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By Epsom Ace | 26 Dec 2014 | KOLKATA

Trainer Vijay Singh leading Dandified (C Alford Up), winner of The Army Cup

The long and cold Boxing Day afternoon at the Calcutta racecourse witnessed a rollercoaster ride for most punters as the nine-event card was peppered with quite a few winners at long shots. The highlight of the afternoon, The Army Cup, saw the mighty Dandified from Vijay Singh’s yard, add yet another feather to his already well-plumed hat. The big-boned bay by Rebuttal out of Dandoona (Hazara Stud) was guided to his umpteenth victory by saddle artiste Christopher Alford. Going over his pet distance of seven furlongs, the six-year-old proved once again that the opposition (whether local or migrant) are easy meat for him. Christopher Alford’s modus operandi was virtually the same as when the horse won last time out. He had him racing  in seventh position as Mister India set a scorching pace. Alford and Dandified took the turning seven wide and then accelerated brilliantly to sail past the front-runner after the distance post. The minor placings were filled in by the Arti Doctor pair of Multimagic and Shaktiroop.

Trainer Arti Doctor too proved a point during the afternoon as she notched up a lucrative treble with three well prepared runners in Waveafterwave, Solitary Eagle and Lanner Falcon. The first two named were skilfully piloted by Kamlesh while the last named was given a sure-shot ride by Shrikant Kamble.

The first of these, Waveafterwave (Arabian Gulf-Royal Liverpool/Manjri Stud) displayed remarkable acceleration in the Retained Asset Plate to come from the rear of the 13-horse field and get the better of Astral Dancer and Sthenios. Kamlesh, who rode the two-year-old filly, completed a brace  when he lifted the General AS Vaidya Memorial Cup while astride Solitary Eagle – a full brother to Shaktiroop (Noverre-Ridiyza/ Sohna Stud), who seemed to respond well to the blinkers he was sporting for the first time.

Arti completed her treble with Lanner Falcon (Chevalier-Complimentary/  Ruia Stud) in the lower division of the Vijay Sicka Memorial Cup, who was taken to the helm of affairs from an inside draw by jockey Kamble and he stayed there all the way despite being disturbed by Secret Builder for the early part. The upper division of The Vijay Sicka Memorial Cup was picked up by the piping hot favourite Lancer’s Dream (Chevalier-Seriously Nicole/ Ruia Stud) who was piloted by Trevor Patel. The disappointment in the race was the favourite Sreeputra who ended up a poor third.

The two divisions of the Flying Saucer Handicap, which were ‘No Whip’ races,  saw unfancied runners occupy the winner’s berth. While Vikash Jaiswal-trained rank outsider Eternal Instinct (Ivory Touch-Fire N Desire (Mare Haven Stud), with leap-year jockey B Gurang astride, got the better of fancied stablemate I Me N Myself at the post to bag the upper division, the lower division went to Christopher Gleich-trained Princess Thea (Shrikant Kamble up) who edged out Sweet Suspense at the wire. The winner is a filly by Rambus out of Baby Don.

 The two front-line candidates El Cid and Scuderia fought tooth and nail for the Fleet Indian Cup with the latter prevailing. The Bharath Singh runner by Burden Of Proof out of Super Model(Kunigal Stud) was hard ridden by Sandesh to land the spoils.

The PP Ginwala Memorial Cup saw Vijay Singh-schooled Alondra (Noverre-Maratha Princess/ Sohna Stud) put her best foot forward and bring home the bacon in the hands of apprentice Nikhil who made it a start-to-finish affair. The favourite Fire Falcon followed her all the way.