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By Epsom Ace | 26 Dec 2015 | KOLKATA

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

The 17/10 public choice Evesham (Tariq – Everybody Counts/ Equus Stud) proved beyond doubt that he is a consistent performer when jockey Christopher Alford brought him with a smooth run along the rails in the seven-furlong race for The Army Cup, to peg back Pentagram who was threatening to pull it off near the distance post. It brought back memories of Alford’s brilliant ride on Mr Gorgeous to down Acclaimed in the Gold Cup. The disappointment in The Army Cup was Agatta who was second in demand but never in contention. It was rank outsider Confidence who displayed remarkable improvement and would have in fact been nearer at the finish had he not lost three lengths at the start. However, it is unlikely that he could have got the better of the winner on this showing. The best horse undoubtedly won. It is another feather in the cap for trainer Vijay Singh who has brought the four-year-old a long way in a year, from the start of his career.

Vijay and C.Alford combined fruitfully to notch up their first winner of the day with Abbeville (Abbeyside-Aymaras) when the colt lifted the PC Lall Of Nazargunj Memorial Cup while trouncing the other two-year-old maidens. It seems the ante-post favourite Ahlan may prefer sharp scurries. The successful jockey completed his treble with Bath-trained Anastasio (Varenar – You Say I Say) who made every post of the PP Ginwala Junior Memorial Cup a winning one. He is a speedy sort who loves to run up front.

The seven-furlong race for The General AS Vaidya Memorial Cup saw Manvendra Singh-trained Evera putting her best foot forward.  Sired by Glory Of Dancer out of Blue Vision (Kehelan Stud), Evera had to be cleverly ridden by Imran Chisty in the final furlong to keep at bay the favourite Ristretto who seemed to be gaining on her. Chisty tapped his mount a couple of times before riding her out hands-and-heels.

The Dasho Lhendup Dorji Memorial Cup was again a seven-furlong affair which saw the well-backed favourite Make Way For Me (Mizzen Mast – My Melody Maker) challenge the front-running Arminius strongly near the distance post and win close home. The Javed Khan ward was ridden by Shailesh Shinde to notch up his second win in as many runs at this centre.

The first and last races of the afternoon saw horses at high odds hoisting  the winning flag. Manvendra Singh-trained Royal Brute (Oath-Trillenium/ Pratap Stud) bagged the mile race for The Mr Mauritius Handicap after a keen tussle with Zegna being piloted by South India’s in-form jockey S. John. The favourite Desert Fox was unimpressive and seems far from his best. As for Kanha, the colt’s gate manners proved a disaster once again as he left all his chances in the starting stalls.

Trainer Deepak Karki led in his first winner of the season when his Footloose (European – Sacred Dreams/) made every post of the sprint for the Tokaido Express Handicap a winning one and put paid to the pretensions of the hot favourite Duke Of Earl. Other front-runner like Ivy and Alicante allowed Footloose too long a lead. Apprentice Munna Alam kept going though his mount drifted out in the straight.