Tuesday, August 21, 2007

kolkata,calcutta horse racing

Trainer Javed Khan seems to be is a firm believer of cashing in on his horses when they run into form. At least, Alarico’s facile victory, last Thursday in the 1,400m Harry The Horse Cup, fully justified such a belief. About a fortnight ago, the six-year-old had gone down fighting to Brilliant Victory, despite his weight disadvantage against the winner. On this day, Alarico was enjoying a substantial pull at the weights from his seven rivals , including the likes of Retained Asset, Fabulous Emperor and Way to the Stars who are no mean horses. However, everything worked to his advantage as fitness was the key factor in the field and the Steinbeck-As Ever son clearly advertised it when he beat the field hollow.

Jockey Mohammed Islam, too, rode a well-judged race. He let Alarico settle behind the last outing winner, Body And Soul, and the top-weighted Retained Asset, till they turned for home. Given the signal, the favourite marched ahead to score without much sweat over a heavily punished Retained Asset and a late finishing Paladin.

Daniel David’s Steal The Glory also proved a cut above the rest in the Alamito Handicap. Steal The Glory fully justified the favourite's tag, winning by six long lengths after taking the charge from the front-running Lady Superior, at the halfway mark.

Earlier on, David’s Majestic Poet had delivered the goods in the Contralto Handicap. The 7-4 favourite was a chance-ride for jockey M. Mark after G Ross had reported sick. Mark allowed his main rival, Live It Love, to make the running with a two-length lead, which hardly proved sufficient the moment Mark released the brakes on the favourite. In fact, it was Genesis who was an impressive third in spite of going all over the place in the straight.

David could have ended the day with a treble but the replacement of the indisposed Ross, by Surjeet Singh, on a heavily fancied Cool Magic, in the 1 400m Stoney Valley Handicap, cost the trainer dearly. The 7-4 joint-favourite, with Harvinder Singh Bath’s Prospective Queen, was shown daylight at the top of the turn when the two leaders, Betelgeuse and Rapid Return, ran short of the steam. At that stage of the race, Prospective Queen was trailing the field following a tardy start. Surjeet, however, squandered the advantage in the final furlong when the Bath-trainee got into the top gear. The jockey not only surrendered the lead in the final 50m, he also failed to keep the second slot following Rapid Return’s renewed bid.

Mystro helped trainer Vijay Singh opene his monsoon season’s account. S.Shanker, guiding the 16-10 favourite, was never seen to be perturbed with the runaway tactics of Aptitude and settled the Tirol son in the second bunch with True Beauty and Mythical Star till 300m from home. Opting for the rail-side passage, thereafter, Mystro simply cruised past the front-runners to record a four-length-plus verdict over Mythical Star and the late-finishing Roofer.

The 1,100m Thrifty Allan Handicap provided a sizzling finish with four horses – Acrostic, Wonnabee, Mozart and Falaknuma – in a close huddle at the winning post. They finished in the order named with a shade over a length separating the four. Mozart was at the helm of affair till about 200m from the winning post. However, the Mischevious Music son found it hard to stretch himself further when the other three, running in a close proximity, started covering ground in the last 150 metres. Acrostic was the first one to overtake the leader and the Bath-trainee, ridden by apprentice Afzal Khan, never surrendered the advantage to any of his rivals, though his victory-margin was a mere ‘nose.’ Wonnabee, the joint-favourite with the top-weighted Ecstatic Pride, was impressive in defeat. He was the fastest finishing horse in the end, galloping on the far side of the track.

Gorgonzola's victory, in the Bachelor’s Wedding Handicap left a bad taste in the mouth. The Poet’s Dream –Dance Attack daughter had trailed the field in her last outing only a fortnight ago. However, on this occasion, the filly took a commanding three-length lead from the start and lasted out to score. Trainer Shafiq Khan was lucky to escape with just a routine warning.

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