Gautam Banerjea
Kolkata, 4 October
Tomorrow is a big day for horse racing enthusiasts here. The centrepiece of the ongoing monsoon season – the Calcutta Monsoon Derby (Grade II) – will be run at 3.30 p.m. To support the rich event that will offer over Rs 42.50 lakh to the winner, there is a card of nine more races – all of these being trophy events. Perhaps, this is the longest card ever during a monsoon season.
On competitive front too, the Derby will be keenly contested. At least four of the seven runners in this 2,000m contest will get support of backers. Captain Courageous is the ante-post favourite, having done well during the winter season as a juvenile.
Also, the Captain Marvelous – Vade Retro colt relishes longer trips. To challenge the Ramaswamy owned runner, there are two quality performers from Deepak Khaitan camp. Both Argiano and Audrick hail from Vijay Singh stable. Between the two, Argiano is rated 18 points higher than Audrick through his last win in the Colts’ Trial Stakes. The last of the four runners fancied by this column is Knight Of Ke. Though the Nouverre offspring is somewhat inexperienced and may seem to lack class, his debut win in Pune recently was so eye-catching that he comes right into the reckoning.
However, to pick the probable winner, Audrick could be preferred before Argiano. The Razzen son is out of Alvarita and will be a better stayer. Also the preparation of Audrick was systematic and those who follow morning track work are touting him as a champion in the making. So Audrick is fancied to prevail over Captain Courageous for the glittering trophy.
Selections: 12.00 noon: AARONIC 1, Sreevahini 2, I Command 3. 12.30 p.m.: STAMP ACT 1, Persian Jewels 2, Oak Woods 3. 1.00 p.m.: VICTORIAN VICE 1, Seafarer 2, Skyway 3. 1.30 p.m.: SNOWDRIFT 1, Shaktiroop 2, Bengal King 3. 2.00 p.m.: VOYAGER 1, Stupid Cupid 2, Beyond Stars 3. 2.30 p.m.: STORMY WIND 1, Calypso Girl 2, Words 3. 3.00 p.m.: ALTANZA 1, Impressive Mode 2, Mahaakaushal 3. 3.30 p.m.: AUDRICK 1, Captain Courageous 2, Argiano 3. 4.00 p.m.: BERLUSCONI 1, Star Empire 2, Batista 3. 4.30 p.m.: ARTESIA 1, Assassin 2, Jassi&’s Star 3.
Day&’s best: Altanza.