Calcutta: Preparations of horses are in full swing as the RCTC gears up for the big day. The nominated horses for the four Invitational races, which are all Grade-I events — the 1,200m Oasis Star Sprinters’ Cup, the 3,000m Stayers’ Cup, on Saturday, and the 2,400m Indian Turf Invitation Cup, the 1,600m Maj. P.K. Mehra Memorial Super Mile Cup, on Sunday — have already arrived in the city from the five different turf centres. There have been no report of major injury but Ancient Wonder and Red Baron are on sick list and they will not be seen in action. Therefore, An Acquired Taste, nominated as a reserve, gets a chance to prove his mettle in the big event.
The heavyweight trainers are beginning to arrive in the city, and so are jockeys. While Bangalore-based Irfan Ghatala and the Hyderabad-champion, Vittal Deshmukh have been camping in the city since last weekend. S. Padmanabhan (Paddy), Anant Vatsalya and Karthik Ganapathy were seen busy with the fine tuning their wards. Among the visiting jockeys, B. Sreekanth airdashed, last night straight from the Mahalaxmi raceground to the city airport, after his horse’s Murioi’s sensational victory in the Poonawalla Breeders’ Multi-Million. He was accompanied by Karthik and Vikram Jodha. Trainer Pesi Shroff’s retained jockey, S. Zervan, Ghatala’s trusted rider, Ms S. Storai, and the Paddy-engaged jockey David Allan were also seen working their wards at various paces.
The other heavy-weight jockeys and trainer like Imran Chisty, Pradip Chauhan, A. Sandesh, Trevor Patel, Dashrath Singh, Pesi Shroff, Narendra Lagad and hoard of others are expected to reach the city by the Wednesday night, after fulfiling their engagements on the day in Mumbai.
The following horses, mainly the invitational runners, were seen in action during the last three days:
On February 25 — outer sand track
2,000m: Wind Stream (Stroi) and River Star (Islam) in 2-37s; (600m) 48.5s. Former moved well and was easily half-a-length better. Latter joined at 1,000m. Toroloco (Stroi) and Stupid Cupid (B.Mahaesh) in 2-28s; (1,400m) (600m) 46s. They were level but the former was handy. Latter joined at 800m. 1,600m: Native Knight (Rb) in 2-8s; (first 1,200m in 1-32s. Easy. 1,200m: Adabella (Shailesh) in 1-35s; (first 600m) 47s. Easy. 800m: Shershah (Md Imran) and Bengal King (Rb) in 1-3.5s; (600m) 45s.They were level. Salt (Jorawar) in 58s; (600m) 43s. Moved attractively. 600m: Cee Four (Rb) and Tintin (Rb) in 46s; (400m) 30.5s. Former was a length better. Trrust In Me (Rb) in 43s. Was handy. Sur La Tete (D. Allan) and Enchanted Forest (Rb) in 47.5s.Threy were level. An Acquired Taste (Rb) and Angel Crown (Rb) in 47s. Former was a length better. Sergeant Major (Jorawar) in 47s. Combined Operation (Arman) in 44.5s. Smart Hunter (Rb) and Legend Order (Rb) in 47.5s; (400m) 29s. Former was a length better. Shamrock (Rb) in 47.5s. Fireback (Surjeet) in 48s. Easy. Paras Mani (Islam) in 47s.Easy.
February 24 - outer sand track
2,000m: Borsalino (Deepesh) in 2-52s; (600m) 53s. Easy. 1,600m: Arktouros (Rb) and Abubble (Shaielsh) in 2-16s; (600m) 50s. Former was a length better. 1,200m: Self Directed (Shaiesh) and Amarilla (Rb) in 1-35.5s; (600m) 46.5s. Former was far better. 800m: Ardent ‘N’ Graceful (Rb) in 58.5s; (600m) 43.5s. Moved well. Cape Del Monte (Kamlesh) in 59s; (600m) 44s. Fit. Salt (Jorawar) in 1-0s; (600m) 45s.Easy. 600m: Snow Princess (Zarar) and Paras Mani (Ravi S.) in 47s.They were level. A fit pair. Coccinella (Rb) in 48s. Easy. Burst Of Stardust (Alikhan) in 45.5s. Easy. Storm Boy (Rb) in 46s.Easy.
February 23, outer sand track
2,000m: Star Marequess (B. Sreekanth) in 2-43.5s; (1,200m) 1-26.5s; (600m) 47s. Easy. Dandified (C. Alford) in 2-36s; (1,200m) 1-32.5s; (600m) 45s. Moved well. 1,400m: Snowscape (C. Alford) in 1-47.5s; (600m) 47.5s. Easy. Vijay’s Champ (Rb) in 1-48s; (600m) 46s. Was pushed.1,200m: Captain Courageous (B. Sreekanth) and Vijay Monarch (Kadam) in 1-29s; (600m) 43.5s; (400m) 28s. Former was easily 4 ls better.800m: Iconic (Shezad) and Greased Lightning (Kamlesh) in 1-2.5s; (600m) 47s. They were level. Silverina (Shailesh) and Serena (Jaiswal) in 59s; (600m) 44s. Former was handy and 3 ls better. Latter was pushed. Tintinnabulation (Rb) in 1-1s; (600m) 46s. Easy. Kohinoor Wish (Rb) in 1-0s; (600m) 45s. Moved well. Plenipotent (Rb) in 1-0s; (600m) 45s. Easy. 600m: Rappadan Glory (D. Allan) in 44s. Fit. Wild Card (Kamlesh) in 47s. Fit. Multimagic (Kamlesh) in 46.5s. Easy. Sunday Storm (D. Allan) in 46.5s. Easy. Vijay Shaurya (Rb) in 48s. Easy. Immense (Rb) in 46s. Easy.