The city horseracing is going through a troubled time. Racing fixtures are regularly falling through, owing to paucity of acceptors, leaving the Royal Calcutta Turf Club (RCTC) bosses wondering over wh-at has gone wrong with the system.
The club officials feel that the depleted horse-count in the RCTC stables, that is short of the 200 mark, is the main reason behind races being cancelled. In their view every thing would fall into order once the number of horses in the Hastings go up. While appreciating the need for a substantial increase in the city’s thoroughbred force, the club members, however, feel that with a similar horse-strength RCTC has, in the past, conducted the monsoon season with success. The problem lies elsewhere, say the stewards, and they are working overtime to make an in-depth study of all problems. Therefore, in weeks to follow, one may see some changes for the good.
The sport in the meantime may continue to move at the known pace, though punters had no cause to complain about last Saturday’s racing as the favourites contributed their bit in the seven-event card. The likes of Brave Ventures, Flossys and Anacotts justified their odds despite soft underfoot conditions because of an overnight heavy rain.
However, the one who relished the wet track most was No Regrets from trainer Javed Khan’s yard. The Rebounding Thrill-Libation son was uncomfortably placed by the terms of the race. But his fluent victory in the 2,000m Monsoon Cup simply justified the racing adage that a horse in-form defies all odds. The five-year-old had notched up his third straight victory this season and he also looked good for another one if opportunities came his way.
The visiting jockey S. Rajesh, who partnered the winner, had the gelding settled behind a runaway Prince of Fashion, and abreast of Anolini, till the leader ran out of gas nearing the distance-post. Given the rein, it was the form that came handy for No Regrets as he easily got the better of the topweighted favourite Allodium.
The afternoon was, otherwise, ruled by trainer Vijay Singh who scored a rich treble through Abashed, Anacott and Archery. If Abashed won the Ivanoe Cup virtually from the start, Anacott had to be held back behind Dancing Rhythm till 300m from home before shooting into the lead. The three-year-old by Conquering Hero-Rafah was, however, eased up by Cristopher Alford passing the distance-post, thus allowing the six-year-old Flying Power to come close.
Cristopher, however, took no chances on Archery in the Flying Glance Handicap, Riding the Elusive Pimpernel son off the pace he was unstoppable in the home stretch. Now that the four-year-old has come right, he could be followed to another victory. Another one who may strike again is the Javed-ward Flossy. The mare was simply impressive in her victory.