No crime was committed at the RCTC raceground last Saturday, yet the entire police brass had gathered there. The occasion being the Police Commissioner’s Cup that has become an annual feature in the RCTC calendar.
Some of the law-enforcers, who made it to the track earlier than the appointed hour, must also have been impressed by the outcome of the races preceding the Commissioner’s Cup. Favourites have had a free run between the second race and the star event, allowing only the curtain-raiser and the Mossy Bear Cup, the first leg of the jackpot pool, to be powered by unfancied runners.
Betting centred on only two horses – Anatolia and Star Selection – in the Commissioner’s Cup because the two were the youngest in the field of nine and also because they had played some role in their classic outings. If paddock-looks distinctly favoured the chances of the Vijay Singh-trainee Anatolia, ridden by Cristopher Alford, Star Selection boasted of her handicap advantage.
The result of the race somewhat justified Anatolia’s favoured-status as she found the target inside the last 100m, albeit after some solid resistance from long-time leader, On The Bit. Star Selection, on the other hand, struggled even to place. The two horses were seen galloping in close proximity in the mid-bunch till into the home stretch.
Trainer Bharath Singh has a knack for delivering stunning blows. The trainer’s new acquisition Rigged For Revenge was written off following his recent short-head victory over Giorgio as ‘Breeze Up’ purchases, normally, do not win back-to-back races. But Bharath’s shrewd placement of a 12-1 outsider Rigged For Revenge, combined with his close study of Giorgio’s subsequent run, helped the crafty schooler fire the salvo. The Classic Tale-Trumpets six-year-old thrashed brother Vijay’s half-money-hope Artiness, a four-year-old, to win the Flying Saucer Handicap.
Amaryllis, Archery, My Opinion and Modesto – all had stood exposed in their previous encounters, losing narrowly. This time, only three of them came good, as Cristopher failed to time his challenge on the Vijay Singh-trained Archery – a 8-10 favourite, in the Mossy Bear Cup. He took unduly long time to overtake his stable-mate and was thereby surprised by a long-shot Bay Dragon.
Amaryllis and Modesto, also from Vijay’s yard, proved far too superior to the opposition they were thrown against in the respective events. Shanker on the former and Cristopher partnering the three-year-old youngster, had little to do because Amaryllis led 300 metres from the distance for a shade under four-length win in the A. B. Gujral Memorial Cup. Modesto, on the other hand, ruined reputation of his 10 rivals as the Metal Preciuex-Mea Culpa colt virtually led from the start to romp home despite his weight discomfort.
My Opinion’s last run, too, was very suggestive and the Deepak Karki-ward in the hands of apprentice Amarpreet Singh found the going easy. The six-year-old would have returned more convincing winner had he not taken the home-turn six-wide.