Mr Tegbir Brar & trainer S Padmanabhan leading Hall Of Famer (David Allan Up), winner of The Calcutta Derby Stakes (Gr.1)
Trainer Padmanabhan’s filly Hall Of Famer (Win Legend-Elusive Trust/ Dashmesh Stud) decimated the field in the cash-rich Calcutta Derby Stakes run at RCTC on Sunday and pocketed the whopping winner’s purse of Rs 1.14 crore. It was a bloodless victory executed flawlessly by British rider David Allan who was peeping over his shoulder well before the winning post. As expected, the top three spots in the season’s plum were occupied by the three outstation ‘final entrants’ – Hall Of Famer, Silver Beauty and the favourite Accolade, in that order. There is no doubt that the best horse won, though it might be mentioned here that Silver Beauty faced some degree of interference at the top of the straight, but for which she might have finished closer to the winner.
It would be fair to say that David Allan outwitted his counterparts with a clever piece of horsemanship as the large field of eleven was nearing the bend. He slipped his mount through and grabbed the rails while Suraj Narredu atop Silver Beauty faced traffic problems and switched to the outside, thereby losing considerable ground. Trevor on Accolade gave chase to Hall Of Famer in the straight but the latter was travelling too well to give any anxious moments to her followers. Silver Beauty moved well in the final furlong to occupy the runner-up berth.
Trainer Padmanabhan has had a little more than his share of success at this centre (this being his third Derby winner in recent years, after In The Spotlight and Desert God. When asked whether the filly was difficult to train, the ‘man of the moment’ showed that he was not devoid of wit as he quipped “ Only wives are difficult to train, not fillies”.
The eight races were shared by the three jockeys (Zervan, Trevor Patel and David Allan). The supporting event, The Madras Race Club Cup, saw Bharath Singh’s Captain Cook and the favourite Shivalik Heroine locked in a keen tussle all the way down the straight. Captain Cook (Admiralofthefleet- Polenta/ Kunigal Stud) prevailed by virtue of his superior stamina. This completed a treble for the champion jockey Trevor Patel as he had earlier guided home the two youngsters, Gryffindor and Sangfroid to facile victories in their respective races. On-money public choice, Gryffindor, won the Friends FM Cup start to finish as did speedy Sangfroid (Varenaar- Sangre Azul) while winning the Dashmash Stud Alokananda Stakes. The disappointment in the race was the favourite Akshaya who ended up a poor third.
Jockey Zervan encountered a far more difficult path while completing his treble. All three winners were at high odds. In fact a Rs 10 roll on his three winners (Bubbly Bellini, Arminius and Mr Fogg’s) would have fetched an incredible amount of about Rs 50,000. Bubbly Bellini (Phoenix Tower-Dancerlion/ Manjri Stud) won the opening race on objection after David Allan on the favourite In The Sunrise blatantly bumped the Arti Doctor ward in the straight. Six-year-old Arminius (Hard Spun- Guy Grand’s Girl) put paid to the pretensions of the younger duo of Theo and Drops Of Jupiter. The last named, who was the ante-post favourite, finished in the ruck. Finally, Zervan rode an absolute blinder astride Ms Fogg’s to bring home the bacon in the Grand Turf Racig Trohy.The Phoenix Tower-Soul Sister (Manfri Stud( colt from Arti Doctor’s yard pegged back top-weight Draco in the last stride.
Rather aptly David Allan brought down the curtain astride James McKeown-trained Everybreakingwave (Win Legend-Tidal Chorus/ Dashmesh Stud) after a keen tussle with Sweet Stone in the final furlong of The Club7 Cup.