Alaindair leaves rivals gasping

Alaindair leaves rivals gasping

Sandesh notches another triumph, guiding the Altamash-ward to comfortable victory in plum event.

Jockey A Sandesh’s love affair with the Bangalore Turf Club continued as he guided Alaindair past the finishline to grab his second Kingfisher Derby (Grade I) in as many years on a gloomy Sunday evening here.

One year after powering Borsalino to an upset win over the likes of Machiavellianism and Tintinnabulation at the same venue, the 21-year-old from Maharashtra overcame stiff competition from unlikely challengers such as Turf Striker and Charlatan late in the race to sprint away with a handsome purse in a time of 2:07.51.

Sandesh seemed supremely confident in saying that he would win this Derby without even taking a second to consider what he would be up against on race day.

In retrospect, he seemed to know a lot more about the three-year-old gelding and his ability to last the distance than anyone else, and within seconds after the start, the reason behind his show of confidence was in open view.

Though he was the last one to enter the gates after putting the gate-keepers through little bit of a tough time, the Altamash A Ahmed-ward was the first one out.

He maintained a surprisingly fast pace right from the start and even though there were charges from Acclaimed and Turf Striker, he was ahead by at least half-a-length even as the horses reached the half-way stage of the 2000-metre event.

Alaindair kept to the middle of the field up until the back stretch and upon nearing the finish, he drifted to the right and gathered more speed to stave off any last-minute challenges before giving owners Nevill R Devlaliwalla, Miss Ameeta Mehra & Mr Gaurav Sethi’s a great reason to celebrate.

“This is a very big day for him (Alaindair). He has overcome a lot of odds to reach this stage. This is his biggest win so far,” said trainer Altamash.

“He was a very sick youngster. He has problems like sore shins and he was also very weak. He used to struggle and be sluggish after running but we have worked on him and this is probably the biggest prize he can win.”

On the pace of the race and a late surge from Turf Striker, Altamash, who had garnered success at the Colts’ Championship Stakes (Grade II) a month ago with the same horse, said: “We had a strategy and that was to maintain a good pace before breaking out. I was a little worried that Sandesh was riding well past the pace we had planned to run but eventually he (Alaindair) managed to hold on. Turf Striker looked threatening towards the end but he (Alaindair) did well.”

Alaindair’s win did come with a fair share of excitement, but it was the mid-markers, who were packed in a bunch throughout, that really added a dash of colour to the feature event.

Out of the gates, Acclaimed, Srinath up, and Turf Striker, S John up, ran behind Alaindair for more than 400 metres, before Turf Striker overtook Acclaimed on the bend. Acclaimed lost further ground as P Trevor-piloted Charlatan and one of the fancied colts -- Ace Bucephalus -- made their way up.

While Turf Striker was busy pushing Alaindair upfront, Charlatan was being given a hard time by F Da’Silva-ridden Ace Bucephalus. The two battled it out but Charlatan showed that he had more in him as he pulled ahead with two hundred metres to the finish.

Murioi and Starry Eyes, who were expected to give Alaindair a run for his money, finished a disappointing eighth and twelfth respectively.

LVR Deshmukh’s ward Fastest Finger finished a poor thirteenth while his second colt Decathlon fell prey to a stumbling start and was unable to pick up any speed as underfoot conditions held him up.

While the Derby hogged the spotlight, the Ambrosia BTC Anniversary Cup (Grade II) warmed up the Sunday crowd for the plum event. With a stellar line-up in the fray, it was expected to be a thriller, and it lived up to every bit of the hype.

Storm Tracker, ridden by S Zervan and trained by legendary jockey P Shroff, got the better of a resilient Archibaldo, I Chisty up, on the back stretch for the honours.

Ancient Wonder, Suraj Narredu up, finished third. Highly fancied Machiavellianism was completely off pace and finished a distant sixth.


The results:

1. Mumbai Cup (Div II) -- 1400M: Lads Gladiator (H S Gill’s) I Chisty, 1; Mr Ambassador (Ashok Kumar) 2; Rich Celebration (Neeraj Rawal) 3; Chronicle (S John) 4. WB: 1-1/4, Snk, 1/L; T: 1:29.77; Tote: Rs 158w, Rs 33, Rs 153, Rs 22p; TB: Warren Singh; Fav: Absolute Majority; Fc: Rs 16,038; Q: Rs 2,948; SHP: Rs 674; Tri: Rs 13,772.

2. Hyderabad Cup -- 1200M: Ace Mesmerise (Anil Lad’s) PS Chouhan, 1; Star Kingdom (Suraj Narredu) 2; Crown Emperor (P Trevor) 3; Vigorous (A Asbar) 4; Not run: Impressive Mode; WB: Lnk, 2, 1-1/2; T: 1:16.68; Tote: Rs 76w, Rs 19, Rs 14, Rs 21p; TB: S Dominic; Fav: Star Kingdom; Fc: Rs 127; Q: Rs 50; SHP: Rs 44; Tri: Rs 456 and Rs 273; Exp: Rs 4,263 and Rs 2,060.

3. Mysore Cup (Div I) -- 1400M: Strike The Stars (Dr M A M Ramaswamy’s) B Sreekanth, 1; Super Start (Suraj Narredu) 2; Starstruck (S Mallikarjun) 3; Absolute Red (A Qureshi) 4; WB: 2-3/4, 5, 1-1/2L; T: 1:29.84; Tote: Rs 24w, Rs 13, Rs 18, Rs 304p; TB: S Ganapathy; Fav: Super Start; Fc: Rs 78; Q: Rs 44; SHP: Rs 46; Tri: Rs 5,995 and Rs 6,423; Exp: 22,466 and Rs 2,567.

4. Mumbai Cup (Div I) -- 1400M: Equine Lover (Cyrus S Poonawalla, Adar C Poonawalla & Mrs Natasha A Poonawalla rep Villoo Poonawalla Rac&Br P Ltd’s) S John, 1; Sudden Magik (Mudassar) 2; Thoughts N Actions (Harish B) 3; Alcazaar (P Trevor) 4; WB: 5, 2, 2L; T: 1:28.57; Tote: Rs 64w, Rs 22, Rs 67, Rs 169p; TB: Padmanabhan; Fav: Alcazaar; Fc: Rs 3,052; Q: Rs 2,314; SHP: Rs 245; Tri: Rs 35,098 and Rs 7,521; Exp: Rs 99,252 and Rs 21,268.

5. Kolkata Cup -- 1800M: Mountain Range (Rakesh Kumar Wadhawan, Waryam Singh & Ashok Kumar Gupta rep Wadhawan Livestock Pvt Ltd’s) Suraj Narredu, 1; Sun Kingdom (Anjar Alam) 2; Auburn Beauty (Neeraj Rawal) 3; Lad Star (I Chisty) 4; Not run: Maths Baby; WB: Lnk, 3/4, 2-1/4L; T: 1:55.61; Tote: Rs 53w, Rs 20, Rs 28, Rs 33p; TB: S Narredu; Fav: Montezuma; Fc: Rs 332; Q: Rs 172; SHP: Rs 82; Tri: Rs 1,505 and Rs 1,014; Exp: Rs 27,539 and Rs 18,884.

6. Ambrosia BTC Anniversary Cup (Grade II) -- 1400M: Storm Tracker (Dr & Mrs Vijay Mallya Rep The United Racing & Blood Stock Breeders Ltd’s) S Zervan, 1; Archibaldo (I Chisty) 2; Ancient Wonder (Suraj Narredu) 3; Speed Six (P Trevor) 4; WB: 1/2, 1, 1-1/4L: T: 1:27.68; Tote: Rs 40w, Rs 17, Rs 45, Rs 31p; TB: P Shroff; Fav: Storm Tracker; Fc: Rs 725; Q: Rs 435; SHP: Rs 135; Tri: Rs 3,942 and Rs 1,502; Exp: Rs 24,248 and Rs 8,314.

7. Kingfisher Derby Bangalore (Grade I) -- 2000M: Alaindair (Nevill R Devlaliwalla, Miss Ameeta Mehra & Mr Gaurav Sethi’s) A Sandesh, 1; Turf Striker (S John) 2; Charlatan (P Trevor) 3; Ace Bucephalus (F Da’Silva) 4; WB: 1/2, 2-1/4, 1-1/2L; T: 2:07.51; Tote: Rs 50w, Rs 24, Rs 54, Rs 37p; TB: Altamash A Ahmed; Fav: Alaindair; Fc: Rs 1,866; Q: Rs 775; SHP: Rs 170; Tri: Rs 17,743 and Rs 3,042; Exp: Rs 161,087.

8. Chennai Cup -- 1200M: Light Of Success (MAM Ramaswamy’s) B Sreekanth, 1; Santa Monica (P Trevor) 2; Refreshed (I Chisty) 3; Grand Applause (PS Chouhan) 4; WB: Neck, 9-1/2, 1-1/4L; T: 1:15.55; Tote: Rs 50w, Rs 20, Rs 14p; TB: Ganapathy; Fav: Santa Monica; Fc: Rs 88; Q: Rs 27; SHP: Rs 44; Tri: Rs 200 and Rs 158; Exp: Rs 1,429 and Rs 536.

9. Mysore Cup (Div II) -- 1400M: Flashing Colours (MAM Ramaswamy’s) B Sreekanth, 1; Vijays Triumph (PS Chouhan) 2; Assassin (Suraj Narredu) 3; Sherman Oaks (Anjar Alam) 4; Not run: Evershine and Nayan Star; WB: 2-1/2, 2, 1L; T: 1:29.66; TB: Ganapathy; Fav: Vijays Triumph; Fc: Rs 434; Q: Rs 263; SHP: Rs 45; Tri: Rs 859 and Rs 417; Exp: Rs 5,677 and Rs 2,305.

Jackpot: Rs 46,264 (8). Runner-up: Rs 1416 (112). I mini-jackpot: Rs 16,184 (3). II mini-jackpot: Rs 3,473 (13). I treble: Rs 3,029 (14). II treble: Rs 1,051 (73). Trinella: Rs 67,233 (c/o). Exacta pool: Rs 366,568 (c/o).

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