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By Epsom Ace | 03 Sep 2016 | KOLKATA

Mr. Subir Dasgupta, Mr. Anil Gupta & trainer Vijay Singh leading Dysnomia (Suraj Narredu Up), winner of The Calcutta Fillies Trial Stakes

A heavy shower, dark clouds and murky weather was not exactly the most conducive weather to run the season’s first classic, but the six-horse race was pretty well contested by three outstation riders, S John (on piping hot favourite Interstellar), PS Chouhan (on Xotica) and Suraj Narredu (on Dysnomia).

It is a fact that money can’t always fetch a race. Though money poured in on Javed Khan-trained Xotica and she closed as the close second favourite at 2/1, she failed narrowly in her quest to pick up the season’s first plum – The Calcutta Fillies Trial Stakes. The race was pocketed by 6/1 shot Dysnomia (Rebuttal-A La Votre/ Hazara Stud) from Vijay Singh’s yard with Suraj Narredu in the saddle. It would be fair to say that Narredu positioned his mount in a more convenient position and this was largely responsible for his success on the short Kolkata straight. The one-and-half lengths or so advantage that he held over Xotica was good enough to see him through as the latter diminished the margin of victory to a neck, after being compelled to take the turn four wide. The public choice Interstellar took the shortest route home but was found wanting when asked for an effort to accelerate in the straight. She was involved in a very hard-fought encounter  in her last essay two weeks ago and this may have taken a toll on her. 

Suraj Narredu completed his brace in the very next race when his mount Satellite (Burden Of Proof-Set Alight/ Kunigal Stud) from S Attaolahi’s yard won the Calcutta Monsoon Sprint in great style. The half-money favourite Evesham was fortunate to get a broad opening along the rails (as front-running Make Way For Me took both Gentle Knowledge and Satellite wide) but the champion sprinter failed to accelerate after the distance post. He finished a poor last of four and his mentor Vijay Singh attributed his lacklustre performance to the ‘underfoot conditions’. However, it may be mentioned here that the track was holding up rather well despite the continuous drizzle after the heavy morning shower. The proof of the pudding lies in the eating and the race-timings of the day speak for themselves. It is quite possible that Evesham may improve after this run as no ailment was noticed after the race.

The afternoon commenced with 5/1 shot Land Of Glory (Tariq-Balance De Power/ Equus Stud) producing an encore in the hands Shailesh Shinde. The Daniel David ward was one of the fastest out of the gates and followed front-running Footloose till the top of the straight before pulling away. Much hyped Sparklet came back bleeding from her nostril.

Vijay Singh-trained Speedy Gonsalves (S John up) too defied his penalty to record a facile win over his stablemate Adzukis which was the hot favourite. The established miler  by Win Legend out of Ray Of Sunshine/ Dashmesh Stud was  possibly one of the best  tuned horses on show on this day. He seemed to know his job all too well and all the reliable John had to do was show him daylight after running a close last till the bend. Thereafter, a couple of taps saw him drawing away from the favourite.

Trainer Vijay Singh’s second winner was the on-money favourite Adrestia (Multidimensional-Gloriosa/ Usha Stud) who won the Elistano Handicap as she liked. Jockey Christopher Alford, who lost out on Adzukis, found some consolation atop the filly as she won effortlessly by a widening margin over pace-setting stablemate Aculeus. Alford rode her out hands and heels in a manner that would be a treat to watch for upcoming young apprentices. 

Jockey S John too rode a copybook race astride the favourite Zephir (Rebuttal-Zachetta’s Girl/ Hazara Stud) to land the spoils in the 2000 metres race for the Aerona Cup. The best of the rest was pace-setter Auberon. The disappointment in the race was Cool Conqueror who was heavily under the whip and ended up in the rear of the field.

The curtain came down with Rustler (Stardan-Pretty N Fast/ Rolli Stud) making amends for his last failure where he was given a poor ride. The three year old has been entrusted to Javed Khan after that failure and it was also some consolation for the trainer after the narrow defeat of his sprinting star Xotica. Nirmal Jodha took no chances and took the longest route home in a field of eight. He nevertheless won as he liked without any trouble whatsoever.