too pacy for them. It was left to the bottom-weight Wild Card from Arti Doctor’s yard to gradually move up from the 14th draw and issue a challenge. It was to Kamlesh’s credit that he timed his run to perfection and won in a blanket finish from Quinn's duo.
The withdrawal of Incanto Bliss in the final race of the week-end saw top-weight Snow Princess backed to the exclusion of all others. Isle of Capri made things easy for the large field as she set a scorching pace with Manhattan Rain and Snow Princess behind. Once the field entered the straight Haddock joined the fray and it seemed a two way battle with the favourite, with Legends Order gaining some ground along the rails. However, Trevor Patel had other ideas on the Bharath Singh-trained Serena (Burden Of Proof-Loch Katrine)as she raised a good gallop opposite the grandstand on the wide outside to get the better of her rivals close home.