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By Epsom Ace | 24 Aug 2016 | KOLKATA

Mr. Jitesh Saha & trainer Vikash Jaiswal leading Knighthood (Arshad Alam Up), winner of The Alibi Handicap

Punters enjoyed a roller-coaster afternoon at RCTC on Wednesday as three favourites obliged in a card of six races. Vikash Jaiswal’s Knighthood (Arazan-Dementieva) made amends for his failure in his last essay as he bagged the Alibi Handicap for Class II runners. Arshad Alam was alert to his task on this occasion as he remained in close contact with the front-runner Romantic Flow till the distance post before drawing away under the stick. The second favourite Meet The Legend seems to have improved his gate-manners but appears to have lost his urge to gallop. Whether his mentor can bring him back into the firing line is left to be seen. For the time being it seems that he has quite a load on his hands. Mystic Romance was seen to finish on strongly and could be worth following over a longer trip.

The curtain-raiser, The La Gitana Handicap, saw the Jasbir Singh stable open their account for the season with a lucrative gamble on bottom-weighted Leandro (Noverre-Tariyana/ Sohna Stud). The seven-year-old closed at 6/1 after opening at 8/1 and landed the spoils with low-weight jockey Nelson Maseyk in the saddle, after collaring Swan Lake in the straight. Another unfancied runner, Ace Amandus, ended up as runner-up. Ante-post favourite Cape Canaveral finished in the ruck.

Trainer Vijay Singh’s Adalicia (China Visit-Altimara/ Usha Stud) gave railbirds something to cheer about as she won without any jitters in the hands of S John. Following City Heights till the home turn, Adilicia pulled away thereafter without much ado.  The totalisator favourite Yokumoku finished a poor fourth while Bubbly Bellini had all the chances, but failed to make an impression on the front-runners. The reliable City Heights continues to run consistently and well and truly earn his oats.

Bharath Singh-trained Lochinvar (Admiralofthefleet-Loch Katrine/ Kunigal Stud) displayed a wonderful penchant for galloping up front when the colt made every post of the Avaglow Plate a winning one in Dashrath Singh’s hands.  The handsome looking colt was seen to gallop smoothly all the way and did not falter once when challenged by the likes of Fabienne and much fancied I Told You Know.  However, Dashrath did have to use the stick on the steed to keep him marching to glory in the final furlong.

Trainer Harvinder Singh Bath’s Shining Melody (Chevalier-She’s A Melody/ Ruia Stud) was the last of the three favourites to oblige as the sprinter was handled judiciously by the experienced Christopher Alford  to land the spoils in the Dominate Handicap. Annie Oakley played bridesmaid for the third time running and has been rather unfortunate to find on-better in every case. There was a bit of money on the top-weight Gimme Credit and the colt did rather well to finish a close third. Stablemate of the winner, Abigail, finished a close fourth and will be worth keeping an eye on.

This was the first run of the filly Zacara (Burden Of Proof-Callista/Kunigal Stud) under the care of his new metor James McKeown. Despite her rider Mudassar Nazar  carrying a kilogram overweight, she did rather well to overcome an outside draw and make The True Colours Handicap a start-to-finish affair. The Vikash Jaiswal stable were fancying their ward Jorell and though the latter posed a great threat near the distance post, Mudassar did not release the pressure on his filly till the wire to gain the day.