Trainer Vikash Jaiwal`s in form speedster, One Man Army (app. P. Tejeshwar-up), had a narrow measure of his heavily fancied stable-mate, Amorous White (app. R.S. Bhati) in the 1,100m Artesia Cup, Tuesday`s main attraction in the seven-event card. The afternoon also witnessed trainers Vijay Singh and Javed Khan, notching up priced doubles while apprentice Nikhil Naidu and C.S. Jodha also excelled in the saddle, over favourites, to finish the day with a brace of wins apiece.
The fact that the 1,100m scurry turned out to be tailor made for speedy One Man Army as Amorous White was at a gross weight advantage. One Man Army played a catch-me-if-you-can game from the start, leaving a ‘head` to came between the two stable-mates at the wire. The favourite lost despite an earnest handling of Bhati who was always within a striking distance of the frontrunner. In the same race trainer Bharath`s Singh long shot, Tweedle Dee (app.Sujit Paswan), was a great third, having travelled on the wide, after gracing the wrong end for a major part of the journey.
Tejeshwar also came close to recording his first double of the career but knuckled under the superior riding force of his senior professional, Naidu, who settled the issue in favour of his charge, Novikov, a 7/1 chance in the Appollonia Handicap.
In the race, City Heights was at the helm from 600m but lost the advantage, virtually at the post. The course-favourite. Lancaster (C.S. Jodha), too, was travelling fast in the final furlong but gave the indications that the slated trip was a trifle short to his liking as the Vijay Singh-trained baby looked rusty but was a good third behind the fighting pair.
Naidu also helped Vijay notch-up the 1,100m True Colours Handicap. The apprentice guided Vijay`s Levante, to a well-judged victory after allowing the speedy Patrick Quinn-charge, Perfect Balance (Afzal Khan), and Javed`s Malana (Shezad Khan) rule till about 150m from the post.
Vijay`s Akshya (C. Alford), who had failed as a favourite on number of occasions during the big season, was a very easy winner of the 1,400m Sreepriya Handicap. Allowing El Cid (Arshad Alam) to show the way for a brief while, Akshaya was taken to the front for a very facile victory. Summerhill (S. John) who attracted a big support in the race but struggled to place fifth but Harvinder Bath`s charge, Dixie Diamond (Shezad) performed like a coming winner as he covered miles in the straight to occupy the second berth.
Javed`s baby, Stelvio Pass proved too good for his seven rivals in 1,200m Hokaido Plate. Looking impressive during his brief paddock parade, the China Visit-Analresh son, performed like a seasoned galloper as he took an easy measure of the long-time leader, Romantic Zeal, a debutante. Trainer Manvendra Singh`s Ekakin, who placed second, was equally impressive during the parade and he justified his looks as he easily downed the tiring Romantic Zeal.
Javed`s Xlite (Jodha) was backed down, from 6/1 to 3/1, in the concluding event, the 1,400m Sophisticated Lady Handicap which the filly won from the start, fully justifying the faith bestowed in her by the trainer. She literally made every post a winning one.
The curtain raiser, the 1,200m Reliable Handicap, too, witnessed a heavy wagering on trainer Jasbir Singh`s Balze To Glory (Rajinder Singh), who not only delivered the goods but also gave the indication that she may returned to the winning enclosure again. The mare was always a double handful but looked a bit rusty in the final furlong. This win is bound to further help her cause.
Blaze To Glory (Rajinder Singh up) winner of the Reliable Handicap
Stelvio Pass (C S Jodha up) winner of the Hokaido Plate
Novikov (Nikhil Naidu up) winner of the Appolotina Handicap
Levante (Nikhil Naidu up) winner of the True Colours Handicap
One Man Army (P Tejeshwar up) winner of the Artesia Cup
Akshaya (C Alford up) winner of the Sreepriya Handicap
Xlite (C S Jodha up) winner of the Sophisticated Lady Handicap