Trainer Vijay Singh`s promising filly, Aashna (Suraj Narredu-up) fully justified her form and short odds on her way to slamming the opposition in the 1,200m Indian Produced Stakes, the chief attraction in the New Year`s Day race card, on Monday. In fact, Suraj was on a roll in the nine-event card, notching up a popular treble. Suraj`s other winners were trainer James McKeown`s in-form Ophion in the 2,200m Eveready RCTC Gold Vase and Arti Doctor`s Namid in the 2,000m Friends FM Cup.
Aashna was simply too good on the day for the opposition. However, the filly`s main rival, Coup de Grace (Dashrath Singh), in the eight-horse field, contributed a bit toward `s the victory of the Win Legend daughter. Dashrath, many believed, made a mistake of taking a start-to-finish route, on the Arazan colt, instead of sitting back behind Aashna. Coup de Grace, though was seen gaining ground on the filly inside the final furlong, the verdict of three length-plus, recorded by Aashan, was authoritative.
Ophion, on the other hand, had to counter a serious challenge from Bharath`s Serendine (Dashrath) in the Gold Vase. Both horses are known for their off the pace tactics but Ophion`s breezing finish was too hot to tackle for Serendine, who seems to be on a decline.
Namid, on the other hand, was ridden, in a check behind the long time leader, El Cid in the other middle distance race, the 2,000m Friends FM Cup. The top-weighted horse was sent into the winning lead, 250m from home, to easily counter a challenge from Vijay`s Avarua (Ashad Asbar) who fell short by about a length at the wire. Although, both horses were flat out till the end yet they may do well in their next start as the rest in the field were far away.
Advika proved far too good for the opposition in the other baby race, the Bookmaker`s Association Cup. The Multidimensional daughter was held back behind her stablemate, Snow Star (Prashant Dhebe), till about the final turn and was gone when Suraj asked the filly to accelerate 300m from home. She is bound to be a serious contender in the premium-events for the fillies.
Bharath and Dashrath, too, scored a double, a quick one. Starting off in the curtain raiser, the trainer`s four-year-old late beginner, Alldero, paid compliment to his master by winning the 1,600m Turf Hawk Handicap. The Multidimensional colt, a recent winner over a 1,200m sprint, was thrown against seasoned milers. The colt, though delivered the goods, hardly justified his short odds of 17/20. Alldero had to stretch out fully to contend with Rasq Sharqi`s (Neeraj Rawal`s) challenge.
Ayra`s Pet, another of Bharath-Dashrath`s hope, too, had to stretch out to the limit to beat One Man Army (Imran Chisty) who went for his usual pillar-to-post tactics but was stumped at the wire. Trainer Patrick Quinn`s Alishas Pet (Suraj), too, jumped into the fray, albeit late, to make the finish interesting but placed a shade under a length behind the fighting pair.
Complimenting Aura`s Pet form, trainer Manvendra Singh`s Pierce Arrow (Hindu Singh) also put her best foot forward, in the 1,100m t2 Cup which the five-year-old won with authority from another fancied runner, Celerino (Suraj), from Vijay`s stable. Pierce Arrow had recently placed a good third behind Ayra`s Pet.
Quinn also managed to squeeze in his share of victory, after his Alishas Pet and Summerhill had disappointed in their respective events. Quinn`s heavily fancied Perfect Balance (C. Alford) romped home with the 1,100m Beauregard Handicap. The four-year-old filly was taken to a start-to-finish effort and she had an easy measure of McKeown`s Day Flower (B. Mahesh) and Avilome Vilome (app. Nikhil Naidu) from the stable of Javed, who drew a blank in the afternoon`s card.
Trainer Shafiq Khan`s quietly fancied Rolly Polly (Afzal Khan) was a medium of big gamble in the lower division of the Beauregard Handicap, the 9/2 shot duly obliged, having measure of Ivy, the last outing winner.
Alldero (Dashrath Singh up) winner of the Turf Hawk Handicap
Ayra`s Pet (Dashrath Singh up) winner of the Goldfinder Handicap
Pierce Arrow (Hindu Singh up) winner of the T2 Cup
Advika (Suraj Narredu up) winner of the Bookmakers` Association Cup
Namid (S Zervan up) winner of the Friends Fm Cup
Ophion (Suraj Narredu up) winner of the Eveready Rctc Gold Vase
Aashna (Suraj Narredu up) winner of the Indian Produce Stakes
Perfect Balance (C Alford up) winner of the Beauregard Handicap (Div-I)
Rolly Polly (Afzal Khan up) winner of the Beauregard Handicap (Div-II)