RODRIGUES ‘RISES ABOVE’ RIVALS WITH ‘ROYAL HONOUR’
Mr Chiranjit Basu & trainer P Quinn (deputizing trainer Rodrigues Jr) leading Royal Honour (Zarar Alam Up), winner of The Mysore Race Club Cup
Trainer Farley Rodrigues, who was hospitalised a few days ago with a cardiac ailment, made a formidable impact on the track despite being absent. Patrick Quinn, deputizing for the experienced schooler, registered a high-priced double (Rise Above and Royal Honour) to bring some end-of-season joy to the Rodrigues household.
The main event, The Mysore Race Club Cup, Saw Double Do shoot out like a scalded cat from an inside draw and try to make every post a winning one. The speedster would have succeeded had it not been for the six-year-old Royal Honour (apprentice Zarar Alam astride) who raised a late gallop in the straight. He thus proved that his earlier win over the same sprinter in the Religare Private Wealth Cup was no flash in the pan. This property of Mr Chiranjit Basu was available at 4/1 while owner-mate Macedonian (C.Alford atop) closed as the favourite. In fact, had Macedonian not marred Double Do’s free-running style up front, the result may well have been reversed. It was a clever ploy and it paid rich dividends. Credit must also be given to the apprentice rider for timing his run to perfection.
Earlier, Rodrigues recorded his first win of the day with Rise Above. Jockey Surjeet Singh rode a forward race on the six-year-old who is normally seen to move up from the rear. Allowing Highly Explosive to show the way till the turning for home, Surjeet urged his mount to take up the running and stay there all the way. Fancied runners Tropical Blue and Massachusettes made their move late. While the former is somewhat of a dud, the latter moved up to attain the runner-up berth, heavily under Shailesh Shinde’s stick.
Shinde however enjoyed success astride the filly Aviette who thus won her fifth consecutive race of the season. The Vijay Singh ward by Unbridled Energy out of Charlotte Alexander made the mile race for the Artemis Handicap a start-to-finish affair, albeit in a three-horse field. As per the script, Vijay completed his brace with Scartella in the lower division of the Arisen Handicap. The filly by Noverre out of Saabikah had won effortlessly last time out and it was evident after that she would win again when placed judiciously. Christopher Alford had her a handy second while Asian Rocket called the early shots on sufferance. Once shown daylight, the filly galloped away to an easy triumph, though she did change her legs and ran a little green in the straight, before Alford took corrective measures
The curtain-raiser saw a surprise package in the form of aged Apyrous from Christopher Gleich’s yard. Intentionally or otherwise, he was a little slow off the mark and this may have actually aided jockey Melvyn Maseyk in gaining the day. The natural front-runner’s energy was thus conserved for a late burst and he simply sailed past the course favourite Astatki in the straight. Sreeyantra was a creditable runner-up. Being an experienced horse, he responded well, while most front-runnerss would shy away.
Trainer Vikash Jaiswal landed a fine gamble with Alacrity in the Twilight Lady Handicap. Sandeep Rajput rode a measured race while the course favourite Ardelia ran all over the country side once again before finishing a tame second. The other fancied runner Words had all the chances but was beaten fair and square.
Bharath Singh’s Accurate showed that when in fine fettle, the seven-year-old is still a cut above the rest in Class III company. Able apprentice Azharuddin was a wise choice and he rode a forward, flawless race to land the spoils. Trevor’s hard riding gained the runner-up berth for course favourite Leandro.
The curtain came down with Shafiq Khan’s Meekathara making every post of the Easter Parade Handicap a winning one. The favourite Solitary Eagle ( a full brother to Shaktiroop) was outpaced by the winner once apprentice Javed decided to give the colt a free rein.