Jockey Akash Rajput was at his usual best on Tuesday when the Delhi-based champion guided trainer Vikash Jaiswal`s long shot Amorous White to a narrow victory in the 1,100m D. Karki Memorial Cup, the feature event. The afternoon also witnessed jockey Nikhil Naidu calling shots on trainer Vijay Singh`s fancied runners with a brace apiece, on an afternoon that remained dry in the absence of rain, will be best remembered as a day of ‘googlees` and ‘doosras.`
Akash, who switched headquarters, during the ensuing season hadn`t had a bright start on the Day One of the season. However, the talented jockey found his moorings on an ideally handicapped Amorous White, though the stable considered the 7/10 hot-property, Kramer (app Rupal Singh), as home and dry.
Akash allowed the 10/1 shot to settle close behind, One Man Army (Vinay Jaiswal), another of stable`s runner while the favourite galloped close to the rails right after the front runners. With the long time leader shortening strides, it became apparent inside the last furlong that that Amorous White was the horse to beat. More so because of the weakening of One Man Army close to the rails had forced the favourite to switch course. Kramer did cover some space but Akash made Amorous White hold his ground in the final 75 with his power-packed punches.
Vijay and Nikhil were expected to win four races but the champion saddler`s Magnificent Star and the Classic-failure, Aashna, had other ideas. The speedy Magnificent Star failed to display his hot-foot, after an early struggle, up-front while Aashna raced in a rusty manner to go down to trainer Shafiq Khan`s long knife, Airlift. Incidentally, both horses sported identical colours.
Magnificent Star, perhaps, detested the early struggle with trainer James Mckeown`s Millenium Glory (Hindu Singh) to be more disturbing. Do not write off the speedster, who finally finished off the frame. The youngster may bounce back to form.
So will Aashna, who definitely needed the run. A seven-furlong race is, normally, hard to pick-up, unless solidly prepared. Therefore, the experienced six-year-old`s effort came in handy against the youngster.
In the 1,100m Replicate Handicap, Vijay`s 11/10 favourite, Astoria, too, struggled to beat Vikash`s Whitewalker (Askash) who was trifle unlucky to have lost some ground at the start. The smart Air Suppot filly made her own running but was left to fend herself in the final 100m from the on-rushing pair of Whitewalker and trainer Mabvendra Singh`s Tiberon (Hindu). Incidentally, the beaten pair had benefit of runs.
Vijay opened his monsoon season campaign when a fancied Marigold delivered the good in the day`s opener, the 1,200m Everynsky Handicap. The 3/1 fancied runner was facile in the victory after allowing the equally fancied Javed Khan-trained, Xlite (Dhanu Deora) to call the shots; until a furlong from home.
Trainer Bharath`s top-weighted runner, Botswana Star (Neeraj Rawal) attracted good wagering in the 1,200m Elena Plate but it was the 6/1 stable-mate, Incendio (Rupal Singh) who triumphed. While the top-weighted runner was never a threat, Incendio had to fight a hard battle with the strongly fancied Vijay`s runner, Miami (Hindu) and Arti Doctor`s Sharavati (C. Alford). Incendio, in fact, could have scored more comfortably, had the filly been ridden more judiciously.
Marigold (Nikhil Naidu up) winner of the Everynsky Handicap
Millenium Glory (Hindu Singh up) winner of the Picture Perfect Handicap
Incendio (Rupal Singh up) winner of the Elena Plate
Astoria (Nikhil Naidu up) winner of the Replicate Handicap
Amorous White (Akash Rajput up) winner of the D Karki Memorial Cup
Airlift (R S Bhati up) winner of the Brush Aside Handicap