• Punjabi Girl wins The Fillies Championship Stakes (Gr.1)
  • Sir Cecil wins The Colts Championship Stakes (Gr.1)
By Epsom Ace
Sunday 01 Oct 2017
Mr Joydeep Datta Gupta leading Sana (Dashrath Singh Up), winner of The Calcutta Monsoon Derby (Gr.2)

Heavy over-night showers, a murky atmosphere and a slightly soft track made no difference whatsoever to Bharath Singh-trained Sana as she galloped gamely to a resounding victory in the Calcutta Monsoon Derby at RCTC on Sunday.  Looking picture perfect in the paddock, the fashionably bred bay filly by Multidimensional out of Yana (Usha Stud) was being backed heavily in the ring and the totalisator along with outstation challenger Daffodil. The latter’s odds varied from 12/10 to 16/10 while local ‘darling’ Sana followed suit with almost similar figures. 

Once the starting stalls opened, Sana was allowed to settle in the third slot by saddle maestro Dashrath Singh while stablemate Shohin set a cracking pace, followed by the course favourite Daffodil. The last named took over the running at the 600m marker, followed promptly by Sana who had at that point moved up one gear. Once into the straight, a couple of cracks from Dashrath’s whip did the trick as she pulled away from Daffodil to win convincingly. The connections thus pocketed almost Rs 37 lakh. The gelding Hartnell was the best of the males and ended up a fair third. He seems to be a fairly consistent performer which is always an encouraging sight for the stable.

“We are all in awe of an awesome filly” commented sporting owner Joydeep Datta Gupta, while veteran trainer Bharath Singh stated matter-of-factly: “Sana has been improving with every run and am sure that she will keep doing so till the Invitation Cup in March next year”. This implied that she will be the prime local candidate for the winter classics (1000 Guineas and Oaks).

Bharath and Dashrath had earlier tasted success with Lochinvar in the Stoney Valley Handicap. The colt by Admiralofthefleet out of Loch Katrine (Kunigal Stud), failed in his first outing, displayed great improvement to fetch home the honours in this mile event.  Lochinvar is owned by the same syndicate that boasts of Sana.

Four horses defied the handicapper’s winning penalty to produce an encore. This was in a total of six handicap races, other than the Derby and the maiden’s event. Those who recorded back-to-back wins were Jump And Run, Invincible Prince, Washington and Spear Of Trium.

Trainer James McKeown had a wonderful day at office as he notched up a lucrative treble with Nobu, Millenium Glory and Invincible Prince. The first of them, a three-year-old filly by Burden Of Proof out of Soviet Lake (Kunigal Stud) won the opener – a maidens’ race. Apprentice Nikhil Naidu used his 3kg allowance to good effect to get the better of Tomorrow Forever who ran a great race. The disappointments were the favourite Smith & Wesson and Marguerita.

Mc Keown then picked up the upper division of the Roll ‘N’ Twist Cup with Millenium Glory who had gone down narrowly to Jump And Run in her last essay. The trainer rather astutely substituted a top-weight rider for a 3kg allowance apprentice despite the 2.5kg penalty for her last runner-up slot. The fact that she was carrying 5.5kg extra made no difference as she made the six-furlong-race her own in B Mahesh’ hands. The sprinter by Win Legend out of Integra (Dashmesh Stud) outclassed both Malana and Devotion who were her chief contenders. Mc Keown completed his treble with seven-year-old Invincible Prince (Invincible Spirit-Rossa Di Rugiada) who won the Class I event, the Smart Ruler Cup, start-to-finish. Jockey C. Alford had a role to play in this victory as he took his mount to the head of the field within a furlong of the start and pulled out all stops to stay ahead of Midnight Star at the wire.

 Arti Doctor-trained Washington (Phoenix Tower-Star Shine/ Manjri Stud) won her third race on the trot without batting an eyelid. Prashant Dhebe did little else than apply a soothing touch. Arti’s Midas touch did the rest as she won effortlessly once again, this time over 2000m. Great stuff ! this win places her in the highest class.

The curtain came down with Dashrath completing a treble with trainer Patrick Quinn’s Spear Of Trium (Diffident-Queen Of Hearts / Yeravada Stud). He rode his usual power-packed finish to get the better of Romantic Lass at the post. Stablemate of the winner, Apalachee was withdrawn at the gates.