• 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
INTERSTELLAR SENDS PUNTERS INTO ORBIT
KOLKATA
By Epsom Ace
Thursday 29 Mar 2018
Trainer Manvendra Singh leading Interstellar (Hindu Singh Up), winner of The Mysore Race Club Cup

The final afternoon of racing at RCTC proved disastrous for punters as not a single totalisator favourite obliged in a card of eight races. The feature event of the day, The Mysore Race Club Cup, saw Manvendra Singh-trained Interstellar (Top Class-Eternal Spirit/ Mukteshwar Stud) being guided to a handsome victory with a fluent run in the straight. Lying in mid-division with the favourite Alishas Pet at his side, Hindu Singh decided to turn on the heat atop the 10/1 shot after turning for home and the grey mare responded magnificently to sail past pace-setting Shivalik Story in a trice.

Among the visiting jockeys, both Trevor Patel and Dashrath Singh drew a blank while CS Jodha booted home his last mount of the day – Pollyana. Derby winner Aggregated was declared the ‘champion horse’ while the ‘horse of the season’ was Sweet Music. Vijay Singh and Dashrath Singh were crowner champion trainer and jockey respectively. The leading apprentice was RS Bhati. The leading owners were URBB (United Racing and Bloodstock Breeders). Yours truly of www.indiarace.com bagged the RCTC Tipsters Cup First Prize for the seventh winter meeting in the past ten seasons.

The afternoon commenced with James McKeown’s Novikov (Holding Court-Dancer’s Fan) finding his galloping shoes to the surprise of most and making every post a winning one in the race for the Red Bay Handicap. Top-weight jockey Mahesh piloted the winner. Stablemate Royal One with Dashrath astride was a tame second. If the morning shows the day, then the result of the first race gave an indication of things to follow.

The two divisions of The Contralto Handicap which were ‘No Whips’ races, saw the heavy-weights The Big Bull and Carpe Noctem come good.  Jockey Arshad Alam rode a power-packed hands-and-heels finish atop Vikash Jaiswal’s The Big Bull (Razeen-Forest Treasure/ Usha Stud) to get the better of runaway Looking Good. Fantasia finished on well and will be worth keeping an eye on in the future. Two recent imports Crystal Ball and Man Of Word returned bleeding through both nostrils. The one for the notebook is In The Night who finished sixth and is eligible to run in the bottom class in her next outing.
Apprentice P Vikram rode a matured race atop Javed Khan-trained Carpe Noctem (Surfrider-Princess Helen) to surprise all and sundry. Her initial scorching pace was too much for the favourite Friendship and he cried off after the turning for home. When most expected her to fizzle out after the distance post, the game filly kept galloping freely and did rather well to keep at bay the menacing Happy Returns who was seen to move up in the final furlong.

In The Star Of Italy Handicap, siblings Dixie Diamond and Demonstrate (Sedgefield-Dixie Dahlin / Jai Govind Stud), hailing  from the stable of Bath, switched roles to send another set of shockwaves through the stands. Not used to running with the pace, Demonstrate drifted out in the straight while heavily gambled Uncrowned King (Trevor up) took over the running and shaped like a winner. Known to prefer a mile, Dixie Diamond (Shezad Khan up) moved late to peg back the favourite close home.
Trainer Vijay Singh showed his penchant for youngsters when the fashionably bred filly Mahali (Midnight Interlude-Allies Serenade) produced a thunderous gallop along the rails to overhaul public choice Lumenac close home.  The well-prepared filly was ridden with great maturity and understanding by able apprentice Nikhil Naidu. More will be heard of her in the seasons to follow.

The Jaiswal stable did extremely well to pull off another gamble with apprentice Paswan within a week of Denny Crane’s victory. Speedy One Man Army (Noverre-Ashka/ Sohna Stud) set a scorching pace in the Dark Legend Handicap that left his rivals out of breath and panting. It is good to see the local apprentices ride freely and fearlessly even in the presence of the big names in the starting line-up. Kudos to Vikram, Bhati, Naidu and Paswan! Javed Khan-trained Pollyana (Noverre-Perfect Poly/ Sohna Stud) completed the day’s proceedings when CS Jodha fired her home by overhauling front-runners Alshafa and Multiple with less than 100 metres to go.