• Punjabi Girl wins The Fillies Championship Stakes (Gr.1)
  • Sir Cecil wins The Colts Championship Stakes (Gr.1)
By Epsom Ace
Saturday 10 Mar 2018
Trainer Vijay Singh leading Shivalik Story (Dashrath Singh Up), winner of The Midnight Cowboy Cup

The Midnight Cowboy Cup saw a clever piece of horsemanship by Dashrath Singh land the spoils for the Vijay Singh-trained Shivalik Story (Acclaimation-Sweeping Story) at RCTC on Saturday. Permitting Zander to lead till the bend, Dashrath stole a march in the straight and this stood him in good stead as Brahmachari was given too much to do too late. Commander was running after a considerable lay-off and needed the run.

Arti Doctor-trained Sweet Music recorded her fourth win of the season when she won the Governor’s Cup. Apprentice RS Bhati proved his amazing affinity for the Dean’s Kitten-Zahwah filly as he was astride her during all four wins. Front-running favourite Setaflame lost out the runner-up berth to the fast-finishing Copernicus who found the winner out of his reach. Once again, Bhati chose the rails run and got away without being blocked. Kudos to the lad! Trainer Javed Khan and jockey CS Jodha completed a high-priced double for owner Vikram Bachhawat with Beatles Bible and Bambini Festa.

Though the two divisions of the Hydrofoil Handicap were ‘No Whip Races’, they were nevertheless claimed by riders without allowances. Vikash Jaiswal’s Zara Go Zara (Dancing Forever-Red Millenium/ Hazara Stud) had finished a good fourth under the whip last outing. On this day, Akash Rajput rode the five-year-old mare to a fine victory over Hurricane Storm and Shafer. True Genius was an utter flop. In the lower division, Heading Glory was installed as the firm favourite but the colt was never in it. It’s quite possible that apprentice Tejeshwar is too weak to get the best out of him. Christopher Alford may have been a better choice as he had ridden the colt once in a forward manner but the local ace was conspicuous by his absence. The  race was bagged by Raunak Banerji’s Dark Angel (Sharp Attack-Angel Of Glory/ Gee Stud) with Hindu Singh astride. Following Glamorous Glory till the straight, Dark Angel shot ahead to win from Curtis.

Bharath Singh-trained Bojangles (Win Legend-Moment Of The Day/ Dashmesh Stud) made every post of the Yerevan Plate a winning one in the hands of Dashrath Singh. He was surprisingly available at 5/1 as money poured in on Iconia and Lumos. It seems Dashrath has made the jockey’s championship a one-horse-race.

Dashrath however failed to deliver on Lochinvar in The Indian Air Force Cup as the pace of Manvendra Singh-trained  Nelson’s Blood (Whatsthescript-Champagne Cocktail) was too much for him to handle. The connections rather astutely declared P Vikram whose 4kg allowance proved a great advantage. Promoted favourite Panchovilla failed to match the strides of the two front-runners.

Vijay Singh-trained Akshaya was backed to the exclusion of all others in The Eastern Air Command Cup but the filly flattered to deceive. The final 100 metres of the seven furlong race belonged to Beatles Bible and Rnnning Hand with the former travelling the better of the two. CS Jodha rode a hard finish on the Masterofthehorse-Hugoshair filly.

In the last race of the day run over 2000 metres, Jodha played the waiting game and it paid rich dividends. Friendship opened a huge gap of 15 lengths with Jordana in tow till the bend where the latter took over. By then the field had narrowed the gap and bottom-weighted Bambini Festa (Royal Gladiator-Markova / Pratap Stud) virtually won by default as the front-runners fizzled out.