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By Epsom Ace | 10 Feb 2024 | KOLKATA

Trainer Aashay Doctor leading Third Avenue (Yash Narredu up), winner of The Queen Elizabeth II Memorial Cup (Gr.3)

The Queen Elizabeth II Memorial Cup (Grade III) run over 2800 metres was lifted by Arti Doctor-trained Third Avenue (Ampere-Avant Garde) quite convincingly despite a bit of pre-race and post -race drama that had local railbirds on tenterhooks for quite some time, The six-horse field saw the withdrawal of much fancied Ramiel at the starting stalls after he  became extremely unruly. After the flag-off, public choice Pissarro set a cracking pace followed by Euphoric, Trevalius, Third Avenue and Stockbridge. The order remained virtually the same till heads turned for home. Thereafter, both Trevalius and Third Avenue moved up simultaneously to challenge the front-runner. The former was 8kg better than the latter for a one length verdict in the Indian Champion Cup. Despite this, Third Avenue was moving the better of the two. It’s Trevalius’s aversion to ‘daylight’ that cost him the race. It is the animal’s attitude rather than his ability which made him falter at a crucial juncture. Yash Narredu atop Third Avenue eased up his mount 100 metres from home and was fined Rs 5,000 by the Stipes. Trevalius thus ended up a neck behind the victor. PS Chouhan’s objection against the winner for interference near the distance post was overruled. Both Third Avenue and Trevalius thus earned their nominations for The Stayers Cup in the first week of March.

Jockey Yash Narredu went on to complete a double when he guided home Aashay Doctor-trained Zuma (Sir Cecil-Forest Vision) to a stylish victory over DRD and Rhapsody In Green in the mile race for the Supreme Princess Handicap. The grey filly seems well suited to the mile and has more races in store for her. Earlier Aashay had led in Archway (Top Class-Aceempressjessie) in the race for The Caring Minds Cup. Apprentice Koshi Kumar from Chennai rode a measured finish atop the 6/1 shot to sail past the front-runners in the final furlong of the six-furlong sprint.

The afternoon commenced with the Lucky Nine (available at 4/1) making every post a winning one in the 2400 metres race for the Topmost Handicap. Jockey Nikhil Naidu on the four-year-old looked back over his shoulder at the turning for home and knew that he had the race in his pocket long way from home. The gelding by One Lucky Dane out of Influence thus registered his second win of the season for trainer B Rajender Reddy. One race later, Shafiq Khan-trained Dubai King (Perfect Stride-Highland Ghillie) bagged the Philippines Cup without raising a sweat. Jockey Parmar had the 3/1 favourite racing in second slot behind the front-runner. Once into the straight, he asked for an effort and it was all over bar the shouting. The winner’s rating has been pushed up from 9 to 23. Sun God was the best of the rest. Though available at cramped odds of three-to-one-on, jockey Shrikant Kamble on speedster Hall Of Grace (Planetaire-Poentomoreno) had to pull out all stops to get the better of Hidden Gold close home in the race for The Major ZK Wadia Memorial Cup.