Little did one think that the Calcutta Oaks last Sunday would be such a close affair. If odds of the two main contenders were taken into the account, the 8-10 hot favourite Another Time looked to have a clear edge over the 1,000 Guineas winner, Romantic Notes, even without going into the contest proper.
Going by her South India form, Another Time, the Steinbeck-Alarming filly had proven credentials as a stayer, while Romantic Notes had been impressing only a section of morning railbirds thus the Mischevious Music-Pheasant Heights daughter had fewer takers at 2s. Yes, in the Ladies Guineas, the Daniel David-trainee was seen covering a lot of ground to finish within a length of the winner Romantic Notes. But again, Cristopher Alford, on that occasion, was observed to easing up Romantic Notes nearly a furlong and half from the winning post to allow Aslam Kader to come as close as that. In the Oaks, there was, however, no hard luck story for Cristopher.
Moreover, in a small field of five the margin for error being very negligible, one, therefore, may assume that Another Time stayed the more comfortably compared to the Vijay Singh-trainee. The two fancied fillies has always been galloping in close proximity and Cristopher was the first one to make his move 800m marker while Kader waited for another furlong before easing his grip on the favourite.
Kader, however, set the MAM Ramaswamy-property in full motion only after Cristopher had established a sizeable lead nearing the distance-post. He also timed his challenge to perfection as Another Time won virtually in her last stride.
If Vijay was a trifle unlucky in the Oaks, the 1,600m Eveready Calcutta Gold Cup brought cheers back to his camp when Calorescence romped home with the winner’s purse of Rs 5 lakh plus a gold trophy valued at Rs 30,000.
Incidentally, the four-year-old daughter of Metal Precieux-Pot Of Gold had also lost the Oaks to another of MAM-filly Touch Of Silver who had gone on to win the Derby as well.
Calorescence victory was, in any way, coming in view of her fluent triumph in the Bangalore Turf Club Cup about a fortnight ago. Yet, the Thoroughbred
The Thoroughbred Racing Syndicate-property was freely available at 5s as the two heavyweights “Bold Chieftan and Alternator” flexed their muscle at the top. Jockey S. Shanker was, however, never cowed down by such big names while he took a seat behind her stable-mate Arcaro, The Archer and Star Chieftan before making his winning move a furlong from home.
Earlier on Wednesday, the competition was fierce as four of the six events on the cards were decided with the help of camera. However, it was Arcaro in the Elusive Pimpernel Cup who kept the promise shown in his earlier victory that had prompted the handicapper to slap the Green forest-Broken Sky son a heavy penalty.
Cristopher, partnering the topweight, allowed the lowly weighted Anokato a comfortable lead until the top of the straight before the Vijay Singh-trained ward came with a cruising run to sail past. Coming with a late run, Calamint placed a good second.
A heavily gambled The Flying Star went down fighting to Vijay’s Affluter in the Wiseman Cup. However, the favourite was awarded the trophy by the stewards’ court following an inquiry opened by them as the the topweight was interfered by the Vijay-ward more than once up in the stretch run.