• Punjabi Girl wins The Fillies Championship Stakes (Gr.1)
  • Sir Cecil wins The Colts Championship Stakes (Gr.1)
By Epsom Ace
Tuesday 20 Mar 2018
Trainer Javed Khan leading Tough Enough (CS Jodha Up), winner of The Lombard Handicap

Though she closed as the favourite with the bookmakers, Javed Khan-trained Highland Princess failed to bag the sprint for the Lombard Handicap. It was pocketed by her neglected stablemate Tough Enough (Ontario-Thorns of Life) who came with a smooth run from the rear of the field and simply left Highland Princess standing after the distance post. Jockey CS Jodha piloted the six-year-old gelding.

It was an afternoon of mixed fortunes for punters as three of the six winners did not find any backers in the ring. Nevertheless, popular jockey Dashrath Singh, filling in for the absent Suraj Narredu, notched up a well-backed double with Cadillac and Dancing Prince.  The latter’s victory was however marred by a conspiracy which led to the favourite Prancing Queen being badly blocked.  Two horses from the same yard known for its allegiance to the winning stable of Vikash Jaiswal were seen to travel hand in hand, ahead of Prancing Queen, till the front running Dancing Price (Ace-Dancing Greens) had taken a substantial break of over four lengths. Leading jockey Trevor Patel was unhappy with the manner in which his mount was blocked and felt that he would have won otherwise. While the entire unethical episode left a bad taste in the mouth, none of the professionals involved could be penalised as they all denied any wrongdoing – totally ‘unaware’ of the conspiracy. For the gains of a few, the majority of punters took a beating which rather unfairly left Trevor’s reputation at this centre at an all time low.

 Vijay Singh-trained Cadillac (Excellent Art-Classic Sky) notched up his second consecutive win of the season when he won the Fizz Plate start to finish. His breeding suggests that he will be comfortable over longer trips which would seem to make him a potential classic contender in the forthcoming seasons.

The afternoon commenced with apprentice RS Bhati riding a strong finish astride Bath-trained Mrs Willy Nilly to land the spoils in the race for The Record Reign Handicap. Tracking Royal One till the turning for home, Mrs Willy Nilly (Colonel John-Willy Point) shot ahead and kept at bay Zara Go Zara.

In the race for the Kempion Handicap, Manvendra Singh-trained Prince Of Heart (Dancing Forever-Private Collection) with Hindu Singh in the saddle, was a pillar-to-post winner. In this race, fancied by some – Fab Bullet, planted and took the day off. Despite his attractive name, punters would do well to keep away from him in the future till such time as he proves himself as a more reliable type. The curtain came down with James McKeown’s Rising From Ashes (Win Legend-For An Angel/ Dashmesh Stud) springing a surprise in the race for The Saloon Handicap. Aided by a mock race three days earlier, the gelding picked up a winning gallop late in the seven-furlong race.  Fancied runners Indus Prince and Heading Glory faded out after early promise to keep the coast clear for the heavy-weight in the hands of B Mahesh.