Form held true in most of Saturday`s race card, featuring the 1,400m Mayfowl Cup; which was claimed by trainer Vijay Singh`s 9/20 hot favourite, Multitude, who was simply brilliant in his winning effort. The Multidimensional/Haedi son, ridden by S. John, in fact, won far more easily than what the official verdict of a length-and-a-half indicates. The afternoon also presented opportunities to the visiting jockeys --John and Dashrath Singh – to display their riding skills. John booted home four winners while Dashrath picked up three, in the afternoon`s eight-event card.
Multitude was held back, close to the rails, behind the long time leaders -- Shivalik Storm, ridden by Dashrath Singh, replacing Neeraj Rawal who failed to show up, and Cadman (Hindu Singh) -- till about the distance post. Presented the galloping room at that juncture, winning the race become a mere formality for the prized horse as the late challenger, Evesham (C. Alford), was more engaged in a struggle to earn the second berth from the weakening leader, Shivalik Storm, than doing anything better.
John was charged up right from the start. In the curtain raiser, the 1,600m Aayush Handicap, the forceful jockey managed to coax the best out of trainer Javed Khan`s lazy youngster, Raqs Sharqi – for his maiden victory. The Royal Gladiator son was lucky to go to the start as 7/2 chance, thanks to a massive flow of money towards trainer Rutherford Alford`s Queen`s Kitten, a 14/10 favourite.
Raqs Sharqi was ridden well off the pace but covered the leeway, inside the final 250m, to retire a convincing winner. The favourite, on the other hand, showed out in the early half of the journey before going backwards. More importantly, in paddock looks, the Dean`s Kitten daughter was no match for Raqs Sharqi.
John was back in the winner`s enclosure an hour later, as he guided Vijay`s another public-choice, in fact a 2/1 joint-favourite with Nobu, ridden by Hindu, replacing Neeraj, in the 1,200m Aspirant Handicap. Hindu rode a flawless race from the start, on the James McKeown-trainee, but went down to Akshaya who was ridden with hands and heels only.
John had to wait till the last race, the lower division of the 1,400m Miss X O Lence Handicap, for his moment of glory. It was trainer Vikash Jaiswal`s top-weighted runner, I Am Legend, who helped the jockey strike a ‘boundry.` The winner, however, had to fight a three-cornered battle, with trainer Jasbir Singh`s Sicario (Mohit Singh) and Raunaq Banerji`s Tsvavo (Hindu). In the same race, trainer McKeown 13/4 fancied runner, Yamazaki (C. Alford) was slowly out of the gates while Fab Bullet (Dashrath) was badly off.
The upper division of the Miss X O Lence Handicap was picked up by Bharath`s Simon Templar, ridden by Dashrath, his first of the three winners. There is nothing to write home about the victory of the 5/2 favourite who led from the start and sailed away to indicate that he is capable of striking again.
Ah hour later, Dashrath displayed his riding craft while piloting Bharath`s very badly drawn Sangfroid, in 14-horse field, to a runaway victory over a fancied pair of Apalachee (John) and Romantic Lass (C. Alford). In the same race Vijay`s heavily wagered Victoriana (app. Nikhil Naidu) cut a sorry figure, thanks to her burst blood vessel.
Dashrath`s was a virtual armchair ride on Bharath`s Classic hope Rufus, an 8/10 favourite, in the 1,400m Cavalry Cup, on his way to recording his treble. The top-weighted runner was brought the shortest way home to overhaul Millenium Glory who tried to win from the start.
Trainer Rutherford Alford`s Hartnell (Ashhad Asbar) was hard-pressed to beat Vikash`s long shot, Celtic King in the Rajcoomar Gujadhur Memorial Cup over 1,600 meters. The winner was a little rusty before his preparatory race, leading to the 2000 Guineas.