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‘Manipulators’ ensured fall of favourite

The Singh brothers, Vijay and Bharath’s casual interest in the monsoon meetings, last Thursday in particular, has only helped some smart operators take full advantage of the situation. The trainers, their local patron Deepak Khaitan and the Daniel David-Errol Bhungard combine doing duty for southern heavyweight owner MAM Ramaswamy, have kept the city racing going.

Moreover, the combination of Khaitan-Ramaswamy quality horseflesh and equine strength has always been a balancing factor in the city sport. Their sporting rivalry and earnest desire to win also worked on the lines of a counter-balance thus keeping the unscrupulous lot at bay.

On any given day, the absence of a proper representation in the fields from one quarter has always prompted the manipulators to get into action.

At least one event in the afternoon’s card had left many a raised eyebrow while bookmakers, obviously, welcomed the fall of the favourite. Favourites do get beaten but not in the manner Brighter Future’s defeat was manoeuvred by jockey Md Amil.

The fact that Brighter Future was sent into a five-length lead right after the start and was further pushed to accelerate when joined by a speedster Common Spirit ridden by Asghar. A seasoned jockey like Amil was expected to let Common Spirit pass instead he decided to cut pace and tire the horse nearing final turn.

As a result of this it was left to Archery and Kainat to fight it out at the wire with the latter, a Javed Khan-trainee, just about managing to win despite badly shifting out in the stretch-run.

Stipes made their enquiries but limited their efforts to jockeys Amil and Asghar only. They could have questioned trainer Daniel on his riding instructions to Amil . The two jockeys were let off with a warning and a fine of Rs 1,000 each for taking the half-money favourite, on whom millions of rupees had been wagered, to a nasty ride .

Nevertheless, Bigshow and Idolize, joint favourites in the day’s opener, the Desiree Handicap, had no reason to complain when an unfancied Timbavati handed a comfortable beating to the fancied duo. The Dipak Karki-trainee always galloped in close attendance of the favourites and led into the home straight to hold on to the advantage.

Gallant Romeo struck again unlike Bigshow who failed to reproduce his Day One winning performance. However, the victory did not come easy for the six-length winner on the opening day. The Bhungard-trainee allowed the joint favourite Flossy a narrow lead that was covered inside the last furlong for a shade under a length victory. Abridge was a close third, though the Bharath Singh-trainee never shaped as a real threat.

Lockers Park lived up to his reputation of a horse-for-the-monsoon-course and the Bharath-trainee was not unduly pressed to win the Gamble For Love Cup from a lesser-fancied Dashing Chief.

The victory of Flinders in the Amberdue Handicap, however, came as a surprise. The T. Jaiswal-trainee grew wings in a week’s time. The six-year-old had placed fifth, about nine lengths behind the winner April Ace on the opening day. He managed to beat the favourite Altigraph by four lengths.


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