The course favourite`s, Shivansh`s, somewhat rusty performance proved a bit too costly for the followers of favourites, as trainer James McKeown`s eight-year-old ward, Shivalik Showers, adopted pillar-to-post tactics and lasted out to win the 1,600m Delhi Race Club Ltd. Cup, the star attraction in Saturday`s seven-event card. The afternoon, in fact, witnessed the fall of a good number of favourites, leaving trainer Bharath Singh and his retained jockey Dashrath Singh among, two long priced, winners.
Apprentice P. Vikram atop Shivalik Shower made his intention clear right from the start of the race when he encouraged the eight-year-old Shivalik Showers to go for his known style of running – from start-to-finish. The 7/1 shot literally led a merry dance; until faced with a serious challenge, from the favourite, inside the last furlong but the badly shifting out favourite surrendered the advantage to the long time leader, who, himself cutting an erratic course.
Shivansh lacked the fluency, and flourish for which the last year`s Monsoon Derby, and also the St Leger, winner had been known for. Shivansh is too good a horse to be written off for such an odd performance in a quick succession. His crafty trainer, Vijay Singh, will have such trifle problems attended to, and sorted out at the earliest.
Trainer Shafiq Khan`s filly fancied runner, Beatrix (Dhanu Singh Deora), caught the attention on her way to winning the 2,000m BOL Publication Cup and that too in a good style. She is going from strength-to-strength, having notched up her third win in succession. This time she beat another good filly, McKeown`s Avellino (B. Mahesh), who was conceding more than 7-kg. The Top Class daughter, the beaten filly, was also brought from the mid-division with a threatening run in the final furlong but the big difference of weight, over the staying course, made the major difference.
The Western India migrant, Riquewihr (Neeraj Rawal) was the other winner who left a very positive impression, because of her winning style. The Phoenix Tower daughter, won the Sound of Cheers Handicap from an awkward draw of 11, despite sporting a top-weight of 60-kg. She beat two other new arrivals from western India – Double Nine and Lesrel -- hollow, with a promise of more such wins to come.
Earlier in the afternoon, Bharath Kantai and Tia Queen, both partnered by Dashrath Singh, had made no bones about their nursed handicap advantage in their respective events – the 1,400m Sparking Clear Handicap and Amor Amor Handicap. The last name battled it out with a heavily fancied Vijay Singh`s ward, Moskova (Nikhil Naidu) while the former found trainer Harvinder Bath`s 5/4 favourite, Surf Romance (app. Sujit Paswan) an easy prey, after being held back in the mid-division; until a furlong from home.
Vijay, however, took solace in the victory of his two-year-old baby Copacabana (Naidu) in the 1,100m Sylvana Plate, that the Stardan filly won from the start. So did the Lady trainer Arti Doctor, who saddled a less fancied, and inexperienced filly named Simply Soaring (app R.S. Bhati) to an easy victory, in the day`s opener, the 1,400m Coppelia Handicap.
Simply Soaring (R S Bhati up) winner of the Coppelia Handicap
Kantai (Dashrath Singh up) winner of the Sparkling Clear Handicap
Copacabana (Nikhil Naidu up) winner of the Sylvana Plate
Tia Queen (Dashrath Singh up) winner of the Amor Amor Handicap
Beatrix (Dhanu Singh Deora up) winner of the Bol Publication Cup
Shivalik Showers (P Vikram up) winner of the Delhi Race Club (1940) Ltd. Cup
Riquewihr (Neeraj Rawal up) winner of the Sound Of Cheers Handicap