By Epsom Ace
Wednesday 11 Oct 2017
Trainer Vijay Singh leading Cadman (PP Dhebe Up), winner of The Monsoon Cup

Champion trainer Vijay Singh signed off in style as he notched up a treble on the final day of the monsoon meet at Calcutta with Victoriana, The Talisman and Cadman. The last named lifted the Monsoon Cup with a degree of comfort and was piloted by Hindu Singh in the absence of jockey Dhebe. Permitting hot on-money favourite Shivalik Showers to call the shots till the bend, the 4/1 shot Cadman (Dancing Forever-Lambency/ Hazara Stud) took over the running and simply sailed away after a couple of reminders from his rider. After his eye-catching run in the star-studded St. Leger field last winter, meeting this class was not a problem for this vastly improved property of  Subir Dagipta and partners. He had also won his earlier handicap race this monsoon far easier than verdict.

Champion jockey Christopher Alford pocketed a treble as well, his winners being Carralisa, Danceress and Flying Cloud. Leading apprentice Nikhil Naidu scored a brace. Sana, owned by Joydeep Datta Gupta and partners, and trained by Bharath Singh, was the champion horse of the monsoon. Vijay Singh’s Jump And Run edged out the unfortunate Washington for the ‘horse of the season’ title. Sans Craintes Stud farm ended the season as leading owners.

The afternoon commenced with three top-weight horses dominating in the first three events. Aashay Doctor-trained Empowered (Chevalier-Romantic Quest/ Ruia Stud) won the upper division of the Jango Handicap in apprentice Naidu’s hands. The favourite Hibiki led early but was soon overhauled by the 5/1 winner for a very comfortable victory. Both Hibiki and Sam Houston returned bleeding from both nostrils.

The lower division of the same race saw a bold gamble on Queen’s Command (Rebuttal-Kentucky Queen/ Hazara Stud) materialise. Rutherford Alford’s ward was placed in a boxed in close fifth slot till into the straight where she was switched out by her rider and move with telling strides on the outside to land the spoils close home.

Vijay Singh’s first winner, a recent import from western India, was the filly Victoriana (Burden Of Proof-Bobcat Greely/ Kunigal Stud) who made every post of The Alarico Plate a winning one with Naidu in the saddle. Two races later, Vijay’s The Talisman (Noverre-Debonnair/ Sohna Stud) lifted   The Credit Squeeze Cup in similar fashion with top-weight jockey S John guiding his fortunes.

Shyam Habbu’s Carralisa (Dutch Art-Red Grland/ nanoli Stud) was the first of C. Alford’s winners. The five-year-old mare came in quickly from an outside draw to take up the running and stay in front all the way without much ado. With a three-length lead in the short Calcutta straight and C. Alford doing duty, it’s no mean task for any of his adversaries to overhaul his mount before the winning post. The home turf is simply Alford’s happy hunting ground and John atop public choice Devotion had given his mount too much to do too late.

Alford once again got the better of John in The Poles Apart Handicap. His mount Danceress (Abbeydale-Dancerella) edged out the favourite Volantis at the wire after a hard-fought race. Alford brought the curtain down to the season by notching up an easy victory astride Arti Doctor-trained Flying Cloud (Stern Opinion-Royal Assault/ Lumbini Stud) in the mile race for The Palazzio’s Son Handicap.