Trainer James McKeown`s prized horse, Trafalgar (A. Sandesh-up) kept his date with the 2,000m Calcutta Monsoon Derby, Sunday`s feature event. However, it was some element of luck that helped the local challenger take an easy measure of his South India rival, Tenno Sho (Y.S. Srinath), a Neil Darashah`s trained horse who had drubbed Trafalgar in the Colts Stakes about three weeks earlier. The afternoon was otherwise ruled by trainer Vijay Singh who notched up another treble while his stable-jockey Suraj Narredu, and another visiting rider, Imran Chisty, too, were among winners as each of the two notched up a priced double.
Apparently, Trafalgar won the Derby in a majestic manner but Tenno Sho also had a story to tell. The two horses were ridden well off the pace as Vijay`s Jaivant (Suraj) tried to win from the start, with Manvendra Singh`s Topnotch (Chisty) and Javed Khan`s Script (Neeraj Rawal) in hot chase.
The scene alter dramatically, as Trafalgar changed the gear 300m from home to slip into the winning lead while Tenno Sho made a slow progress on the wide out. Tenno Show did manage to get over the weakening Jaivant but was in distress -- panting -- and failed to display his Colts Stake` scintillating winning run that had made him the 5/2 joint favourite with Trafalgar, in the Derby.
Barely 150m passing the winning post, Tenno Sho collapsed but a timely medical assistance put the Phoenix Tower son back on his feet.
Therefore, the facile victory of Trafalgar left his critics with riddles of ifs and buts, though Tenno lives to fight another day as the authoritative victory of the Western Aristocrat son takes a place in the record books.
Vijay`s day started with an easy victory of a friendless runner, The Stradle (Hindu Singh) in the 1,100m Stoney Valley Handicap, that the Dancing Forever son won with ease, after allowing the 9/4 favourite, Shimmer Star (app P. Tajeshwar) and Aquitania (Akshay Kumar) to dictate terms up front. The early hot-pace may have proved too tiring for the early leaders that paved the way for a facile victory of the 15/1 shot.
Vijay`s Cold Frontier grew wings as the betting ring was buzzed with a two-horse straight fight between Vijay`s Sniper (Nikhil Naidu), a runaway winner about 10 days ago, and Harvinder Bath`s ideally handicap, Fiorelle (Neeraj Rawal), in the 2,000m Captain Cook Handicap. This time Sniper failed to get clear of the opposition, from the start, and his marginal lead over Midnight Phantom (Sujit Pawan) never helped his cause. Suraj, on the other hand, rode the a copy-book race on Cold Frontier, and made the best use of the wet-condition over the slated trip, when brought on the wide out from the rear to score over Fiorelle, who was being hailed as a winner.
Trainer Arti Doctor`s Eastside (S. Zervan) went to the start as 9/4 favourite, in the 1,400m Ascritive Handicap but it was Vijay`s After Shock (Suraj) who made every post of the 1,400m race a winning one.
Chisty`s Caiden, was overlooked in 1,600m Alice Sprint Handicap as Raunak Banerji`ds Louboutin (Suraj) and Vijay`s Hukumat (Naidu) were more in demand. Caiden, however, was always in the striking position as Louboutin made most of the running but failed when challenged by the winner.
Trainer Sarfraz Khan`s 8/1 shot provided Chisty with his next winner, in the 1,400m Sana Cup. Ridden well off the pace, the six-year-old displayed his usual turn of foot in the home straight to have an easy measure of the long time leader, Vikash Jaiswal`s Amorous White (Aditya Jaiswal) and also the late finishing stable-mate, Capricious (Vinay Jaiswal).
The day started with jockey Akshay Kumar turning a half-chance into a full on his way to guiding trainer Daniel David`s Hurricane Storm to a narrow victory over Bath`s Mrs Willy Nilly (Naidu) and Robert Gowli`s Itsamoocow (C. Alford).
Hurricane Storm (Akshay Kumar up) winner of the Star Precision Handicap
The Stradle (Hindu Singh up) winner of the Stoney Valley Handicap
Caiden (Imran Chisty up) winner of the Alice Springs Handicap
Cold Frontier (Suraj Narredu up) winner of the Captain Cook Handicap
Trafalgar (A Sandesh up) winner of the Calcutta Monsoon Derby (2019) (Gr.2)
Shivesh (Imran Chisty up) winner of the Sana Cup
After Shock (Suraj Narredu up) winner of the Ascriptive Handicap