- india's first & foremost horse racing portal


By Epsom Ace | 07 Feb 2015 | KOLKATA

Trainer Vijay Singh leading Acrider (Dashrath Singh Up), winner of The Queen Elizabeth II Cup (Gr.3)

It was a thrilling Saturday afternoon at the RCTC  as several close finishes brought visitors to the edge of their seats. However, none could match the three-way blanket finish of the afternoon’s feature event The Queen Elizabeth II Cup comprising the Vijay Singh-trained pair of Ademaro and Acrider, and Ocean And Beyond. That the race was pocketed by the 5/2 favourite Acrider (Placerville-Saffron Dancer/ Poonawalla Stud) is a tribute to both the colt and his low-weight jockey Dashrath Singh. While the four-year-old showed great fighting spirit and staying ability, Dashrath displayed a wealth of experience to put away his whip and ride out his mount hands and heels in the final 50 metres. It was also a superb show from the eight-year-old Ocean And Beyond who did everything right and yet went down to a younger horse who was receiving as much as 13kg from him. As for Ademaro, he set the early pace and then let stablemate Aptness take over at the mile marker. The five-year-old responded to C. Alford’s urgings at the distance post and finished a flying third. Had Montezuma not disturbed his start-to-finish attempt, he may well have had another story to tell.

Acrider was maintained in a handy fourth spot while Aptness took over the running and then brought to the helm of affairs as heads turned for home. But the big-hearted eight-year-old had a surprise in store as he moved with giant strides in the straight despite the crushing impost. For a brief moment it seemed as if Chisty had the race in the bag but it was not to be as Dashrath did not give up the fight till the very end and earned rich applause from his innumerable supporters for his perseverance.

The afternoon started with a bit of a disappointment as on-money favourite Soviet Dancer was withdrawn for the second consecutive time. Second favourite Wahaca in the MB Medhora Cup drifted out in the straight and spoilt his chances while Sandeep Rajput on Errol Bhungard-schooled Supreme Ruler (Abbeyside-Cherry Blue) pulled off an opportunistic victory.

Arti doctor-trained Climber (Arabian Gulf-Bushfire/ Manjri Stud) lifted the Ireland Cup without any hiccups as the on-money public choice made every post a winning one in the hands of leading jockey Kamlesh. Arti and Kamlesh completed a brace when their filly Waveafterwave (Arabian Gulf-Royal Liverpool / Manjri Stud) displayed classic potential to bag the Acorn Stakes on tight reins from Astral Dancer.

Errol too completed a brace when his filly Marilyn put her best foot forward to win the French Cup at every post in t he hands of Md Islam. Chhundu was undoubtedly the best of the rest.

It would be fair to say that jockey Imran Chisty out-schemed C.Alford in the race for the Philippines Cup. Both Major Colours and Chimeric went hammer and tongs in the final furlong but by stealing a march over his rival, Chisty on Major Colours (Arabian Gulf-Trace Of Magic/ Manjri Stud) always held the advantage. It was trainer Farley Rodrigues second win after returning to the arena and he deserved every bit of the success.

The curtain came down with C.Alford notching up his only win of the day astride Manvendra Singh-trained Elusive Hurricane (Hurricane State – Adralyn/ Hargobind Stud) who got the better of the favourite Lanner Falcon in a hard-fought race. The disappointment was the light-framed gelding Treasure Island who may be running a little too often for his liking.