Dandified was first and the rest were nowhere in the
Calcutta Monsoon Derby, which the Vijay
Singh-trained horse made a virtual walk-in-the-park
exercise, on Saturday.
His effortless victory, not only silenced his
critics, and those who doubted his staying prowess,
it also confirmed that the three-year-old colt, by
Rebuttal out of Dandoona, possessed the class to
take on the best of his age, on the country`s racing
circuit. So ruthless and destructive was the 9-20
hot-favourite`s seven-length-plus victory that he is
bound to start as an equally short-priced runner in
the forthcoming winter classics, including the
Dandified trainer was ecstatic when asked for his
reaction. �I expected him to win the Derby but not
the way he did;� said Vijay after the race.
Dandified (C Alford up), winner of the Calcutta Monsoon Derby (Gr.3), being led in by trainer Vijay Singh & Mr. Deepak
Dandified was held back with Secret Visit, in the rear,
while Amor Amor and Aerator traded lead with Raznandan,
Kinshasa and Secrecy in tow. Ridden on the bridle, and
six-wide through the major part of the journey,
Dandified was quick to gather the momentum at the
halfway mark � as if programmed with a computer chip to
do so � and was up with the front runners. Alford wasn`t
seen even moving his muscles at any stage of the race,
but Dandified knew his task. The horse shot into the
lead, at the top of the home turn and was gone, with
Alford left nothing to do but to stand on stirrups and
throw up repeated glances.
Dandified, however, did not beat a good opposition,
leave alone a classy one. But his manner and style of
victory bore a stamp of class which is sure to take the
local sport to greater heights.
Secrecy was best of the rest, in the Derby. The China
Visit filly, the only one in the field who could boast
of winning a 2,000m race -- as a preparatory run for the
Derby -- was settled in fourth till the halfway stage.
Jockey Suraj Narredu made a simultaneous move, when
Dandified improved places, but for a lost cause. Secret
Visit, too, covered a lot of ground from the rear in the
second half of the slated trip but she was no match for
Secrecy, leave alone Dandified. Incidentally, the first
three slots in the Derby were occupied by Deepak Khaitan-owned
Dandified (C Alford up), winner of the Calcutta Monsoon
Derby (Gr.3), being led in by trainer Vijay Singh & Mr.
The afternoon wasn`t bed of roses for other favourites.
Dandified apart, Abronia was the only other favourite
who delivered the goods in the afternoon`s seven-event
race card. Abronia (Shailesh Shinde-up), a Darius
Byramji-trained 9-20 hot-property in the 1,200m Alice
Springs Trophy, was, however, fully stretched to beat
Must Be Magic who led comfortably till a furlong from
home. She a tough fight to the Abronia who got going
only in the last 100m or so.
Vijay`s Imperial Delight wasn`t so lucky in the 1,200m
Alternator Trophy. With Cee Four having been a morning
withdrawal, it looked as a mere formality for Suraj
Narredu, to guide the 6-10 hot-favourite home, in a
four-horse field. The horse was, surprisingly, ridden
well off the pace. It was trainer Vikash Jaiswal`s
friendless Accord (Md Islam-up) who led by two lengths
from the start and lasted out to stop the favourite by a
shade under a length.
Earlier, Vikash`s solidly fancied Pine Valley had
delivered the goods in the 1,400m Ascriptive Trophy.
Ridden well in check, in the mid-division, while
Seachange, Agnation, Promised Glory and Harey Putter
showed some urgency, changing leads 300m from home, the
4-1 chance came on with a strong run on the wide out of
the field to have an easy measure of Lenonidas, who also
warmed up late, and also of Sea Change, the longtime
leader who was shortening strides.
Trainer Bharath Singh`s Catchphrase was backed as a good
thing at even-money, in the Desert Shot Trophy over
1,400 metres. However, the Burden Of Proof colt remained
glued to the fifth berth all thorough the trip as Ijlal
cut a hot pace upfront to upset the rhythm of most in
the field. It was left to the strong finishers like Girl
Of Glower, from trainer Farley Rodrigues`s yard, and the
favourite`s friendless stablemate, Holy Head, to decide
the outcome of the race. Girl Of Flower (Surjeet
Singh-up), a 50-1 shot on the totalisator, covered
plenty of ground in the stretch run to score by about a
Trainer Patrick Quinn`s Samarkhand was the third of the
four shockers in the day`s card. Also ridden by Md
Islam, the nine-year-old horse displayed a youthful
penchant in the 1,400m Stewards` Trophy, to pay
compliments to his mentor. Ridden well off the pace, as
is his wont, the Greensmith son stormed on the scene, in
the final 150m of the race, when Arktouros had
established a clear advantage over a heavily fancied
Regal Classic and the longtime leader Clear Mandate.
Trainer Robert Gowli`s long-shot Baskerville finally
raised a winning flag, thanks to his preparations in a
recent mock-race which helped his cause in the Steal The
Glory Trophy. The Ontario five-year-old almost made
every post of the 1,000m scurry a winning one to score
easily over a late finishing Devilitto who also walked
on the scene late and Sugar N Salt. The 14-10 favourite
Songsters, eyeing for a back-to-back win, and the
fancied lowlyweighted Magical Star raced in the
mid-division all through the scurry..