• 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
Saturday 10 Feb 2018
Trainer Imtiaz A Sait leading Winter Renaissance (C S Jodha Up), winner of The Queen Elizabeth II Cup (Gr.3)

Trainer Imtiaz Sait’s Raees was the rage of the ring at RCTC for the Queen Elizabeth II Cup, but it was his stablemate and second favourite Winter Renaissance (Courageous Cat-Winter House) who bagged the prestigious event in the experienced hands of CS Jodha.  The lad was simply oozing confidence all the way after his recent success in the Indian Derby at Mumbai. C. Alford atop Raees embarked on a start-to-finish mission as the gates opened with Winter Renaissance and Jodha over six lengths behind their stablemate. The gap gradually narrowed as the home turn came into view. After hitting the straight, Jodha sailed past his stablemate but had to pull out all stops to keep at bay Azzuro who was a worthy runner-up.  The latter’s creditable performance has ensured him a business-class ticket to the Stayers Cup on the first Saturday of March..

The Calcutta Million was lifted by Vijay Singh-trained Aashna (Win Legend-Ray of Sunshine/ Dashmesh Stud) who was given a flawless ride by Suraj Narredu. The latter thus completed a hat-trick, having earlier won atop Volantis and Venezia. Permitting Expensive Affair to lead till the straight, Aashna simply sailed away for a comfortably win after a couple of reminders fromSuraj. On this occasion, Eastern Star was ridden in check by Srinath but the gelding did not respond as expected in the straight, though it should be noted that he faced considerable traffic in the home stretch which hindered a fluent passage. Nevertheless, it’s quite possible that he is not cut out to be a miler and is more comfortable racing up front over sprints.

Suraj opened his account with Volantis  in the 2000m race for The Hyderabad Race Club Cup. The favourite Namid was trying to make every post a winning one, followed by Falcon and Volantis. Once in the straight, Volantis (Multidimensional – Silver Point/ Usha Stud) was alerted to the task and the five-year-old mare responded rather well. Despite shouldering a crushing impost, Germanicus moved up significantly in the closing stages of the race.

Suraj’s next winner was the Vijay Singh-trained Venezia (Western Aristocrat-Vittoria/ Yervada Stud) who won the Malaysia Cup. Following speedy Kefira till the distance post, Venezia moved up under the stick to collar the runaway leader who ran an eye-catching second.

The afternoon commenced with Javed Khan-trained Highland Princess (Phoenix Tower-Russian Muse/ Manjri Stud) making every post a winning one in the hands of apprentice RS Bhati. The speedster was chased by Tsavo all the way but the latter had the misfortune of breaking a blood vessel.

Another apprentice – P Vikram - followed suit with a superb ride astride Mahasuvi (Western Arisrtocrat-Bluegrass Phenom/ Yervada Stud). Utilising his allowance to good effect, Vikram took the shortest route home astride James Mc Keown’s ward after Bulldozer had led for most part with Spallanzani on his outside. The ante-post favourite Perfect Balance was withdrawn at the starting stalls after she splayed up and hurt herself.

 Patrick Quinn-trained Apalachee (Serious Spender- Aprilla) produced an encore and lifted the French Cup, aided by S John’s strong handling. The ante-post favourite Outrider did all the running but came unstuck when challenged. Dark Gold once again finished in the money but a little more was expected from him. The filly Danceress may not be an apprentice ride.

The curtain came down with a good gamble materialising on Mellow Fellow (Chevalier-Star Pride/ Ruia Stud) from the Robert Gowli stable.  The five-year-old was ridden to perfection by Imran Chity who had to fend off a strong challenge from Victoriana in the final 100m.