Trainer Vikash Jaiswal`s favourite, Kramer (app. Rupal Singh-up) scored a fluent victory in the Aladancer Cup, the main attraction on Tuesday, the opening day of the season. The apprentice also helped the trainer`s another public-choice, Nextstar, to land the curtain-raiser. Rupal Singh cashed on his big season`s form, notching up a priced double, in the afternoon`s six-event card.
Rupal`s riding on the 6/4 favourite, however, left much to be desired. Improving from the fourth berth as San Martino (Nikhil Naidu), Admiral Hatsu (Md Islam) and an equally fancied Flag Flying (Shezad Khan) showed the way till the final turn, the apprentice appeared to be in a hurry to win – taking Kramer to about six to eight wide, and thus delaying his victory chances on the wide out of the six-horse field.
It is another matter that Kramer proved too good for the opposition, particularly for the improving Admiral Hatsu, inside the final-furlong but Rupal needs to take a lesson from his seniors, pertaining to riding late finishers. In crunch situations, the enterprising apprentice is sure to feel the pinch.
In the same race, the trainer Shyam Habbu`s Flying Flag`s challenge fizzled out nearing 300m marker from home as Shezad failed to control the shifting out the joint-favourite.
Rupal, however, rode a perfect race on Vikash`s 11/10 favourite, Nextstar, in the day`s opener, the 1,100m Goldliner Handicap. Taking the speedy charge to the front, right from the start, Rupal gradually build up a commanding lead to his advantage and thrashed trainer Javed Khan`s quietly fancied 10/1 shot, Carpe Noctem (Bhati) who was always in chase. The 3/1 second chance, Iconia (Dhanu Derora) clearly needed the run. The light-framed filly was in a challenging position till below the distance post but the Aashay Doctor-trainee failed to move up.
Bhati also presented veteran trainer Harvinder Bath the 1,100m As Ever Handicap when the apprentice guided a similar light-structured mare, Shanayaa`s Pet to a pillar-to-post victory, and in a facile manner. The seven-year-old beat the other senior professional Javed ‘s Stelvio Pass (Dhanu), who carried the top-weight but boasts of being, perhaps, one of the smallest horse in the RCTC`s stables.
The big season`s form heavily pointed to the winning chances of Javed`s The Kiss (Nikhil Naidu), in the 1,200m Arizona Pie Handicap. However, the expanding odds of the 7/10, though worried a section of punters about the intentions of the stable but Multidimensional daughter retuned a facile winner. The Kiss allowed the early leaders – Manvendra Singh`s Midnight Star and the Vikash`s second favourite, Dangal – a small break till about the distance-post, before making a winning run.
Aashay had a number of chance runners in the card but it was the heavily fancied Lady Two (Dhanu) who came closest to win in the 1,100m Brown Wolf Handicap. She also lead from the start but was beaten at the post by Bharath Singh`s Lumos, ridden by a leap-year jockey, Md Islam. Lumos produced an inspired run, after being a handy third till 150m from the winning-post.
Habbu`s Nembe Creek (Shezad) cornered all the money in the concluding event, the 1,200m Amorina Handicap but it was stable-mate, Bacaardi (Bhati) who put his best foot forward almost from the start.
Nextstar (Rupal Singh up) winner of the Goldliner Handicap
Shanayaa`s Pet (R S Bhati up) winner of the As Ever Handicap
Lumos (Md Islam up) winner of the Brown Wolf Handicap
Kramer (Rupal Singh up) winner of the Aladancer Cup
The Kiss (Nikhil Naidu up) winner of the Arizona Pie Handicap
Bacaardi (R S Bhati up) winner of the Amorina Handicap