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By Epsom Ace | 24 Nov 2015 | KOLKATA

Trainer Vijay Singh leading Acrider (Shailesh Shinde Up), winner of The Madras Race Club Cup

It was split honours for punters and bookmakers at the RCTC on Tuesday as barring two hot favourites (Astral Dancer and Acrider), the other four races saw horses win at lucrative odds. In The Madras Race Club Cup, trainer Vijay Singh used Fly Like The Wind to pace for Acrider (Placerville-Saffron Dancer/ Poonawalla Stud) who took over the running in the straight. Though the colt drifted out a little and galloped down the middle of the track, he didn’t require much encouragement from the saddle to keep him going. A single tap from Shailesh Shinde’s whalebone was sufficient to let him know the race was still on. Dashrath Singh switched Sourisha to the inside but the eventual winner was travelling too well and the former had to be content with the runner-up berth.

Trainer Danield David made a grand re-entry into the fray after serving out his period of suspension. He led in a double featuring Earnest Ruler in the curtain-raiser and Duke of Earl in the very next event. The odds board in the opener, The Coppelia Handicap, was the busiest of the day as there was continuous chopping and changing with the final odds showing Gleich-trained Zurvan being backed down from 4/1 to 18/10 as the favourite. Ante-post favourite Earnest Ruler increased from 16/10 to 7/2. In a race, run at a tepid pace, front-running Ace Bid was collared by top-weight Sanjit who looked as if he might pull it off. However, Surjeet did well to bring Earnest Ruler (Rebuttal-Farha/ Nakul Stud) through a gap down the middle to land the spoils close home. Mizuno had to be taken wide by Dashrath as there was no room for a passage on the inside and finished on strongly but too late.

David’s next winner was the 7/1 shot Duke Of Earl who was neglected by most form-workers. It seems the member of royalty sired by Noverro out of Sharatila (Sohna Stud) was not happy to be mentored by proxy-workers and waited patiently all these months for the ‘boss’. Good for him! Piloted by apprentice Azharuddin, the colt collared runaway Winning Fortune after  the distance post. The latter is one for the notebook. The closing favourite Maharaana did everything that a favourite is not supposed to do,  which prompted the Stewards to open an Enquiry.

Trainer Manvendra Singh opened his account for the season with Astral Dancer ( Glory Of Dancer – Astrodance/ Kehelan Stud) who was ridden confidently by apprentice Hindu Singh. The youngster was unfazed by the considerable lead taken by Crixus and did well to choose the rails for an easy passage to the winning post, after lying a boxed-in fifth till the turning for home. It was encouraging to see that the apprentice rode out his mount hands-and-heels in the straight. The disappointment in the race was the second favourite Warpath who ended up a tame third. The jockey was fined by the Stipes for indifferent handling.

Bharath Singh-trained Atheist (Stern Opinion-Ching Mai) found her galloping shoes at the right moment as she was backed down quietly to 3/1. Dashrath Singh did not take any chances and brought her on the outside from the 10th draw to collar front-runners Temple Run and Oath Of Valour. Lovely Magic was lying fourth or fifth for most part and dropped her rider (Surjeet) in the straight.

The win of Bath-trained Dino (Declaration Of War –Ummagumma/ Lingwood Stud) was a bit of a surprise in the mile race for The Analogy Handicap. The three-year-old was a fair fourth in his last effort but had to overcome several others from his age group on this occasion. He enjoyed setting the pace and kicking on in the straight – a liberty which he was not permitted in his previous effort. Bold As Brass was always in touch but found Dino out of her reach in the straight. The favourite Murlough Bay seemed out of her depth.