| Vinay Jaiswal
The ringing alarm bells may have set the RCTC top brass in motion. Punters have been tolerant with the sorry state of affairs in the name of horseracing but last Wednesday’s outburst by a section of crowd has sent the message across.
Leading professionals were targets of verbal abuse, and in full public view. It was because of the complete failure of their favourites, and also for stipes turning a blind eye instead of punishing the guilty ever since the monsoon season started early this month.
Among the major issues annoying the crowd were the amateurish handling of Brighter Future — a half-money favourite — by the seasoned jockey Mohammed Amil that resulted in a poor performance in the second meet of the season. Instead of earning a suspension, Amil was let off with a reprimand, in addition to a fine of Rs 1,000.
Giorgio’s made-to-order victory, Amber Song’s fashioned defeat and the speedy Moon Mission’s heroics while ridden in a check, were the other instances discussed among the Wednesday race-crowd. Of course, Flinders’ amazing improvement in six days was yet another case they had expected the stipes to initiate an inquiry that was never ordered.
Significantly, no odds-on favourite is yet to oblige and trainer Daniel David’s yard tops such a chart.
Nevertheless, the RCTC thinktank has finally got into action. At a meeting last Thursday, some drastic measures were taken which should come as a wake up call for those who were still sleeping. Things may begin to happen from the following race meeting on July 23.
There is hardly anything to write home about those who won the ‘manipulated’ encounters but Regal Rocket’s victory in the Zelda Cup was a fair effort. The T.N. Jaiswal-trainee not only won from the start with a degree of comfort, the eight-year-old horse also helped the trainer’s young son, Vinay, record his maiden triumph.
Going to the start as a 6-1 fancy in the La Gitana Cup, On The Bit’s connections were thankful to a steady flow of money at 5-2 on Ballet Master, while Moon Mission carried the public purse as a half-money favourite.
Nevertheless, Ballet Master hit the front as Moon Mission (Amyn Merchant atop) and On The Bit (Tamang) fought a right-to-way tussle resulting in the latter going wide. The John Stephens-trainee went further wide at the turn but put on an even keel once in the final stretch. It was easy going for the Gaswar-Ballymena mare past the distance-post, though an aged El Cid added some excitement to the finish.
With Amber Song being ridden in a check as if negotiating a Derby-course, the task of the Bharath Singh-trained Seeker was made easy in the 1,400m Flower Dust Handicap. The Sizzling Melody-Festival Fame daughter, made light of her topweight of 60-kg from the start.
A heavy downpour preceding the 1,100m Bright Law Handicap worked to the advantage of Suriyothai. The Procida-Our Royal Highness daughter, thought to be comfortable over sprints beyond 1,200m, was kept close behind the leaders — Sariano and Bright And Clear, the 8-10 favourite — until 300m from home. Sent into the lead thereafter, the F. Rodrigues-trainee had no one to worry her for rest of the journey.