Trainer Shyam S Habbu (Deputising trainer Vishal Gaikwad) leading Kings Canyon (Neeraj Rawal Up), winner of The Police Commissioner's Cup
The marathon card of nine races on Saturday produced more than its share of upsets as punters burnt their fingers. However, three fancied runners did see the winning post and this helped rail birds recover some of their losses.
The main event, The Police Commissioner’s Cup, saw an absolute edge-of-the-seat thriller involving a finish of six horses within a space of half-a-length. Front-running speedster King’s Canyon (Jeremy-Radhwa) with Neeraj Rawal in the saddle, held on by the skin of his teeth from a fast finishing Tangalooma who lost a certain race for three specific reasons, other than which the verdict would have been surely reversed. Ironically, it was the mare Australian Agatta (owned by the same connections) who caused the first hindrance to her quest for victory. Till the turning from home, Imran Chisty was stuck to the rails as Austrailan Agatta was running on the outside of King’s Canyon. Didn’t someone teach us that too many cooks spoil the broth?
As the first three hit the straight, Chisty was indecisive whether to take the rails or split the front-running duo and this surely cost him at least half-a-length. When he did finally make room for himself between the front-running duo, it was too late on Calcutta’s short straight. The final nail in Tangalooma’s coffin was the kg overweight that she was subjected to, which may sound trivial but may not be so when the verdict is no narrow.
The supporting event, The BK Poddar Cup, saw Taygetus (Arabian Gulf-Sail by Roos/ Manjri Stud) complete a hat-trick in the hands of Christopher Alford. Vijay Singh-trained The Stradle closed as the bookmakers’ favourite and he ended up a tame second.
Jockey S John completed a brace and Rawal a treble. While John booted home the likes of Vijay Singh-trained Aragon and Jacobin, Rawal’s winners apart from King’s Canyon, were the unlikely Bacaardi (who had failed on half-a-dozen occasions prior to this) and the youngster Ayra’s Pet. Aragon (China Visit-Grande Madame/ Usha Stud) closed as the 2/1 favourite for the Sentouki Handicap which he won quite easily from recent winner Francina who ran a good second. She will be worth keeping an eye on in the future.
Despite carrying 4kg overweight, Jacobin (Pientre Celebre-Artempo) won the upper division of the David Jacob Cup in great style. The colt collared pace-setting Amejojoo and ran away from the field. Lady Two was an utter disappointment as was Adi’s Delight whose CV so far shows a one-off maiden success. The lower division of the same race saw Bharath Singh-trained Ayra’s Pet (Express Wish (Express Wish –Tsesebee/ Mebajeona Stud) make mincemeat of her rivals while fancied runners like Hartnell and Simon Templare disappointed. In fact, the latter was never in it. His run was a far cry from his earlier effort. It’s quite possible that he will be more comfortable over a longer trip.
Unfancied runners dominated the two divisions of the Pentire Handicap. While Javed Khan-trained Bacaardi (Whatsthescript-Shanghai Gal) was a transformed animal in Rawal’s hands as he left the field standing in the final furlong, the lower division saw apprentice RS Bhati break out of the maiden ranks while astride Swaraj (West Virginia-Blue Fin/) from Arti Doctor’s yard.
The morning showed the day as 7/1 shot Mizuno won the opener, The Romantic Notes Handicap. It was not a clean race as fourth placed Admantium bumped the pace-setter Zandra near the distance post. After finishing a good second last time out, the favourite Barbarik struggled throughout to end up second last. In-and-out racing seems to be the bane of punters at this centre and Javed Khan’s Cronos (Burden of Proof – Chimerique/ Kunigal Stud) ensured that it stays that way with a thunderous victory after finishing nowhere in his last three efforts.