A winner of three races in-a-row, including the Monsoon Cup, in the last monsoon season, No Regrets had spent virtually the next 12 months on sick list. The Javed Khan-trainee was back in the news last Tuesday when he beat a strong field to score a Monsoon Cup double. His victory was as resounding as last year when he beat the likes of Allodiums and Anolinis.
This time, he encountered the last monsoon Derby winner Smart Ruler and the filly Another Time who had made her presence felt in the winter’s classics. However, it was Hello Brother who spearheaded the challenge to No Regrets.
Hello Brother led the field in the first-half of the 2,000m journey before Another Time took over with Mark Reuben on No Regrets sticking to the third position. Reuben started making his bid from the 800m marker and shot into the lead in the home stretch. It looked all over 300m from home prompting Reuben to ease up his charge passing the distance post.
Only half-an-hour earlier, the Javed-Reuben combination had complemented each other in the 1,100 Whispering Grass Handicap when Flossy, a specialist in the distance, won handsomely.
Reuben cleverly varied the pace upfront to work things to his advantage on a horse who was fancied strongly but was easily available at 4’s. It was not only because of his distance limitations but also due to winds blowing equally strongly in favour of Errol Bhungard’s ward Lively Project and Vijay Singh’s Calabar.
Daniel was also in luck in the six-event card. Kicking off with an emphatic victory of Queen Of The Nile in the 2,000m Retort Handicap, Daniel followed it up with the narrow win of the favourite Autumn Fantasy. He may have been a trifle lucky to win the Espoir Cup as the joint-favourite She’s A Star failed to get proper assistance in the saddle from visiting jockey C. Krishnan. The Star not only dropped back after a good start, the Tirol-filly was also taken very wide at the final turn. Still, the Jaiswal-trainee fought a hard battle in the last 200m but fell shy at the wire by a neck.
Vijay’s hot-favourite Adderly, too, won a close contest from Daniel’s My Dancer in the Sans Ame Handicap. However, in the light of the fact that the winner was giving as much as 7 kg to My Dancer and also that he was pushed on to the track within 10 days of his arrival from Bangalore, his effort was a creditable one.
A failed-favourite in his last start, Millenium Star was again backed down to twos against Star Cutter and April Ace who also enjoyed good support in the 1,200-metre Pickwick Handicap. However, Krishnan did not falter this time, though, keeping the Jaiswal-trainee far too behind the leaders. A lucky opening at the final turn, and along the rails, too, helped the favourite’s cause.
Krishnan was also quick to grab the opportunity. He slipped into the winning lead to frustrate the efforts of a late finishing Giorgio who beat all but went down to the Star by under two lengths.