Trainer Shafiq Khan`s new import, Brainstorm (Imran Chisty) had an easy measure of the opposition in the prestigious event in Thursday`s card, the 1,400m Hilliard Cup. In fact, Khan made most of the opportunities presented in the race card; which was originally billed for November 9 but was postponed to this day, due to stormy and wet conditions. Khan finished the seven-event card with a haul of four, most of the winners being shockers. Apart from Brainstorm, his other winners were Artiste Royal and Caiden, both ridden by Chisty, and Oracle (Afzal Khan). Jockey P.S. Chauhan, too, helped trainer Jaiswal win a double.
Chisty had Brainstorm settled behind the fancied Shivansh (Suraj) till about 300m from home and easily took over for an easy victory over a late finishing Hartnel (B. Mahesh).
The Khan-Chisty combinations started their winning pursuit right from the day`s start when a heavily wagered Artiste Royal delivered the goods in the 1,200m Cascaded Handicap, the opener. Held back, in the mid-division, behind a runaway leader, Scorpion Queen (app Rupal Singh), and also Asmita (Nikhil Naidu) and Hurricane Storm (app P. Vikram), Artiste Royal jumped on the scene, on the wide of the field, inside the last furlong to win untroubled.
Chisty, atop Khan`s Caiden, however, faced a strong challenge from Bharath Singh`s filly, Rosina (A. Sandesh), in the 1,600m Multimagic Handicap. Rosina`s threatening run, from the mid-division in the final furlong, however, failed to fetch the desired result. Maybe the filly detested the early but futile fast pace set by the top-weighted Raunak Banerji`s Joss (Mahesh) and Vijay`s Summerhill (Suraj).
Khan`s another new gain, from western India, Oracle (Afzal), displayed his superior class as the five-year-old made his own running, with the Daniel David`s Aquitania in the chase, to upset the winning chances of the fancied runners – Vijay`s The Stradle and Bharath`s Sereno.
Vijay`s 13/10 favourite, Hukumat (Suraj) displayed his penchant for sprints while winning the 1,100m Gorgeous Handicap. The Win Legend filly had failed to anything worthwhile in a mile race, having scored a runaway win in a 1,200m race, after switching headquarters from Bangalore to the RCTC.
The two runners from Vikash Jaiswal`s stable -- Dil Mangey More and Montecasino were the chance rides for jockey Pradip Chauhan, in view of Akash Rajput having skipped the city fixture, preferring to fulfil his riding engagements in Delhi. Chauhan did full justice to the Jaiswal`s pair, guiding them home with a degree of ease.
Artiste Royal (Imran Chisty up) winner of the Cascades Handicap
Dil Mangey More (P S Chouhan up) winner of the Pretty Woman Handicap
Hukumat (Suraj Narredu up) winner of the Gorgeous Handicap
Oracle (Afzal Khan up) winner of the Secret Fire Handicap
Brainstorm (Imran Chisty up) winner of the Hilliard Cup
Caiden (Imran Chisty up) winner of the Multimagic Handicap
Montecasino (P S Chouhan up) winner of the Deserving Visit Handicap