• Punjabi Girl wins The Fillies Championship Stakes (Gr.1)
  • Sir Cecil wins The Colts Championship Stakes (Gr.1)
  • Sir Cecil wins The Kingfisher Ultra Derby Bangalore (Gr.1)
  • Desert God wins The Tetrasoft Inc. Bangalore St. Leger (Gr.2)
By Epsom Ace
Friday 02 Feb 2018
Ms.Ipsita Ghosh & trainer Javed Khan Brahmachari (Shezad Khan Up), winner of The Metropolitan Cup

Flamboyant horseman Dashrath Singh seems well on the way to lifting the jockeys’ championship at this centre this season. On Friday, the skilful rider added a well-earned treble to his tally – his winners being Shohin, Alyssa and Raqs Sharqi. Trainer Vijay Singh’s Advika closed as the piping hot half-money favourite for the Acorn Stakes but it was her stablemate and ownermate Alyssa (El Johar – Hava Nagila/ Mukteshwar Stud) who hoisted the winning flag. Sitting on the haunches of front-running Advika till the top of the straight, she sailed ahead to a comfortable victory. For the superstitiously inclined, it seems the “dark side’ of the blue moon did not spare the punters, who got the rough end of the stick throughout the long afternoon, as only a single favourite obliged in a card of nine races.

 The Metropolitan was pocketed by friendless Brahmachari from the Javed Khan yard  who was fancied by this website to win in his previous essay, but his run was appalling. “Brahmachari was always bottled up – possibly not an apprentice ride” was the post-race review comment. On this occasion, the six-year-old by Chevalier out of Avec Plaisir (Ruia Stud)  utilised an outside draw to good effect.  Cutting across the entire field of 13 runners, Brahmachari was well placed in the straight on the outside of front-running Shivalik Story. He did well to go ahead with a couple of cracks from his rider Shezad Khan.

Dashrath opened his account for the day with Shohin (Declaration Of War-Aptiana/ Lingwood Stud) who was given a forward race on this occasion. Tracking Everybreakingwave till the straight, Shohin shot ahead and kept going under the stick. Dashrath had to pull out all stops to keep at bay the fast-finishing Cocoanut.  It was a result that must have made the handicapper happy as the verdict between the two was reversed in their earlier clash. The rage of the ring Sweet Music, basically had little to no chance, considering that she had incurred a total penalty of 14kg for her two wins – not to mention the 4kg allowance of the able apprentice who had ridden her on those two occasions.

There was betting on a host of runners in the mile race for the JJ Stephens Memorial Cup. Bottom-weight City Heights set a scorching pace till the distance post where she was collared by Lochinvar who was threatening to create a major upset in the hands of BL Paswan. However, Dashrath atop Raqs Sharqi (Royal Gladiator – Safekeeping/ Pratap Stud) had other ideas as he coaxed a stupendous gallop out of the 5/1 shot in the final furlong.

The afternoon commenced with the two divisions of the Aemilia Handicap. In the upper division, Raunak Banerji’s Hibiki (Admiralofthefleet-Chntz/ Kunigal Stud) finally came good under Aashad Asbar’s stick after Zara Go Zara had called the shots for most part.  The lower division of the same race saw Vijay Singh-trained Smith And Wesson (Abbeydale-Bold Reply) win a hard-fought race in John’s hands.

Once upon a time, a leading trainer at this centre, Daniel David came into his own in the two divisions of the Alterio Handicap. It was to his credit that Red Bug (Noverro-Just Julie / Sohna Stud) was the medium of a small gamble despite the fact that jockey Russell Xaviers does not carry the trust of most betting punters. Though taking the longest route home, Red Bug quite easily edged out the fancied pair of Pollyana and Everglow. This was Bacaardi’s eighth run of the season and the five-year-old gelding by Whatsthescript out of Shanghai Gal did not disappoint. It was virtually a case of shooting in the dark before finally hitting the target. So much for training schedules with a race in focus! As they say, to each his own.

Another runner who seems to be following a similar path is Devotion who ran in the last race of the day. She was the punters’ choice once again on this occasion. She is being backed down over all kinds of trips but failing to deliver despite receiving the best help from the saddle. The race would have been undoubtedly won by Fiorelle (Sedgefield-Alsabeqaa) had she not been eight lengths slow off and taken the bend eight wide. As it was, seven-year-old mare Lhotse (Tejano-So Perfect) capitalised on her shortcoming and landed the spoils in the hands of Ranidan Singh.