Every experiment has its supporters and critics. Some are early adopters of new concepts and ideas while others are naysayers.
It will take many sample results — years in the present case of altering the format of the Indian Turf Invitation Cup — before either side can declare victory!
Nevertheless, the 51st renewal of this championship race, run on Sunday afternoon at the magnificent Calcutta Race Course, saw the grand success of the initial experiment of allowing older runners to contest this prestigious event.
While the brilliant winner was a four-year-old in the shape of Tintinnabulation, the next three home were all from the ranks of those longer in the tooth.
Hero of the Indian Derby four weeks ago, Super Storm led early before the expected pacemaker, Angel Crown, took up the running.
By the time the runners reached the far side of the course, the pace had reached serious proportions and the field was strung out like a necklace.
The first to essay a challenge was Maple Star, but she was soon passed by Dandified, who led them into the straight, leading to a roar of expectation from his loyal fans.
Ocean And Beyond then overpowered his rival and shaped as the winner only to be handily pegged back by the late-finishing Golconda Derby winner, Tintinnabulation, who powered clear at the finish. Onassis got up to deprive Dandified of third place.
Sent out by Hyderabad-based Vittal Deshmukh, who is having a banner year, the got-abroad son of Intikhab-Tourmalet was a 10 to 1 chance who brought the run of favourites in this race to a crashing halt.
Bred at the all-conquering Hazara Stud Farm in Haryana, Tintinnabulation was steered with panache by India's champion jockey, Pradeep Chouhan.
West Bengal Governor, M.K. Narayanan, presented the glittering trophy to Mr. Vijay Kumar Gupta, who owns the winner in partnership with M/s. Susheel Kumar Gupta and Ashish Bajaj and the Estate of the late Mr. Pratap Chander Reddy.
Earlier, the Maj. P.K. Mehra Memorial Super Mile fell to an eight-year-old in Arktouros.
Regular pilot Christopher Alford, astride Vijay Singh's ward, sneaked up on the inside of Ranthambhore to score by a neck with Immense hauling himself into the last of the minor placings. The triumphant product of the Exhilaration Stud runs in the Deepak Khaitan silks.
Keywords: Kolkata races