• Punjabi Girl wins The Fillies Championship Stakes (Gr.1)
  • Sir Cecil wins The Colts Championship Stakes (Gr.1)
By Epsom Ace
Tuesday 21 Feb 2017
Trainer Shyam S Habbu (Deputising trainer Vinay Lagad) leading Red Bug (Hindu Singh Up), winner of The Capt H D Fownes Memorial Cup

Racing on Tuesday turned out to be yet another roller-coaster ride for punters as three first favourites obliged in a card of seven races. The feature event, The Capt HD Fownes Memorial Cup, turned out to be quite a thriller as Red Bug and Sweet Stone crossed the line locked together. The eventual winner Red Bug (Noverre-Just Julie/ Sohna Stud)was piloted flawlessly by Hindu Singh as he followed front-running speedster Mind Of Madness, allowing him a huge lead. The pacesetter started shortening his strides just after the turning for home and Red Bug took over the running. Sweet Stone, who was in third slot, warmed up later and was breathing down Red Bug’s neck inside the distance. However, Vinay Lagad’s five-year-old held on to his advantage. Fancied runners Tangaloomaa and Half Volley were never in the race.

The supporting event, The Aloritz Handicap, saw Vikash Jaiswal-trained ten-year-old No More Politics (Kingsalsa-Sayuri) easily account for the younger opposition despite conceding chunks of weight all round. Top-weight rider Sandeep Rajput seems to know his mount inside out as he permitted the youngsters a huge lead without getting perturbed. The story changed from the 800m marker as the aged  warrior cut down the lead considerably and moved up to the tail end of the field. The fancied Khaitan duo of  Romantic Magic and Santero were travelling well at that point of time. After the hometurn, the old warhorse seemed to imperceptibly change gears and float away for a facile triumph.

The afternoon commenced with quite an upset as apprentice Sujit Kumar Paswan broke out of the maiden ranks while astride Ruther Alford-trained Significant (Epicentre-Achernar/ AB Stud). Another seven-year-old – Vikash Jaiswal’s Saudagar, was a close second. Ante-post fancies Ivy and Sherwood finished in the ruck. The former, a light-weight mare, may be finding the frequent runs too much to handle, while the latter may have needed the run. So there you have it, two contrasting reasons for two fancied runners who failed to shine.

Christopher Alford notched up a brace to cut down Dashrath Singh’s lead at the top of the jockeys’ championship table. After a dismal failure on day one, where he returned bleeding from both nostrils, Arti Doctor-trained Flamsteed (Alnasr Alwasheek – Zephyrella/ Poona Stud) came good in the hands of  Alford in the seven furlong race for the Beat The Distance Handicap. Despite shouldering 62.5 kg, the four-year-old gelding outclassed the opposition. Unless his blood vessels give way, he should win again. C.  Alford completed his double with four-year-old chestnut gelding Aberfan (Win Legend-Twice Over/ Dashmesh Stud) who won the Aristotle Handicap end to end.

The withdrawal of the piping hot ante-post favourite The Stradle (due to veterinary reasons) in the mile race for The Star Team Handicap, left the coast clear for Richard Alford-trained City Heights (Ikhtyar-City Tamer/ Nanoli Stud) who made every post a winning one in the hands of apprentice Ranidan Singh.

 Jockey S John made his presence felt in the race Punters Delight Handicap as he won a three-way blanket finish featuring his mount Nashville Tennessee (Abbey Side-Ashleen), Bacaardi and Fire Falcon. The Vijay Singh-trained winner was the 2/1 first favourite.