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By Epsom Ace | 14 Aug 2013 | KOLKATA

Miss. Deepshikha Pasari & Mr C K Pasari receiving The Sweet Senorita Cup from Mr H P Ramchandani Steward of RCTC

Two purposeful pieces of horsemanship by winter champion Shailesh Shinde ensured a brace for him while the man who got the rough end of the stick on both occasions was none other than visiting rider PS Chouhan.

Shinde opened his account with Blue Lightning (China Visit-Blue Ridge) in the Mountain Lily Handicap. The bay filly from Vijay Singh’s yard carried 62kg with aplomb despite this being her maiden start. She quite easily held off her nearest rival Carnival Point (Chouhan up). Iron Lady was always there without appearing to be a serious threat to the winner at any point and will be worth keeping an eye on. As suggested by her breeding and earlier runs, front-running Inspirational would seem to prefer a shorter trip.

Shailesh Shinde completed his double in the afternoon’s main event, The Sweet Senorita Cup, when he egged on the grey Malpensa (Hurricane State-Northern Frontier) to a fluent victory over pace-setter Rising Power and the favourite Snow Princess (Chouhan up). When Malpensa made his move at the top of the straight, the ‘Princess’ was all tied up in knots and drifted out in the straight under pressure. She obviously had a problem meeting this class, what with a penalty of 10.5kg for her last winter outing victory  plus a one kg disadvantage on the scale, not to mention a half kg over-weight. The 5kg scale-drop was common to the field and did not help her in anyway.

The afternoon commenced with Kishore Kadam winning a hard-fought race on Silken Senorita (Hymn-Expert Opinion) to get the better of Shivalik Shakti. Barring the aged Apyrous, the rest were never in it. Thus, the five-year-old from Manvendra Singh’s yard has earned quite a bit of stake-money this monsoon, having finished runner-up twice earlier.

The withdrawal of the ante-post favourite Promises To Keep for her poor gate-manners resulted in the Accuser Handicap being thrown wide open. Apprentice Munna Alam remained calm astride Vijay Singh-trained Knight Of Romance (China Visit-Golden Commission) to romp home by five lengths from the struggling pair of Vaani and Storm Boy. His triumph was a feather in the cap for Vijay as he had failed repeatedly as a youngster, albeit in far stronger fields.

Like Vijay Singh, Manvendra Singh too completed a brace when his top-weight Haddock (Ace-Bold Bird) mauled the opposition in the race for the Night Jar Handicap. Jockey Trevor Patel rode a flawless race atop the on-money public choice while shouldering top-weight. He gradually improved his mount’s position while the front-runners changed lead and made his move at the top of the straight to bid au revoir.

Much was expected from Leandro who had got the better of youngsters Smooth As Silk and Words earlier in the season but he found no answer when Christopher Gleich’s Knight Of The Realm made his move in the straight. Melvyn Maseyk timed his run to perfection. The horse had returned with a respiratory problem last time out and it was to Gleich’s credit that he got him in winning condition within a month.

The curtain came down with somewhat of a scrappy race. The piping hot ante-post favourite Exxin was withdrawn, throwing open the gates to all kinds of ‘manipulations’, particularly stables with multiple entries. No wonder, the cry for ‘bracketing’ is getting louder in western India. At this centre, forget about the ‘googlie’, it might be the ‘chinaman’ one would have to worry about. Form horse Rithambhra dead-heated for first place with the friendless Songwriter from David’s yard where the two fancied runners Passport and Don Magnifico ended in the ruck.