The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Vijay means business now
VIjay Singh

Dividing time between upcountry racing and RCTC may not have helped trainer Vijay Singh’s immediate cause but his labour will bear fruits in the coming winter. Now that the Bangalore summer is over, the crafty trainer is not only back in the city meaning business, he has also been instrumental in arresting activities of “manipulators” — who were calling the shots since the beginning of the monsoon season.

Vijay’s treble, last Wednesday, with the assistance of stable jockey C. Alford, could not have been a mere coincidence on an afternoon ruled by favourites and also some of the strongly fancied winners. Before that, of the 25 races held this season, only two clear favourites had managed victories.

Nevertheless, it was trainer Javed Khan who initiated the day’s trend as his sparingly-used filly Actualite came in for a big support to go to the start as an even-money favourite. The Tejano-Indian Style daughter displaced Daniel David’s Bright And Clear from the favourite slot because the latter was never expected to be comfortable over the 1,200m sprint, much like her scurry-specialist full sister, Santillana.

Actualite, in any case, never gave the Foyer-Clear Look daughter a chance to unsettle her as she comfortably went about her business from the start. Ridden in a check for better results, the twice-failed Bright And Clear was kept in fourth till the home turn. She also looked to be hanging in under pressure, nearing the distance-post.

Vijay took over from the second race and finished his day’s engagements by the fourth event. It was Archery who provided him with the

start with a runaway victory. The joint-favourite, with Daniel’s Star Selection, found an able ally in Raring To Go who was assigned the task of cutting hot-pace to suit the rival favourite. Tactics also helped Archery to achieve the success as the Elusive Pimpernel-Hieroglyphic five-year-old was brought the shortest way home from the rear, while Merchant from a similar position had taken the circular route on Star Selection and thus failed to even clinch the second slot.

Vijay’s three-year-old Modesto produced a scintillating performance despite 61 kg on his back. In the classic bracket, the Metal Precieux-Mea Culpa colt led by a length from the start and went on increasing the margin of victory as he approached the winning post. Richie Rich, also assigned a heavyweight of 62 kg, was a fair third behind Rheinheart and could strike soon.

Inside Story handed the Vijay-Alford combination the day’s hattrick win when the Dark Nile-Success Story son managed to beat Hello Brother after a brief tussle in the last 100m of the 1,400m race. The even-money favourite was always in hot-chase of the Farley Rodrigues-trainee.

Davaro was expected to do a Modesto but his paddock looks indicated that the Rodrigues ward was a shade off colour.

Nevertheless, the White Crown-Our Volcan won from the start, albeit half the race, as he dead-heated in the Maltese Prince Handicap with Daniel’s Tecorno-Loire Princess filly Great Ambition who, one must admit, produced an improved show. Bharath’s Onewonone, too, finished an impressive third, shade under a length behind. Both Davaro and Onewonone could do better over extended trips. Follow them.

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