Trainer Vijay Singh`s brilliant galloper, Black Pearl, gave his jockey, Suraj Narredu, yet another joy ride on his way to winning the 1,200m Indian Produce stakes, the star attraction in the New Year`s Day card. The 2,200m RCTC Gold Vase, on the other hand, provided an exciting finish but trainer Javed Khan`s 13/10 favourite Arrowfield (Imran Chisty) managed to deliver the goods. In fact, the large Wednesday crowd was entertained by the obliging favourites who were there in plenty. Vijay trio of winners, combined with Javed`s brace were clear public choices.
Black Pearl`s victory was on the cards in view of the Planetaire-Alvarita son having won the Hong Kong Jockey Club Cup the way he desired about three weeks ago. Needless to say that the youngster sporting the popular colours of the late racing Baron MAM is going to be the frontline Classic contender during the summer and monsoon seasons.
What surprised most was the performance of Black Pearl`s stable-mate, Court Jester (A. Sandesh), in the same race. The Net Whizz-Matilda colt was right behind the long time leader, Fenicia Mist (P.S. Chauhan) but failed to pass him at any stage of the race. In fact, Court Jester lost all interest in the proceedings, once the winner, a 1/3 on in the betting, walked on the scene, about 300m from the winning post.
Arrowfield had to be ridden well off the pace, having lost some ground at the start. In any case, the Phoenix Tower-Dramatikos son had been enjoying the waiting tactics since changing hands and the headquarters from western India to RCTC.
Arrowfield, however, had to be stretched out the fullest after allowing Vijay`s Shivansh (Suraj) to call the shots, with Shyam Habu`s Lord Of The Sea (Dashrath Singh) in the chase. It was only in the final stretch that it became a straight contest between Lord Of The Sea and the favourite who, however, was always travelling better of the two to pick up his third successive victory.
Vijay`s day started at the stroke of noon when the trainer`s hot favourite, Vallerysthal (Sandesh) was hard-pressed to win the day`s opener, the 1,100m The Telegraph Cup, thanks to Bharath Singh`s pair of Sullivan (App Sujit Paswan) and Across The Sea (S. Zervan) for causing interference to the favourite soon after the start and also at the different stages of the race.
Sandesh again lent a helping hand to win Vijay his second race when the 7/4 favourite Lesrel found the going easy to virtually land the 1,100m Arabian Rose Handicap from the start.
Javed`s Incendio displayed her superior class while easily landing the Astrodance Handicap in the hands of Chisty. The Win Legend filly allowed Bharath`s Belgravia (Zervan) and Arti Doctor`s Speed Force (Dhanu Deora) the early advantage before chewing them up in the latter half of the home straight. The running pattern in the race, however, suited the late finisher like Aashay Doctor`s charge, Glorious Leaps (App R. S. Bhati) for occupying the second slot.
Arti`s Simply Soaring (Deora), a 7/4 favourite was hard-pressed to beat Vijay`s Inca (Hindu Singh) in the 1,400m Network Handicap.
Trainer Vikash Jaiswal, too, was among winner – a brace to be precise. The crafty trainer picked up the two divisions of the 1,200 Club Fenicia Cup. Apprentice Rupal Singh`s strong handling of Shivayy, helped Vikash bag the upper division of the Trophy, that witnessed trainer Sarfraz Khan Cocoanut (Chisty) attracting a huge support in the betting.
The Lower division of the Trophy was an easy pick for Vikash 9/4 favourite, Namak Halaal (Chauhan) who won from the start.
Vallerysthal (A Sandesh up) winner of the Telegraph Cup
Glendower (Sujit Kr Paswan up) winner of the 91.9 Friends Fm Cup
Simply Soaring (Dhanu Singh Deora up) winner of the Network Handicap
Incendio (Imran Chisty up) winner of the Astrodance Handicap
Lesrel (A Sandesh up) winner of the Arabian Rose Handicap
Black Pearl (Suraj Narredu up) winner of the Indian Produce Stakes
Arrowfield (Imran Chisty up) winner of the Rctc Gold Vase
Shivayy (Rupal Singh up) winner of the Club Fenicia Cup (Div-I)
Namak Halaal (Arshad Alam up) winner of the Club Fenicia Cup (Div-II)