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By Epsom Ace | 15 Mar 2023 | KOLKATA

Trainer Aashay Doctor leading Awesome One (Akshay Kumar up), winner of The 1xbet Metropolitan

The Calcutta mid-week races lived up to expectations as favourites fell by the wayside in six of the seven races and bookies went home with satchels full. However, the main event – 1x Bet Metropolitan – saw the public choice Awesome One obliging in the hands of Akshay Kumar who otherwise gave punters a torrid time – for no fault of his. His mounts just didn't possess the wherewithal to overcome rivals. He would do well to analyse his mounts at this centre a little more closely in the future before accepting with them blindly as he has a large following here. Accepting rides on over-raced aged horses will only misguide punters. A rider of his outstanding calibre deserves much better. Barring Awesome One and Roka, punters didn’t get a run for their money on his other mounts.

Coming back to the Metropolitan, Monfortino set a good pace with Awesome One (Dean’s Kitten-Aim To Achieve) positioned last of five. After the turning for home, the Aashay Doctor ward took over the running smoothly and warded off Anastasia quite easily.

Trainer Patrick Quinn did well to pull off a high-priced double with Dubai Bay and Dubai Gold. The latter won the supporting event – The Bid For Gold Handicap, in a close contest from Mandolin. Though the Win Legend-Woodberg six-year-old was 2kg out of the scale in the higher class, his last run was eye-catching enough to prompt his mentor to take a shot – and he succeeded! Well done Patrick – good assessment of your ward’s potential. Low-weight competent rider Sujit Kumar Paswan rode a forward race to collar favourite Tycoonist in the straight and stave off a fast-finishing Mandolin. Though Dubai Bay (Win Legend -Twice Over) is known to prefer a longer trip, Quinn did well to try the chestnut over a sprint after several forward runs. Nikhil Naidu rode a forward race and quite easily outclassed Ahren and Indian Tiger – the duo being backed in the ring.

Arti Doctor-trained Sea Dragon (Perfect Stride-Queen Of Hearts) was available at 6/1 in the curtain-raiser and Hindu Singh rode a measured race to land the spoils.

The favourite Daddy’s Dream was never in it while Daniel David’s Lightinthesky ended up a creditable runner-up. David pulled off a stunning victory with Twenty-six Black (Tenth Star – ZahourAl Yasmeer) in The Queen’s Court Plate. Favourite Acantha ran a fforward race but had noting extra to offer when challenged by the ultimate winner and Jamaica. Sweet Legacy is one for the notebook.

Patrick Quinn-trained Thousand Words was installed as the favourite in the Misty Melody Handicap but had the misfortune of going miles wide. Apprentice Hasib Alam on Bharath Singh-trained Senturion (Smuggler’s Cove -  Rebecca) rode an opportunistic race to come up trumps after pegging back a fast finishing Morning Star.

The curtain came down on the afternoon’s proceedings with a thunderous three-way finish involving Mandela, Banksy and Roka in the mile race for the Winged Tiger Handicap. Any one of the three may have pocketed the race but the ultimate prize went to Bath-trained Banksy (Roderic O’connor –Amazing Ray) with Neeraj Rawal up.