Mr. Ajay Jalan receiving The Harry The Horse Cup from Mr. H.P. Ramchandani
The curtain came down on the Calcutta Monsoon Meet of 2012 with a string of favourites biting the dust. However, one well-backed filly who showed admirable, courage, composure and guts to pull off a popular victory in The Harry The Horse Cup was Javed Khan-trained Two In One who was visibly in distress in the straight and yet kept going despite drifting out of a straight course. Spare a thought for this heavy-weight filly (480kg) by Royal Gladiator out of Arikara who delivered the goods before limping back to her mentor. Experienced jockey Imran Chisty realised in the straight what was happening and let her drift before using his whalebone a couple of times. He dismounted after the winning post and walked back.
Chisty completed his brace of wins with Torch Of Life in the day’s final event. A change of stable and ownership seemed to have changed the fortunes of the Sharp Attack-Secret Wish colt for the better. Well backed Spur Of The Moment was at the helm of affairs from the word go but Chisty had Patrick Quinn’s ward racing in close attendance. Despite conceding over 10kg to the front-runner, he prevailed comfortably.
Chisty however failed to bring home the bacon in the Espoir Handicap despite his best efforts astride Pirateer. It was left to Isle Of Capri (Hurricane Center – Entourage) to make it a start-to-finish affair. The disappointment in the race was Knight Of Romance who was better placed on the scale than the winner but never in serious contention.
Apprentice Babu Singh was a very promising rider before he suffered an accident off the track. He had been having a blank season thus far but ended on a brilliant note with a friendless double comprising Accoast and Chief Justice. Both runners had to be hard ridden to gain the verdict close home.
Robert Gowli’s Accoast (Mr Mellon-Drop Dead Gorgeous) picked up a late gallop on the wide outside while Saddle Chief and the favourite Ive Done It were fighting for supremacy in the seven-furlong race for The Finalist Handicap. The trio crossed the finishing line locked together. The verdict between the winner and Saddle Chief was a very short, short-head. Likewise Shafiq Khan-trained Chief Justice (Epicentre-Dukhtar-E-Shama) won the upper division of the Woolver Valley Handicap after a neck-to-neck duel with Girl Of Flowers who has well and truly bloomed this monsoon season. The on-money public choice Adawna had all the chances but failed to accelerate at the distance post. Trainer Vijay Singh thus drew a blank on the last two days of the season. The lower division of the same event was annexed by Christopher Gleich-trained Autocrat (Placerville-Pia’s Baby) with Melvyn Maseyk astride. The six-year-old got the measure of Ocean Sunrise inside the distance. It was fair consolation for the winner who had been demoted after winning a race in August, where he had drifted out badly.
Alderson’s withdrawal in the Bachelor’s Wedding Handicap did not come as too much of a surprise as the three-year-old had run two 2000 metres races in quick succession, the last of these being the Derby where he looked visibly tired. Destiny closed as the piping hot on-money favourite in the three-horse field and was taken on a start-to-finish mission by Christopher Alford. The filly may prefer a shorter trip as she failed to pull away when challenged by the experienced Tintoretto (Storm Trooper-Aglow), on whom Kadam rode a purposeful finish.
Jockey Sandesh’s visit to this centre would have gone unrewarded had he not ridden an intelligent race astride Vikash Jaiswal-trained River Pride (Royal Gladiator-Leros) in The Fair Ray Handicap. Along with the favourite Tasveer, he had pulled away from the field and Sandesh decided to allow the former to call the shots till the distance post before issuing his challenge. Once collared, Tasveer faded out of contention. Mythos plodded on to occupy the runner-up berth. Tasveer’s new-found modus operandi of hitting the front early is a little puzzling to say the least.
The season ended with a silver lining for Mr Joydeep Datta Gupta as he returned as the leading owner while his Derby-winning filly Silverina was the ‘champion horse” of the season. Amaretto from Arti Doctor’s yard, was declared “horse of the monsoon meet” while Bharath Singh and Christopher Alford won the trainers’ and jockeys championships respectively. Apprentice Zarar Alaam was adjudged the best apprentice with six wins and five second placements.