Rain robs a Bagan win
IFA to go ahead with India Cup
Bula to attempt Strait of Gibraltar
Illegal bookies beat a retreat
Bangalore races postponed
Track trials

Calcutta, Aug. 2: 
Title contenders in long gruelling leagues are, quite understandably, a trifle uneasy about �abandoning� matches they are leading. Mohun Bagan saw their one-goal advantage against Salkia Friends, in a Super Division clash this afternoon, come to nought after a short sharp shower left the pitch �unplayable�.

Leading by a 21st minute goal, scored by Jose Ramirez Barreto (who else?), the National League champions looked to have done the harder part of the job when blinding rain swept over the Mohun Bagan ground during the breather. It didn�t last long, but it was enough to leave big puddles all over the pitch.

The ball refused to roll and referee Chandan Chowdhury announced the roll-back after waiting for about five minutes. The match will be replayed, and the teams will have to start all over again � with a clean sheet and the uncertainty.

Barreto�s form must be pretty reassuring for coach Subrata Bhattacharya, but he also must be worried to hell that his team depends so heavily on the Brazilian.

Even when it comes to scoring.

The Brazilian has always looked so good in that zone of creativity just behind the front-runners, but with his teammates squandering gilt-edged scoring opportunities one after the other, he has had to push forward and get the goal himself.

Today James Singh, Lolendra Singh, Joao Santos and R.C. Prakash made a mess of the opportunities that came their way.

An unmarked James headed out an R.C. Prakash cross in the seventh minute from just four yards out. Prakash could have scored himself, in the 22nd minute, had his first �stroke� on being set free into the Salkia box not been too long. It allowed goalkeeper Chinmoy Banerjee time to dart out and gather. Then Santos let two chances go abegging though, on the second occasion, he did produce a smart header that grazed the crosspiece.

Lolendra missed the easiest chance of the day, on the stroke of half-time, after Barreto had sent the ball between the two stoppers with a nice little flick.

Running into that space with the goalkeeper at his mercy, Lolendra failed to beat his outstretched right hand.

All this was in such contrast to the goal that Barreto scored from the one real chance he got.

Left-back Amitava Chanda�s floater to the goalmouth would have been a fairly routine punch-out for the goalkeeper had Barreto not placed himself nicely in his path even as he headed towards the untenanted goal.    

Calcutta, Aug. 2: 
The governing body of the Indian Football Association (IFA) today empowered its joint secretaries to go ahead with a rather ambitious plan � to stage an international tournament called the India Cup at Salt Lake Stadium from December 8 to 20.

The IFA officials, who say they have the support of the state government for this venture, claimed that permission from the All India Football Federation will be obtained.

IFA joint-secretary Ranjit Gupta announced that the entire expense (Rs 6.5 crore approximately) will be raised by an event management company and the IFA will not have invest a single rupee. He even claimed to have received confirmation from Croatia, Ghana, the Czech Republic, Paraguay and Iran and added that all these countries have agreed to send their national teams.

Asked whether it would be possible to involve the Indian national team as the National League will be in progress at that time, Gupta said the India team will not be considered if needed.

IFA Shield from Sept. 4

The IFA Shield, featuring eight teams, will be played from September 4 to 16. The top five teams in the Super Division League, one cluster qualifier and two outstation teams will take part. Efforts are on to invite a team from Thailand.

Manager�s report

The governing body today decided to take �corrective measures� on the basis of the report submitted by Santosh Trophy manager Sunil Bhattacharya. The manager accused the players of showing complacency and complained of �lack of motivation�.

Suspensions stay

The IFA-imposed three-month bans on the Peerless duo of Subhrangshu Majumdar and Syed Masud Ali have not been withdrawn. They were penalised for improper registration and the governing body today turned down the club�s appeal to lift the ban.

The two-month ban on Aryan�s Goutam Naha, fined Rs 2,000 for spitting on the referee, was also not withdrawn.

IFA XI for Bangla meet

An IFA XI will leave for Bangladesh on August 14 to take part in an invitational meet in Jessore. Some Calcutta League clubs have been requested to release a player each.

Maidan ties abandoned

All Calcutta Football League matches on the Maidan today had to abandoned midway because of rain but the one at Batanagar, a first division (group B) clash, survived.

Bally Protiva tamed Muslim Institute 2-1 there.

Apart from the Mohun Bagan-Salkia Friend clash, the other abandoned matches on the Maidan were three group B ties and three fifth division play-offs.    

Calcutta, Aug. 2: 
Bula Chowdhury, once an ace sprinter for the country-now turned long distance ace, will now attempt to cross the Strait of Gibraltar.

Between August 20 and 25, the 30-year-old swimmer will attempt the 30km distance between Tarifa and Morocco. She has already swum the English Channel, twice (though never both ways), and builds on her immense store of national and international (SAF Games) experience.

She is being coached by another ace swimmer, Sanjiv Chakraborty, her husband. She has a six-year-old son.

�The weather will be a problem,� said Bula, �but then this is always the case in swimming any European strait, including the Channel. This time I have prepared well, and I should be able to make it at one go, unless the weather turns real nasty.�

�A lot depends on the tide, too,� added Sanjiv.

Adding to their preparatory problems is the ever-present problem of finance. �The West Bengal sports department has given Rs 1.5 lakh, the Haldia Municipality Rs 50,000, Vivekananda Sports Foundation Rs 50,000 and the Howrah Corporation Rs 25,000.

�There is another problem or excitement, whatever you call it, in this swim,� said Sanjiv. �These are shark-infested waters.� Probably the excitement part only, because shark repellents have become rather sophisticated these days. Sanjiv will follow on an accompanying boat.    

Calcutta, Aug. 2 
Business in the RCTC betting �ring� today was brisk and the odds offered in each of the six events were far too healthy, thanks to the parallel trade in the illegal market beating a retreat, albeit, a temporary one. More than police action, the Bazaar operators say they have been shaken up by the recent betting coups.

A spate of withdrawals, on various grounds, however, had pulled the already thin fields further down. The competition, nevertheless, was tough though confined mainly to the first and the second favourites. The first two favourites, Lockers Park and Cup of Life had a close shave while the hottest favourite of the day Alyssum, in the feature, the Mica Empress Cup, came in from a difficult position to score. Cristopher Alford partnered the Vijay Singh trainee and helped himself with another treble


1. Maltese Prince Handicap 1,400m: (4-2-1-3) Lockers Park (Rabani) 1; Ashbury (C. Alford) 2; Ballet Master (Gowli) 3; Alocina (Amil) 4. Won by: SH; Dist; 6-3/4; (1-31.1). Tote: Win Rs 21; Place: 13; 13; Quinella: 19; Tanala: 50. Fav: Lockers Park (4). Winner trained by Bharath S.

2. Abernethy Handicap 1,200m: (3-6-1-4) Cup Of Life (C. Alford) 1; Winning Hand (M. Reuben) 2; Storm Centre (Engineer) 3; Abstract (A. P. Singh) 4. Won by: Hd; 5-3/4; Nk; (1-20). Tote: Win Rs 24; Place: 12; 14; 29; Quinella: 24; Tanala: 203. Fav: Cup Of Life (3). Winner trained by D. David.

3. Mica Empress Cup 1,400m: (5-2-1-3) Alyssum (C. Alford) 1; Clarice Cliff (Rabani) 2; Kansai (Islam) 3; Amarante (Amil) 4. Won by: 1-3/4; 3/4; 4-1/4; (1-31.3). Tote: Win Rs 13; Place: 10; 26; Quinella: 29; Tanala: 69. Fav: Alyssum (5). Winner trained by Vijay S.

4. Mountain Lily Handicap 1,000m: (4-1-3-7) Relative Shade (Gowli) 1; Privy Council (M. Reuben) 2; Airs Image (Gurang) 3; Whitney (Brij) 4. Not run: Alceste (2). Won by: 1-3/4; 7-3/4; 4-3/4; (1-5.9). Tote: Win Rs 21; Place: 13; 12; Quinella: 14; Tanala: 100. Fav: Privy Council (1). Winner trained by R. Alford.

5. Best Of All Cup 1,000m: (3-5-4-9) Annella (C. Alford) 1; Work Order (Islam) 2; Arctic Fancy (Gowli) 3; Gul (M. Reuben) 4. Won by: 5-1/2; Nk; 2-1/2; (1-7). Tote: Win Rs 20; Place: 12; 25; 14; Quinella: 80; Tanala: 248. Fav: Annella (3). Winner trained by Vijay S.

6. Moorhosue Handicap 1,400m: (2-4-7-3) Alborada (Gowli) 1; Armed Alarm (Rabani) 2; Ballard Lady (Tam-ang) 3; Golden Express (P. Alford) 4. Not run: Annalee (1) & Adeline (6). Won by: 1-1/4; 3-1/2; 1-1/2; (1-35.1). Tote: Win Rs 13; Place: 10; 16; Quinella: 12; Tanala: 104. Fav: Alborada (2). Winner trained by R. Alford.

Jackpot: Rs 116; (C) Rs 33.

Treble: (i) Rs 65; (ii) Rs 43.    

Bangalore, Aug 2: 
In view of the prevailing situation in the city, the stewards Bangalore Turf Club (BTC) have decided to postpone races to be held here tomorrow and on Friday, to August 9 and August 10 respectively.

Our Calcutta Turf Correspondent adds: BTC having postponed race meeting on Thursday and also on Friday, the inter-state betting operation on in Calcutta on the two days stand cancelled. Further, the stewards Royal Calcutta Turf Club (RCTC) have decided to postpone the Calcutta race-fixture on August 10 to August 11. In view of the above changes, the inter-venue betting on Bangalore races will be conducted in Calcutta on August 9 and on August 10.    

Calcutta, Aug 2: 
Anolini, Acquest, Adventure and Almond Rock were impressive from among the following horses seen exercising here today:

Outer sand track

1,800m: Aldebro (C. Alford) in 2-21s; (1,200m) 1-33s; (400m) 30s. Easy.

1,400m: Anolini (Amil) and Magnifico (C. Alford) in 1-45s; (800m) 56s; (400m) 25 3/5s. Former was pushed to finish well ahead. Aquaria (Amil) and Fame Star (C. Alford) in 1-43s; (800m) 57 2/5s; (400m) 27 2/5s. Both were level and moved well.

800m: Deep Star (Amil) and Alvarada (C. Alford) in 57s; (400m) 26s. Former finished 2 ls in front. Double Crown (Rb) in 58 1/5s; (400m) 28 2/5s. Black Mane (Saran), Constantine (Amjad K.) and Art Smart (M. Reuben) in 58s; (400m) 27 1/5s. They were seperated by 2 ls and 4 ls. Adventure (Amil) and Jeweller (C. Alford) in 56s; (400m) 25 2/5s. Former 3 ls better. Acquest (C. Alford) in 55s; (400m) 26s. Handy. Alterezza (Surender) and Crucible (C. Alford) in 56 2/5s; (400m) 26s. Latter was whipped to finish level. Quizzical (Amil) 1-1s; (400m) 27 2/5s. Analyzer (C. Alford) in 1-1s; (400m) 27 2/5s.

Sand track

1,200m: Supreme Desire (Tamang) and Scavenger�s Son (M. Reuben) 1-29s; (800m) 54s; (400m) 23s. Former was a head better. Both worked well.

1,000m: Almond Rock (Rutherford) and Head Hunter (P. Alford) in 1-10s; (400m) 25s. Former half-a-length better. Both are fit.

800m: Too Soon To Tell (Manohar) in 54s; (400m) 23 1/5s. Good. Giltedge (P. Alford) and Abstone Queen (Rutherford) in 55 1/5s; (400m) 24s. Former a head better. Both are fit. American (Tamang) in 58s; (400m) 25s. Easy. Go With The Wind (P. Alford) and Orbital Pride (Rutherford) in 56 1/5s; (400m) 26s. Former 2 ls better. Optimum Choice (K.Kumar) in 54 1/5s; (400m) 24s.

600m: Run Ahead (Yacoob) in 39s; (400m) 23s. Impressed.    


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