Races

No surprises in the glamour races

Fast and fantastic: David Allan piloting Ruffina past the post, ahead of Lincoln and Amorous White, in the Sprinters’ Cup on Saturday.

Fast and fantastic: David Allan piloting Ruffina past the post, ahead of Lincoln and Amorous White, in the Sprinters’ Cup on Saturday.  

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Ruffina shows off her acceleration capability; Azzurro controls the pace from the front

Picking the winner is never easy at the best of times but there are occasions when matters proceed strictly according to the script.

One such happy occasion — for punters and fans alike — was at the magnificent Calcutta Race Course on this warm Saturday afternoon when both the odds-on Ruffina and the public choice Azzurro obliged in the day’s features.

Captain Courage was an overnight withdrawal, leaving just nine to contest the Sprinters' Cup. Preciosa missed the kick and trailed early as Lincoln led the field in his customary fashion.

All eyes were on Ruffina, in the distinctive red and white Poonawalla silks, lying in mid-pack but moving well. It was well known that the rider would alert the filly late and this is just what David Allan did. With a burst of acceleration, the Dallas Todywalla-trained Ruffina picked off her rivals one by one and arrived in front at the winning post ahead of Lincoln, with Amorous White third.

Allan did find it necessary to resort to a couple of cracks of the whip on the winner, but that’s not surprising given the long season, the travel and the heat. She is owned by a partnership consisting of Dr. Cyrus Poonawalla, Mr. Adar Poonawalla, Mrs. Natasha Poonawalla and M/s. Saleem Fazelbhoy, Dinsha Shroff & Munchi Shroff.

Azzurro took charge of the six-runner Stayers’ Cup field, depleted by the absence of Ophion, right from the start and controlled the pace from the front.

Rider Trevor Patel astride him soon pulled clear in a manner that suggested he would run away from his rivals. His opponents sniffed the hint of an opportunity as the gap shrivelled at halfway but it was a case of Trevor cleverly giving his mount a breather and when they straightened up, the pair drew away again and the victory was never in doubt.

Cadman plugged on to be second followed by Winter Renaissance. Like in 2017, the winner is a Kunigal Stud-bred trained by Suleiman Attaollahi sporting the Mallya silks. Immediately after the race, the rider dismounted the game seven-year-old gelding, who will be retired.

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Printable version | Jan 27, 2020 4:48:12 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/races/no-surprises-in-the-glamour-races/article22920063.ece

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