Trainer Prasanna Kumar`s ageing challenger, from Bangalore, Knotty Ash (S. John-up), scored a decisive victory at the RCTC grounds on Tuesday. Advancing age apart, the seven-year-old had always struggled to carry 59ks, or in excess, on his back in the southern circuit. However, a below-par opposition comfortably worked to favour. In fact, on a flat course, it may come as a surprise, if he is asked to produce another winning run. Trainer Vijay Singh six-year-old, Prince Satsuma (Hindu Singh), was ridden in a long check, was best of the rest in the seven-horse field. However, jockeys Hindu and Suraj Narredu, kept Vijay`s day`s tally ticking. The two jockeys won four races for the champion trainer, who have already taken his season`s tally to 25 winners.
Knotty Ash raced in his customary manner -- held back behind the early leader, Amorous White (P.S. Chauhan). Taking over, inside the last furlong Knotty Ash -- the 5/2 joint-favourite, with Vijay`s Lesrel (Suraj) --kicked away from the field to score in a facile manner as the long time leader found one better in Vijay`s another runner, Prince Satsuma (Hindu), in the closing stages of the race.
Vijay`s day started with the victory of the 2/1 favourite, Abhya Gama (Suraj), who took the measure of the top-weighted James McKeown`s charge, Exception (B. Mahesh). Mahesh failed to maintain his handy berth, behind the front running Abhya Gama. The 7/2 chance was second early in the race but slipped to the fifth position and was never able to threat the winner even in the final furlong to finish as a tamed second.
Vijay`s new western India migrant, Resolute (Suraj) in the 2,000m Pa Bear Handicap, also came under some pressure from Harvinder Bath`s filly, Seasky (K.Sai Kumar) in the final furlong of the race. Resolute had taken over the running from the front running stable-mate, The Hound (Hindu), and Elusive Wave (Arshad Alam), but 800m from home, Seasky had also joined the issue within the next furlong. In the final 250m Suraj`s powerful riding tilted the scale in favour of the ultimate winner, a 3/1 chance.
In the same race, McKeown`s Right Move (Nikhil Naidu) had attracted plenty of support, following her decent fourth in the 1000 Guineas. However, the Whatisthescript daughter ended up an unimpressive fourth behind the fighting pair.
Moscova (Suraj) scored back-to-back wins for Vijay in the 1,400m S.S. Bala Memorial Cup. It was virtually a two-horse race in the field of eight, with other challenger being Dornish who attracted greater support in the betting at 2/1. However, Moscova scored over the long time leader, Sheer Force (app Tajeshwar S.), who found the going tough in the final stages of the race, and thus allowed Dornish to occupy the second berth.
Trainer Vikash Jaiswal also had his share of a winner in the card. Jockey Chauhan guided the stable 13/10 favourite Krishaa`s Choice, to a start-finish victory over Christopher Alford`s Treasure Hunt who had unseated jockey Nikhil Naidu in her last outing.
The 1,200m Esquire Handicap was a mere formality for Vijay hottest order in the afternoon`s card, Mystic Wonder (Hindu). In the 1000 Guineas, the Win Legend filly had dictated term well into the home straight and the 2/10 hot-property made every post of the 1,200m sprint a winning one.
There was a massive gamble on Shafiq Khan`s filly, Think Big (K. Sai Kiran) in the day`s opener, the 1,400m Roubaix Cup. The 5/4 favourite did everything wrong from the start -- was very slowly out from the gates, and took the home turn 10-wide – and yet scored by a wide margin of five lengths.
Think Big (K Sai Kiran up) winner of the Roubaix Handicap
Abhya Gama (Suraj Narredu up) winner of the Star Contender Handicap
Resolute (Suraj Narredu up) winner of the Pa Bear Handicap
Moskova (Suraj Narredu up) winner of the S S Bala Memorial Cup
Krishaa`s Choice (P S Chouhan up) winner of the M B Medhora Cup
Knotty Ash (S John up) winner of the Indian Gold Vase
Mystic Wonder (Hindu Singh up) winner of the Esquire Handicap