Trainer Malesh Narredu`s relatively in-experienced galloper, Aggregated (Suraj Narredu-up), made a history and a powerful statement, as well, while winning the 2,400m Calcutta Derby Stakes, on Sunday. The 8/1 shot won the Derby from trainer Bharath Singh`s 6/10 hot favourite, Sana, ridden by Dashrath Singh. The Dean`s Kitten son won his career`s second major Classic in just three starts. It is in itself a record in the thoroughbred racing. Malesh also saddled the winner of the 1,200m Dashmesh Stud Alokananda Stakes, Adjudicate, who won the baby-Classic by a yawning margin of six lengths.
It is not the victory of the two champion horses that raised many a eyebrows but it was the contribution of the opposition in the two events, separated by about 30 minutes, that shook the Derby Day`s magnitude as a few in the know celebrated.
For the Doubting Thomases, it must be mentioned that Suraj Narredu is a very powerful and most opportunistic jockey in the Indian turf circuit. He is not the kind who may forgo a gift in the mouth. He rode his own race, in the Derby without worrying as to what was happening at the back. The result was there to see.
Dashrath Singh stands pale in comparison, with hardly any major contribution in the department of Classics, though his brilliance in lesser events can`t be questioned. Very few professionals posses the big race temperament then why blame him for the poor ride to Sana.
To start with, the Sana was slowly out, losing about three lengths when off the blocks in the Derby start. However, Dashrath may not have planned such a start but was apparently rattled for positioning of Sana and went helter and skelter. Dashrath, finally, rested along the rails approaching the mile marker but the damage had already been done to Sana`s cause.
Many disgruntled and disappointed in the big crowd, by the outcome of the Derby, aired their views. Dashrath`s motive and western India`s mafia-role also got the mention.
Suraj, on the other hand, remained glued to his task, chasing and closing up on Sulieman Attoallahi`s Shaman (Trevor Patel), the longtime leader, who found some support as a 4/1 second favourite.
Suraj went on to exploit the final burst of Aggregated in the last furlong of the race to overtake Shaman for the victory. Sana, on the other hand, was hardly responding to Dashrath`s desperate urgings from the 600m marker when the two front-runners were going double-handfuls. The triple-Classic winning filly proved good enough, only in the last 50m as she finally, decided to accelerate and pass the tiring Shaman.
Malesh`s maiden runner, Adjudicate (C. Alford), attracted a huge support at even-money and delivered the goods untroubled. Venezia was up with Bharath`s Sansamha (Trevor) and the favourite in the first two furlongs but suddenly dropped out to be poor fifth. The Western Aristocrat filly was brought back into the contention, 250m from home, after galloping eight-wide and, finally, on the far-side rails to place third, only half-a-length behind the Alyssa (S. John), who ended up second, as Sansamha weakened in the home stretch.
Dashrath, too, had a mixed day in the office. Having won two races, rather easily – on Desert Falcon in the lower division of the 1,200m Telegraph Cup, and on Eastern Star in the 1,400m Pat Quinn Memorial Cup -- for Bharath, early in the nine-event card. Dashrath faltered again in the 1,400m Club7 Holiday Cup as he badly failed on Simon Templar, a 7/1 shot, who took a fly jump out. Recovered to set behind the early leaders; Dark Gold (Ranidan Singh), Sanvi (Neeraj Rawal) and Alshafa (Alford), Simon Templar gradually slipped behind and to finally go out of contention. The half-money favourite, Eternally (Trevor), won the race narrowly to justify her New Year`s Day form while having the measure of Sanvi.
Trainer Arti Doctor`s Namid (S. Zervan) was the other one who scored back-to back win. The 9/2 chance in the betting, was given a judicious ride as the Phoenix Tower son was held back behind the early leaders Bullrun (app. Sujit Paswan) and Everybreakingwave (David Allan) in the 2,000m CROS Cup. Given a ‘go` signal in the final stretch Namid had an easy measure of Everybreakingwave, Cocoanut (Ranidan) and Shohin (Dashrath) who had huddled together for the minor placings.
Trainer Jasbir Singh has a habit of firing all guns on a big day and the Derby Day was no exception. Jasbir`s Rewalding (B. Mahesh), the winner of the Delhi Derby, decided to put his best foot forward in the 1,600m Madras Race Club Cup, which the Rebuttal son won from the start. In the same race, the 11/4 favourite Cadman (S. John) was in all sorts of problems after a slow start. The horse, in fact, performed like Sana and was moving the best of the lot in the final 200 meters.
Javed, too, had a share of Derby Day plum when his fancied runner, Gloaming (Neeraj Rawal) managed to have a narrow measure of Vijay`s Multiple (Suraj) in the concluding event of the afternoon, the 1,200m Sureka Group Cup.
Vikash Jaiswal`s Outrider, finally, came good in the hands of Imran Chisty to claim the upper division of the Telegraph Cup, thanks to his good start in the 13-horse field.