• Ruffina wins The Sprinters Cup (Gr.1)
  • Azzurro wins The Dr M A M Ramaswamy Stayers Cup (Gr.1)
  • Whomakestherules wins The Maj P K Mehra Memorial Super Mile Cup (Gr.1)
  • Kangra wins The Indian Turf Invitation Cup (Gr.1) in record timing
By Epsom Ace
Sunday 07 Jan 2018
Mr D A Nanda, Mr Sultan Singh & Trainer M Narredu leading Aggregated (Suraj Narredu UP) winner of The Calcutta Derby Stakes (Gr.1)

The chill in the air and the warm sunshine that covered the Calcutta racecourse on Sunday  provided an ideal setting for the running of the cold weather season’s piece de resistance - The Calcutta Derby Stakes. The large Derby-day gathering had come with great expectations, most of them with the intention to lend their vociferous support to the local champion filly Sana. She closed as a piping hot half-money favourite in the small field of six runners. But alas, it was not to be! Great expectations were shattered and many hearts broken mid-way through the mile-and-half classic, as it was becoming increasingly evident that Sana was not the same filly that had earlier lifted the Monsoon Derby, 1000 Guineas and Oaks effortlessly. The latter statement is made sans bias and without taking away anything from the superb performance of the winner Aggregated. The connections of Sana will now have to take a call on whether to run her in the Invitation Cup in early March or give her a well-deserved break from racing. The chances are that she will be in the Invitation Cup field of runners as she will be running on local turf. But then, the competition will be far stiffer as seasoned five-year-olds will be participating in this race to crown the ‘champion of champions’.        

The Calcutta 2000 Guineas winner Aggregated (Dean’s Kitten-Wonder Smile/ Sohna Stud)completed a well-deserved classic double when he won the cash-rich Calcutta Derby Stakes and pocketed a winner’s purse of  over  Rs 95 lakh at RCTC on Sunday. The Mallesh Narredu ward was piloted to glory by nephew Suraj.  After a good break from the starting stalls, Suraj permitted Shaman to show the way from the 1800m marker while the natural front-runner - his stablemate Implicit Trust – bided her time in the rear. His role as a pace-maker may have well cost Shaman the race.

Meanwhile, the piping hot course favourite Sana was in fourth slot , not too far from the two colts. However, it was clear from the 600m marker that the filly was not going to make it. She did look a wee bit tired and she was not moving as well as one would have expected her to. Nevertheless, she has a big heart and did her best to pip a tiring Shaman for the runner-up berth. Once into the straight, Suraj pulled out all stops on his mount and Aggregated responded magnificently to land the season’s blue riband.

Veteran popular owner Mr Arun Nanda was all praise for his trainer Mallesh Narredu. “ Even before his first run, Mallesh had described the colt as a very ‘good horse’, this prompted me to send him to Kolkata for the classics despite him losing his maiden start. Now, the colt has proved me right as he has won two classics here. This is a very emotional moment for me.”   

Though the Derby eluded Bharath Singh once again, he had the consolation of notching up a brace with jockey Dashrath Singh, his winners being Desert Falcon and Eastern Star.  The outsider of the day was Jasbir Singh’s Rewalding  (10/1) on whom B Mahesh rode a hard finish to lift The Madras Race Club Cup.

Barring the performance of Aggregated, the other horse to make a lasting impression was also from the Mallesh Narredu stable – a filly named Adjudicate (Multidimensional-Alvarita/ Usha Stud). She won the Dashmesh Stud Alokananda Stakes  effortlessly in C. Alford’s hands. The filly has greater things in store for her. It has been quite a while since the colours of the renowned Khaitan family has made such a deep impression at this centre. The youngster has undoubtedly sounded a warning bell to others of her age group. She joins Aashna in the top bracket at this centre.

The afternoon opened with Imran Chisty lifting the upper division of The Telegraph Cup while astride Outrider (Multidimensional-Romantic Scene/ Usha Stud). The Vikash Jaiswal ward had left all his chances at the gates last time out but made it a start to finish affair on this occasion. The ante-post favourite Respect moved up well in the closing stages and will be worth keeping an eye on in the future. Bharath Singh’s Desert Falcon  (Footstepsintheesand-Cailin Rinca) won the lower division without raising a sweat.   

Arti Doctor’s Namid (Phoenix Tower-Aquila Oculus/ Manjri Stud) produced an encore in the 2000m race for the CROS Cup. The Madras Race Club Cup saw Jasbir Singh’s Rewalding  (Rebutta-Mullagh/ Hazara Stud) come good with top-weight jockey B Mahesh who made every post a winning one. Cadman moved well in the closing stages of the race and will be worth following. Eastern Star (Knight’s Tour – Lyocel) did well to bag The Pat Quinn Memorial Cup and outpace favourite Darsh in the straight.

Jockey P Trevor rode a measured finish astride Eternally (Western Aristocrat-Reforest/Yeravada Stud) to bag the Club 7 Holidays Cup. Sanvi was a worthy runner-up while Simon Templar lost ground at the start. The curtain came down with the Javed Khan stable landing a good gamble with the chestnut colt Gloaming (Ravel Flair Queen) who edged out Multiple at the wire with Neeraj Rawal going hell for leather.