• Punjabi Girl wins The Fillies Championship Stakes (Gr.1)
By Epsom Ace
Wednesday 06 Sep 2017
Trainer Vijay Singh leading Zander (S John Up), winner of The Malpensa Cup

Trainer Vijay Singh and visiting jockey S John combined fruitfully at RCTC on Wednesday to fetch home a lucrative treble comprising Half Volley (5/2), Blue Zone (2/1) and Zander (3/1). The last named, by Phoenix Tower out of Merwaha (Manjri Stud),  won the day’s feature event, The Malpensa Cup, with a degree of comfort. Jockey S John, rather cleverly dropped his mount to fourth spot while course favourite Aquitania and Make Way For Me fought for the lead up front. Thereafter John brought the six-year-old property of  Jaydev Mody with a fluent run on the wide outside to take home the honours. Midnight Star came up with a determined gallop to occupy the runner- berth and will be worth keeping an eye on. The disappointment of the day was the extremely poor run of the piping hot favourite Marguerita in The Super Sunrise Plate.

The afternoon commenced with quite a shocker as Bharath Singh-trained Blazing Bullet (Arabian Gulf – Nojoom/ Manjri Stud)  found his galloping shoes at last to register a fairly easy win in the day’s opener, The Arcade Handicap. The 8/1 shot being ridden by Dashrath Singh, was a handy third till the 600 marker before taking over the running and pulling away from Fly Fly. The favourite Xlite was a poor third. It’s quite possible that the three-year-old light-framed filly may have found the weight a stopper rather than the handicap.

Bharath completed hi brace with Diamond Creek (Nikhil Naidu up) in the Super Sunrise Plate. The filly by Western Aristocrat out of Dunfanaghy (Yeravada Stud) benefited from her apprentice rider’s 3kg allowance and moved with telling strides in the final furlong to land the spoils in the final stride from another surprise package – Everglow with Azharuddin in the saddle. After finishing a good third to Monaco, the piping hot favourite Marguerita ran a lacklustre race, possibly because she didn’t take to the blinkers or found the impost a stopper (not her handicap).

Vijay Singh commenced his afternoon with a victory in The Jeweller Handicap. John took Half Volley (Tariq-Tryst With Destiny/  Equus Stud) to the front as the gates opened and stayed there all the way.  Much fancied Dancing Lord from Javed Khan’s yard , which was in fact the favourite, was a total flop and never raised a gallop in any part of the race. After two back-to-back wins, Mizuno seems to have reached the limit of his potential. Nevertheless, he ran a god race.

John rode a different tactical race atop Blue Zone (Noverre-Isle Of Mull/ Sohna Stud) to bag The Idaho Handicap. Chasing stablemate Fury till heads turned for home, Blue Zone shot ahead to win a difficult race from Fury and Praise Her Gaze. John rode out the top-weight hands and heels in the straight to get the best out of the seven-year-old mare.

Javed Khan’s Star One (Stern Opinion-Moselle/ Hazara Stud) made the Steinlen Handicap a star-to-finish affair.  The grey held on to win a narrow verdict from The Talisman who was finishing on well. Invincible Prince ran a fairly good third and will be worth keeping an eye on. Had Vijay not gone down so narrowly with The Talisman and Everglow, he would have had a tally of five for the day and would displaced brother Bharath at the head of the Trainers’ Championship table. As it stands, he is in the second spot now – ahead of brother-in-law Patrick Quinn by virtue of a greater number of second placed runners in his kitty.

The curtain came down with Jasbir Singh-trained Aileen (Rebuttal-Perpetual Glory/ Hazara Stud) winning an absolute blinder in the last stride after Christopher Alford had given the field the slip atop Bournville and very nearly pulled off an encore. Mohit Singh was compelled to choose the path on the wide outside to make his late bid for victory and was somewhat fortunate that the dice rolled in his favour.