Trainer M Narredu leading Colombiana (A Sandesh Up), winner of The Indian Champion Cup (Gr.1)
Mallesh Narredu’s assessment proved flawlessly accurate as his ward Colombiana (Noverre-Wondersmile/ Sohna Stud) justified the final entry fee of Rs 10.5 lakh with a thunderous victory in the Indian Champion Cup run over 2000m on Monday. Despite being a tardy beginner, jockey Sandesh unhurriedly nursed the five-year-old horse in the rear of the nine-horse field till heads turned for home and brought him with a well-timed run to peg back Azzurro and Shivalik Showers who were battling for supremacy in the straight. Colombiana stopped the clock at 2min 2.072 sec, thus shaving off 0.392 second off Snowdrift’s time for the same event of 2015.
The next race, The Champagne Stakes, saw Bharath Singh’s Castlebridge (Burden Of Proof-Castle Queen/ Kunigal Stud) make every post a winning one in Trevor Patel’s hands. From an outside draw, Trevor cut across the field and hugged the rails quickly, possibly surprising the natural front-runner King Credible (TS Jodha up) who was right at his tail in a jiffy. However, the proximity of the two animals resulted in Jodha’s mount clipping the heels of the front-runner and coming down heavily. Zervan atop the favourite Anacapri was on the left flank of the faller and he too was thrown dangerously off his mount – but the domino effect did not end there. David Allan atop Rufus was in the last berth along the rails and had nowhere to go but right into the torso of King Credible. Allan’s mount too went down but the jockey rolled proficiently away from harm’s way. What probably saved Allan was that he had a split second to prepare for the impending disaster whereas the other two came down without any warning whatsoever. Zervan suffered a fractured leg while Jodha broke an arm. They are both recovering at a city nursing home. Sadly enough, King Credible had to be put down.
As far as punters were concerned, the afternoon provided a roller-coaster ride of sorts. However, the fancied runners which came good were at extremely palatable odds. Jockey Christopher Alford was returning to the track after a long break due to injury. Available at 5/2, Alford guided home Raunak Banerji-trained King’s Crown (Top Class-Bella/ Mukteshwar Stud) to an impressive start-to-finish victory in the Albert Piperno Memorial Cup. Magic In The Air moved with giant strides in the final furlong but fell short narrowly.
The Republic Cup, run over 2000 metres saw the withdrawal of the favourite Ship Rock on veterinary grounds. Sandesh atop Vijay Singh-trained Cadman ( Dancing Forever-Lambency) made every post a winning one.
The afternoon commenced with Arti Doctor-trained Heleconia (New Famous-Rasha/ Yeravada Stud) making amends for her unfortunate debacle in her previous essay. She shouldered the heavy impost to victory rather well as Shezad Khan urged her to collar the runaway Native Speaker close home. The public choice Aberfan was a poor third and may have needed the run. The lower division of the same race saw Javed Khan-trained Xited (Stardan-Heather Heath/ Rolli Stud) come good after money came on her from “those in the know”. She won at lucrative odds of 7/1 despite shifting out to the outer rails in spite of Mahesh’s best efforts.
Top-weight Everybreakingwave (Win Legend-Tidal Chorus/ Dashmesh Stud) won the 2000 metres race for The Real Danger Handicap tart-to-finish. The second favourite Artificial was a tame second. The others were never really in it.
The curtain came down with Ashad Asbar replacing Zervan astride the 5/2 favourite Arctic Convoy (Royal Applause-Badlat Alzaman}. The five-year-old sprinter from Arti Doctor’s yard made every post a winning one effortlessly which meant that five of the afternoon’s eight winners won from end to end.