• 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)
VIJAY SINGH NOTCHES UP A QUALITY QUADRUPLE
KOLKATA
By Epsom Ace
Tuesday 07 Aug 2018
Mr Vikram Bachhawat & trainer Javed Khan Leading Gloaming (C S Jodha Up) Winner OF The Argiano Cup

Champion trainer Vijay Singh displayed his Midas touch with a quality quartet of winners at RCTC on Tuesday. However, the day’s main event, The Argiano Cup, saw Javed Khan-trained Gloaming winning in splendid solitude in the safe hands of CS Jodha. The light-weight rider rode a copybook race as he permitted Mogadishu to call the shots till the distance post before moving with a thunderous gallop in the final 200m to sail away from the field. The property of Vikram Bachhawat was meticulously prepared by his mentor to lift this cup and the big-boned colt did not disappoint over his pet trip. Rather surprisingly, the Ravel-Flair Queen four-year-old was available at lucrative odds of 4/1. The disappointment in the race was San Martino who ambled in the rear of the field.

Vijay’s assortment of winners comprised Iconia (75/100), Splash Proof(30/1), Alyssa (6/1) and Avarua (4/1). Apprentice Nikhil Naidu continued to shine on the track with another double (Iconia and Avarua). He rode a hell of a finish on Avarua to get the better of Dixie Diamond at the wire. The afternoon commenced with Daniel David’s Hurricane Storm (Hurricane Center-Paddy’s Dasher) registering a shock victory. The five-year-old was ridden with great determination by Ranidan Singh to get the better of Dark Angel. Speedy Regal would have preferred 100m less to run while Shafer was slow off and failed to make up the lost ground.

Ranidan Singh completed a double when Deepak Karki’s Shape The Scape (Ontario-Spirit Of Chester) made every post of the upper division of The Tangiers Handicap a winning one. Of the trio of fancied runners – Naumee, Divine Magic and Happy Returns – the first named was the best as she did worry the winner near the distance post but the pull in weights helped Shape The Scape win. The withdrawal of Bojangles left the coast clear for Iconia (Excellent Art-Gold Marie) in the lower division of the Tangiers Handicap. However, Romantic Lass ran a good race and is one for the notebook.

  The fourth race, The Court Minstrel Plate, was run in blinding rain. Local ace Christopher Alford had Bharath Singh-trained Lumos (Arazan-Sea Queen) tucked in along the rails while stablemate Charismo called the shots. As is his wont, Alford took the shortest route into the straight but the colt drifted out once into the home stretch. The favourite Lancaster issued a strong challenge along the rails but to no avail as Alford had the race well under control.                                                                                                                                              

The next race the Gumaan Handicap, produced the afternoon’s biggest shocker as Splash Proof – who was running after over a year – helped apprentice Hasib Alam break out of the maiden ranks. Fortune Express ran a great race but failed to concede the huge chunk of weight to the winner – a five-year-old by Whatsthescript out of Splash Of Class. It’s quite possible that he may win again before the season is over. The favourite Ascension burst a blood vessel while both Leopard Creek and Victoriana ran lacklustre races.

Vijay Singh’s Alyssa (El Johar – Hava Nagila) took advantage of her superior class and an outside draw to make every post of the seven furlong race for the Ballet Master Handicap a winning one. In her previous start, she was chopped off at the start. Rather surprisingly, jockey Neeraj Rawal had to urge his mount to keep going in the final furlong as seven-year-old Indus Prince issued a serious challenge. There was no threat from Stelvio Pass or Demonstrate.

The curtain came down with Avarua (Abbeyside-Aymaras) using her handicap to good effect over the 1800m trip. Stablemate Panchovilla set a fast pace but came unstuck at the top of the straight when collared by Dixie Diamond who was shaping like a winner till Naidu’s determined effort landed the spoils. Kudos to the lad!