Trainer Vikash Jaiswal`s friendless runner, New England (Vinay Jaiswal-up), served a big jolt in the 1,200m The Metropolitan, Saturday`s prime attraction in the seven-event card. The aging runner trailed the field but displayed plenty of acceleration in the home run to take the front-runners by a complete surprise. An hour earlier, Vinay had also guided trainer Bharath Singh`s prime favourite, Agnostic, to a facile victory, the horse`s back-to-back. Early in the day, Vikash`s fancied runner Harbour Sunrise was driven to an easy victory by jockey Afzal Khan. Khan went on to score again on Eastern Crown – trained by Christopher Alford who also saddled a brace of wins through Ansigar (Nikhil Naidu) in the concluding event.
New England was a bottled-up fourth, three days ago, in a 1,400m race. The horse, however, found no support in the betting over the 1,200m sprint but produced a similar electrifying run in the final stretch to stump the fighting trio of Areca Legend (R.S. Bhati), Prince Satsuma (Suraj Narredu) and Intense Stylist (Sameer Khan).
Vikash`s Harbour Sunrise (Afzal) had been knocking at the door and the five-year-old mare cashed in on her recent fitness. Held back behind Bharath`s After Shock (Hindu Singh) till about 250m from home the mare went away for an easy victory over the longtime leader.
Vinay was provided an easy victory on Bharath`s Agnostic in the 1,100m Aemilia Plate. Taken to the front after an early tussle, the Top Class son led all the way to score going away from his five rivals. Trainer Vijay Singh`s Dandi Satyagraha (Suraj) was best of the rest when ridden in a check behind the winner and Alford`s Euphrates (Naidu).
Alford`s Eastern Crown , too, scored a back-to-back win. In the 1,400m Red bay Handicap, the five-year-old was held back behind Shivayy (Naidu) and Brilliant Gold (Sameer) till about a furlong from home before releasing brakes for a runaway 5-length victory.
Naidu, too, had his share of luck when he made Alford`s less-fancied top-weighted Ansigar gallop strongly in the final furlong of the 1,600m Astounding Handicap, to take the measure of the longtime but the tiring leader Dotharki (Suraj). In the same race, Vikash`s Wandering Angel (Akash Rajput) finished full of running to place a good second.
Rajput, however, had an armchair ride on the recent jockey-turned trainer, B. Mahesh`s charge, Portofspain, in the 1,200m Arabian Prince Handicap. The winner was held back behind the speedy Nandini`s Pet (app Sujit Paswan) and Stelvio Pass (app Prathiv Singh); until taken to the front to score going away from the field to present her mentor his maiden win.
Javed Khan had been picking up his races almost at regular intervals and Saturday was no exception. Khan`s less-fancied runner, Stagger (Bhati), cashed in on her Wednesday`s forward run to deliver the goods in the 1,200m Misty Melody Handicap. Vijay`s Bewolf (Hindu) who made most of the running in the race was easily the best of the rest in the six-horse field.
Stagger (R S Bhati up) winner of the Misty Melody Handicap
Harbour Sunrise (Afzal Khan up) winner of the Aleksei Handicap
Agnostic (V Jaiswal up) winner of the Aemilia Plate
Portofspain (Akash Rajput up) winner of the Arabian Prince Handicap
New England (V Jaiswal up) winner of the Metropolitan
Eastern Crown (Afzal Khan up) winner of the Red Bay Handicap
Ansigar (Nikhil Naidu up) winner of the Astounding Handicap