Md. Sporting sail past Salkia
Tolly beat FCI
Christopher�s fresh innings
Racecourse likely in Ludhiana

Calcutta, July 17 

Mohammedan Sporting took advantage of a spineless and wayward Salkia Friends to romp to their second victory in their third Super Division tie at the Salt Lake Stadium today.

The resignation of Mohammed Habib as coach and the absence of Abdul Khalique � who missed today�s game with two yellow card bookings � had very little effect on the team�s showing. Amjad Ansari opened the scoreline in the eighth minute while Kasif Jamal (2) and Bastab Roy scored the other goals.

In fact, the black-and-white brigade rode roughshod over the opponents from the very first minute. Kasif shot wide from close and Najimul Haq hit straight into the goalkeeper early on.

Kasif, though, made amends minutes later, as he laid the ball on a platter, with a cross from the left, for Ansari to tap home.

It opened the floodgates as Kasif and Najimul used the left flank to good effect. The defence was torn to shreds and it was one-way traffic for most of the match.

But Mohammedan Sporting had to wait till the 34th minute for the second goal. That was mainly due to the forwards� squandering chances at will. It was Ansari who put Kasif ahead and the latter slotted the ball past an advancing goalie.

Kasif could have struck again in the next minute but failed to keep his cool. But it was Kasif�s brilliant left-footer from top of the 18-yard box that earned Mohammedan Sporting their third goal in the 71st minute.

Kasif was looking increasingly dangerous with his searing runs down the middle. He combined well with substitute Bastab in the second session. It was, however, Bastab�s solo effort that resulted in the fourth goal.

He cut in from the right flank, dribbled past a defender and side-stepped goalkeeper Chinmoy Banerjee before pushing the ball into an empty net.

Mohammedan Sporting were denied a penalty, a little later, when Bastab tried an encore. He once again cut loose on the right and was tripped as he tried to get past Nirapada Ghosh. But referee Ratan Dutta paid no heed to the appeals.

No new coach

Rehamatullah Khan will work along with Mohammed Feroze as coach of Mohammedan Sporting, according to top club official Mir Mohammed Omar.

Omar today termed Mohammed Habib�s resignation as �unfortunate� and dismissed allegations that officials had interfered with his work as �baseless�.

�We always gave him a free hand. But his faulty team selection often led to the team�s dismal showing,� Omar insisted.    

Calcutta, July 17 
Tollygunge Agragami overcame FCI by a solitary goal in their Super Division tie at the Rabindra Sarobar Stadium today. Bhabani Prasad Mohanty scored the matchwinner in the 41st minute.

In first division group A action, Aryan beat Peerless by a Subhas Samanta goal.

City AC got past Kidderpore 3-2 in another match. Shakeel Ahmed (2) and Bidyut Biswas struck for City while Debasish Rai and Surojit Chakraborty reduced the margin for Kidderpore.

In group B, Calcutta Customs defeated Taltala Institute 1-0.    

Calcutta�s jockey Cristopher Alford is a a boy no more. Stationed in Bangalore since the beginning of this summer�s racing season, Cristopher has seen top class competition, and though his riding action has only marginally changed, there are big developments noticeable in his attitude towards horsemanship.

Unlike many in the past who have squandered this opportunity, Cristopher seems to be making best of the break. Success � and he has been winning every week down South � has yet to go to his head.

His local commitments continue, too. More importantly, he has lent colour to the city racing since the second race-meeting after the drab opening day proceedings.

Cristopher notched up three events in his first appearance this season and added four more to his tally of winners last Thursday. Of the first three events he managed to bag two, before being rewarded with two easy ones later.

He made the victory of Allodium look easy in the Gamble For Love Cup, the opener. But Cristopher was blessed by a pre-race half-hour sharp shower which went against the interest of his chief rival, Head Hunter, who led till 100m from home before the hot-favourite went past him.

Despite his best efforts, Cristopher failed to inspire Crucible to go past Arctic Fancy in the Jingle Handicap. In the race, Comeback Kid attracted big wagering, prompting bookies to be generous on odds of the ultimate winner and the runner-up. Although the favourite led from the start, he was constantly troubled by the winner from 600m onwards. He looked tired and handed over charge to the Fancy nearing the distance-post. Crucible, comfortable winner of a six-furlong race on the opening day, did gain ground with every stride but found the 1,100m trip a wee bit sharp to lose by a neck.

A heavily backed Exclusive Girl was a good thing that was lost in the 1,000m Punter Delight Handicap. Jumping in the saddle up the stretch, jockey Tamang was as good as he rode and could not be expected to do anything better on the Richard Alford-trainee. Tamang�s plight was Cristopher�s delight. Tamang not only failed to beat the favourite, Piece Of Cake, who virtually bolted from the start, but Quizzical as well when brought in to the fray by Cristopher with a sustained run and precision timing to have the measure of the two front-runners.

Mameena�s last promising run suggested that she was a cut above the rest in the field of six to win the 1,000m Whimbrel Handicap. Still the John Stephens-trained mare went to the start as a second favourite after Char Bahar who has left his best years behind. The seven-year-old led the field in his customary manner only to go down meekly when Cristopher brought Mameena abreast of the leader and went past him. Dancing Fire was best of the rest and may show some improvement after this run.

The only time Cristopher faltered was on the 6-10 favourite, All Heart in the Mysore Race Club Cup. He could not have won the race but he dropped hands 50m from home when he could have edged out Blitzer from the third slot. His action went unnoticed. Nevertheless, the race was bagged by stablemate Aquaria � quietly wagered each way at 12�s and 4�s. The filly in the hands of apprentice Surender Singh won from the start by over 5 widening lengths. +

Cristopher made up for some losses with the victory of Allaying another 6-10 hot-favourite to win the Ridicular Handicap. He won despite taken eight-wide by the leader, Scarlet Raider, at the turn.    

Calcutta, July 17 
The agricultural and animal husbandry department of the Punjab government is likely to have its own racecourse in Ludhiana, according to Royal Calcutta Turf Club (RCTC) sources. Nearly 60 per cent of country�s racehorse breeding farms are situated in Punjab, Haryana and in the outskirts of Delhi, thus the move is sure to further boost the industry.

While a race-track, stables, turf club and an equine swimming pool will be an obvious part of the infrastructure, the goverment also plans to set up an entertainment park, a track for joy horse-riding and implement other ideas to attract tourists and clientage, said the sources. A web-site for totalisator betting is also an active consideration, according to a Punjab breeder.

The committee constituted by the government to file a feasibilty report will submit its findings in the next two months. Shivlal Daga, committee member Royal Western India Turf Club (RWITC), and Vineet Verma, secretary and CEO, RCTC, are the part the four-member committee.    


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