Trainer Vijay Singh`s filly, Arabian Queen (Suraj Narredu-up) -- last outing`s convincing winner -- delivered the goods again in a compact eight-horse field, lined up for the 1,400m Police Commissioner`s Cup, Saturday`s main attraction. However, the Win Legend daughter was fully tested, on this occasion, by Bharath Singh`s mare, Silverita (Sujit Paswan) who boasted of winning three races in a row.
The afternoon also witnessed the running of the 1,400m Indian Champagne Stakes, a Grade III race, for three-year-olds. Normally, this baby race is taken as a pointer for next year`s Classic crop and, therefore, the course favourite, Meropi`s (app P. Tejeshwar) back-to-back victory is going to be a notable performance.
The Trophy studded seven-event card also presented trainers Vijay Singh, Javed Khan and jockey A. Sandesh, opportunities to push their winning tally up with a brace of wins apiece. However, a special word for Javed who, with a limited number of horses to train, has been producing marvellous results.
Arabian Queen may have found the slated seven-furlong journey a trifle short of her liking. The 6/10 hot favourite is known to be a front-running type but was cleverly denied of the luxury by Bharath`s charge. Nevertheless, Bharath`s strategy did not pay off inside the final 150m when Suraj offered a powerful challenge to the long-time leader, having chased the six-year-old mare, throughout at a striking distance.
Another professional who displayed a matured head over his shoulders was apprentice Tejeshwar for whom Meropi was a chance ride, in view of the originally declared jockey, Y.S. Srinath declared unfit after a fall from pepper in an earlier race.
Tejeshwar rode a copy-book race, allowing the other two fancied runners -- Dedicate (Suraj) and Littorio (Sandesh) – to call the shots till about the final turn. With Littorio drifting out alarmingly n, the task of Meropi was made that much easier, inside the last furlong.
For Javed`s Magneto (Sandesh), in the day`s opener, the 2,400s Accalia Handicap, it was a mere formality for the four-year-old, with the top-weight of 60kg to win the race. The horse, rightly went to the start as a half-money favourite, in a four-horse field. The Kingda Ka son, who had finished less than six lengths behind Success in the Derby, early this month, fully justified his form in a Class IV event.
Magneto was held back, in the rear, as his stable-mate, Creation Of God (Tejeshwar), cut the wind till approaching the home turn. Switched out from rails, Magneto skated clear of the opposition, leaving the lowly weighted Prosperous Prince (Hindu) to occupy the second berth.
The 1,100m Police Martyers Cup fell in Javed`s lap. The trainer`s Dr Doom (Imran Chisty) , a 7/2 chance in the betting, was devoid of a potential challenger in the line-up, after Aashay`s Doctor`s even-money favourite, Pepper (Y.S. Srinath), was declared a non-starter for being unruly and unseated his jockey at the starting gates. Javed, however, was overheard commenting that Dr Doom would won in any case. The horse`s facile victory, over another fancied runner, Blue Origin (Tejeshwar), too, indicated that Dr Doom was improving with each run.
Sitting handy along rails, behind two speedsters, Indian Tiger and Sheer Force, Chisty brought Dr Doom the shortest way home to easily win from the late finishing Blue Origin – a coming winner.
Vijay`s Monteverdi (Sandesh) was the other one who had placed a good third, behind Success -- in the Derby -- delivered the goods in the 1,400m Kolkata Mounted Police Cup, at the cramped odds of 40 paise. The top-weighted runner was taken to the front from the flag fall to retire as an easy winner. The fact that the winner was taking on a decent sprinting lot, after a pressing performance in the Derby, about three weeks ago. Therefore, Monteverdi`s victory may not have pleased purists. The winner handed two and half-a-length beating plus 6kg to Mandolin (app Tejeshwar) was a creditable performance. Watch out for his runs over middle distances.
The concluding event was a close contest between the Daniel David-trained Castillo (Nikhil Naidu), Suraj Shaw`s Ahren (P. Surya) each one a 7/1 chance and also the two fancied runners Mount Reno (Chisty) from Vikash Jaiswal`s stable and Vijay`s 13/10 favourite Tuscany (Sandesh). They finished in the order named – justifying their form, excepting the public choice who was never in the hunt.
Early in the day, Jaiswal`s friendless Script (Sujit Paswan) dealt a deadly blow in the 1,200m Safari Handicap. However, it will time-wasting exercise to analyze events of this kind as form of horses in the lowest category horses cannot be taken for granted.