OLD WARHORSE ALAINDAIR STUNS FANCIED RIVALS
KOLKATA
By Epsom Ace
Tuesday 23 Jan 2018
Trainer Altamash A Ahmed leading Alaindair (YS Srinath Up), winner of The Indian Champion Cup (Gr.1)

Tuesday belonged to trainer Vikash Jaiswal and his retained rider for the day – veteran PS Chouhan. In a well-planned coup, the duo pulled off a high priced treble comprising Jorell (4/1), Outrider (5/1) and El Cid (2/1). The last named was narrowly beaten by Fab Bullet but got the race in the Stewards Room on the grounds of interference at the top of the straight. It was a valid objection and all the stipes present concurred in their view to uphold it.

In the much awaited race of the ‘classy dozen’ for the prestigious Indian Champion Cup, fancied runners bit the dust as western India’s eight-year-old war horse Alaindair, from the stable of Altamash Ahmed, won a hard-fought battle. While the favourite Whomakestherules ended up a tame fourth, second in demand Tororosso was well placed till the bend before dropping out of contention. The vet had to examine Tororosso at the starting gates and pass him as fit, as he had been extremely unruly in the saddling enclosure. Shivalik Showers set a cracking pace, followed by Rewalding,Whomakestherules and Alaindair. Once into the straight, the favourite cried off while Alaindair (Multidimensional-God’s Grace/ Usha Stud)  moved up under Srinath’s stick and kicked clear. In the final 100m, Colombiana made a strong bid for honours and may have succeeded had he been a little closer to the leaders.

 The Indian Champagne Stakes saw Vijay Singh-trained Sniper (David Allan up) pull off a difficult win after heavily backed Eastern Star ran out of steam in the straight. Even though Lancaster was cutting the early wind, Dashrath Singh failed to keep Eastern Star in check. The three-year-old gelding was fighting for his head from the outset and even an experienced rider like Dashrath could not prevent the youngster  from tearing away from the pack. Lumenac, Home Of The Brave and Sniper (Kingda Ka-Zellers/ Nanoli Stud) finished on strongly with the last named prevailing with considerable help from the saddle.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for Arti Doctor-trained Mocha Loca in the mile race for the  Bengal Club Cup. The filly went down narrowly to seven-year-old Arminius after running erratically in the straight. She is known to be a difficult ride and a little help from the saddle may well have turned the tables. As it was, top-weight jockey Mahesh took the shortest route home atop the Raunak Banerji ward by Hard Spun of Guy Grand’s girl.

The day commenced with Jorell (Varenaar-Eubee) quite easily accounting for his rivals in the upper division of the Allied Forces Handicap. The favourite Marguerita ran a poor race while the best of the rest may be considered to be James McKeown’s Novikov. Bharath Singh-trained Bulldozer (Arazan – Shalaya) finally came good in the hands of Imran Chisty who kept at bay the public choice My Freedom without any hiccups.

The Javed Khan-stable successfully executed a well planned betting coup with Highland Princess (Phoenix Tower-Russian Muse/ Manjri Stud) in the sprint for the Commuter Handicap. Neeraj Rawal kept her in a handy second position while So Regal called the early shots. After the turning for home, the front-runner drifted out while the ‘Princess’ shot through. The favourite Day Flower may have found her weight a stopper but will be worth keeping an eye on.

The Albert Piperno Memorial Cup saw Outrider (Multidimensional-Romantic Scene/ Usha Stud) make every post of the seven furlong race a winning one effortlessly. The favourite Panchovilla failed to match strides with him and finished in the ruck. It was left to miler Dixie Diamond to move up from the rear and occupy the runner-up berth. The curtain came down with a close contest between El Cid and Fab Bullet. The former, a seven-year-old by Noverre out of Darsiyima (Sohna Stud) got the race in the Stewards room.