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Shivansh upstages Peluche in the Derby thriller

By: Goldie Boy   September 30 , 2018

As expected trainer Vijay Singh`s prized colt, Shivansh (Neeraj Rawal-up) kept his date with the 2,000m Calcutta Monsoon Derby, on Sunday, as he upstaged his southern challenger, Peluche (Trevor Patel) -- from Neil Darashah`s stable -- who contested the battle with lot of courage and gusto. The afternoon also witnessed close verdicts in most of races in the eight-event card but favourites and the fancied horses playing a dominant roles to the delight of the big Derby day crowd.

Shivansh`s victory was not without hiccups. The Top Class horse sweated profusely as he paraded in the paddock while Peluche bore a calm look and went to the start as a 2/1 favourite. The parade did send some distress signals in Vijay`s quarters otherwise the stable`s other runner, Sniper (P.S. Chouhan) had no reason to attract tonnes of money after the field was despatched to the start. Sniper closed as a joint second-favourite with Shivansh at 7/2.

Neeraj was unlikely to have any clue about thing happening at his back and he pushed his horse into the lead right after the flag fall. Shivansh skated clear of the field as a scalded cat, opening up a six-length lead before the mid-way while Trevor was a handy fourth until the field turned for home.

A tiring Shivansh held on to the marginal lead as Peluche came abreast. The two horses were definitely class apart from the rest but were wobbling in the final furlong, signalling distress in the department of stamina. In fact, Peluche was seen leaning on to Shivansh, who unleashed his reserves to come with a second wind to beat the public choice by half-a-length.

Sniper, on the other hand, lacked the class, leave alone the stamina. He was in fact, a mere passenger throughout the journey. Among the beaten lot, the one who justified her form was the Fillies Stakes winner, Exception (Hindu Singh). She galloped in the third position throughout the journey. The least experience filly in the field is bound to improve and she may win her share of races in the coming winter season.

The Class I race, the 1,100m Dandified Cup, was another painful affair for the followers of money. Not questioning about the performance of trainer Vikash Jaiswal`s quartet of runners, the outcome of the race was hard to digest as trainer Javed Khan`s Copernicus (Ranidan Singh) took all by a surprise over a trip which was stronghold of the likes of Denny Crane (Vinay Jaiswal), Shivalik Story (Neeraj Rawal) and One Man Army (app. Sujit Paswan), the 16/10 favourite who failed to break away from the field, his normal style of running, and struggled to maintain a length and half cushion; signalling all was not well with him on this day.

Ranidan, therefore, grabbed the opportunity on the strong finishing Copernicus and went past the tiring favourite, in the last 100m for a decisive victory.

Javed`s day had started with a hard earned victory of the 9/4 favourite Dancing Lord (C.S. Jodha) in the upper division of the 1,600m Gloriosa Handicap. The winner had a reputation of ‘hardly a genuine` galloper, but the six-year-old raised his performance by few notches to hand half-a-length beating to the 7/4 favourite, Seventh Step (Neeraj). It was, in fact, a run-of-the-mill victory for Dancing Lord and the favourite, despite a good assistance in the saddle failed by a narrow margin.

Trainer Bharath`s Singh`s also had a fruitful day with a brace of winners, courtesy Trevor. Bharath`s 3/1 favourite, Lumenac, made every post of the 1,400m Tiger Tops Handicap a winning one. He had an easy measure of Patrick Quinn`s Summerhill (Neeraj), who attracted quite a support in the betting as the starting time approached.

Bharth`s Pothus, on the other hand, found a worthy challenger in the 7/4 favourite, Hartnell, a Rutherfor Alford-trainee, ridden by Anil Baandal, in the 2,000m Palazzio`s Sun Cup. It was a touch and go affair between the tow in the final stages but Trevor`s forceful riding prevailed at the all important end.

Trevor, however, faulted on Bharath`s favourite, Bergamot, who tried to win from the start but was stumped nearing the post by Aashay Doctor`s friendless and late finishing runner, Naumee (app. R.S. Bhati), in the 1,200m Amorina Handicap.

Trainer James McKeown deserves compliment for turning an ordinary galloper like Rising From Ashes (app Vikram) into a potential money-spinner. The Win Legend son claimed the lower division of the 1,600m Gloriosa Handicap with a degree of ease from the course-favourite, Fiorelle (Shezad Khan), who was trifle late on the scene as the lowly handicap horses dominated the early half of the journey, forcing Vikram to hold his charge behind them.

Jockey Y.S. Srinath rode a well-judged race on trainer Manvendra Singh`s heavily fancied runner, Midnight Magic in the day`s opener, the 1,100m Free Energy Handicap. Ridden well off the pace the champion jockey nursed the favourite till the final turn and got the best out him on the wide out to score.


Midnight Magic (Y S Srinath up) winner of the Free Energy Handicap

Dancing Lord (C S Jodha up) winner of the Gloriosa Handicap (Div-I)

Rising From Ashes (P Vikram up) winner of the Gloriosa Handicap (Divi-II)

Lumenac (Trevor Patel up) winner of the Tiger Tops Handicap

Naumee (R S Bhati up) winner of the Amorina Handicap

Copernicus (Ranidan Singh up) winner of the Dandified Cup

Shivansh (Neeraj Rawal up) winner of the Calcutta Monsoon Derby 2018 (Gr.2)

Pothus (Trevor Patel up) winner of the Palazzio`s Sun Cup

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