Alcazaba proves she’s still ‘Queen of Nuwara Eliya’ after claiming RTC Magic Million Cup

Tuesday, 27 April 2021 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

J. Chinoy on Alcazaba, who proved that she is still the 'Queen of Nuwara Eliya'


Alcazaba proved she is still the Queen of Nuwara Eliya Racecourse, with her gallant win, which gave her the spotlight back and the RTC Magic Million Cup in the Horse Racing Festival 2021 finale event held under strict health guidelines on Saturday.

The overall outcome was far from what was witnessed on 15 April, at the Governor’s Cup raceday. Winners of the prestigious raceday, oddly, failed to impress in the five-race event held this weekend and were beaten by some of the traditional winners, who dominated the Nuwara Eliya racecourse.

Alcazaba was an easy pick out of the five winners, so were Another Ace and Vigorous. Stormont and Krabi were surprises.

Strangely running in an almost empty racecourse, Alcazaba lived up to her potential to outclass Spirited Touch and Western Wind to win the RTC Magic Million Cup, for horses of Class 1 in a race of 1600metres.

Owned by the Edwards Stable, trained by S.D. Mahesh and ridden by jockey J. Chinoy, Alcazaba proved that she is the ‘Queen of Nuwara Eliya,’ beating two of the top contenders in Class 1, who had outsmarted her earlier. They were Spirited Touch, the 2019 Governor’s Cup winner and Western Wind, who claimed the Governor’s Cup nine days ago in a race that had the similar thrill.

The Jayaratne Stable, who had a brilliant outing at the RTC Governor’s Cup Raceday on 15 April, however, won the Sporting Star Cup, the Class 2 race of 1,600 metres and placed second in two races. Their main win came through Another Ace, who made a brilliant gallop in the final furlong to claim a thrilling win by half-a-length. Ridden by jockey Vivek and owned by Hasanga Jayaratne, Another Ace took away a possible win from Silver Streak, who looked well set for deserving victory, as Santos finished close behind at third by another quarter length.

Vigorous, ridden by S. Dineshraj, claimed the Sri Lanka Insurance Motorplus Cup, the Class 3 1,600 metre race in the opening race of the day. It was a three-way battle Olive and Honorious had to settle in at second and third, as Vigorous proved a point with the inspiring win.

After the thrilling finish on the Governor’s Cup Raceday in the same race class, a heated competition was expected between Glittering and Vigorous, who was edged out in the final furlong to finish first and second respectively. However Glittering could not start the race despite reaching the starting gate.

Starmont with J. Chinoy, claimed a thrilling finish ahead of Night King and Torpedo to win the Sri Lanka Insurance Cup for Class 4 horses in the 1,400 metre race. The winner was uncertain until the final moment as Stormont and Night King sprinted right along each other before the Edwards Stable owned horse raced to the winning post with an advantage of a slight neck’s length. Torpedo finished close behind at third.

Jockey Kiran Naidu’s skills in steering Krabi to win the DailyMirror Cup, a Class 5 race of 1,400 metres, proved that uncertainty is not permanent. Krabi, who had failed to live up to the expectations in the recent past, was steered by Naidu for a win that would remain forever in the heart of owner Dr. Dhanawardene Guruge. Waiting for Glory finished second behind half-a-length, followed by Goldie Girl who was further a length behind at third.

The usually packed grandstand of the Nuwara Eliya Racecourse was almost empty yesterday, as the organisers conducted the curtain faller event of Royal Turf Club behind closed doors. Only the owners, trainers, jockeys, officials and organisers, numbering to nearly 100 in total, were allowed to attend the event. 

Interestingly the winners of the RTC Governor’s Cup failed to impress as they did nine days ago at the same venue, but under dampening conditions. The RTC Horse Racing Festival 2021 comes to an end with this Magic Million Cup and the next raceday will be notified by the organisers no sooner the present pandemic situation changes in favour of sports.


RTC Magic Million Cup (Class 1 – Group 1 – 1,600m)

1: Alcazaba (J. Chinoy/S.D. Mahesh/Edwards Stables)

2: Spirited Touch (Aneel/S.V. Mathialagan/Fearless Stables and Stud Farms)

3: Western Wind (Vivek/Sridher Selvaratnam/Mr. and Mrs. Gamini Jayaratne)

Sporting Star Cup (Class 2 – Group 2 – 1,600m)

1: Another Ace (Vivek/Sridher Selvratnam/Hasanga Jayaratne)

2: Silver Streak (L. Dayalan/S.D. Mahesh/Ramsis Peter Fernando)

3: Santos (J. Chinoy/S.D. Mahesh/Edwards Stables)

SLIC MotorPlus Cup (Class 3 – 1,600m)

1: Vigorous (S. Dineshraj/Jayantha Wijesinghe/Ajantha de Soyza)

2: Olive (K. Sanjeewan/S.V. Mathialagan/Fearless Stables and Stud Farm)

3: Honorious (Aneel/S.V. Mathialagan/Fearless Stables and Stud Farm)

Sri Lanka Insurance Cup (Class 4 – 1,400m)

1: Stormont (J. Chinoy/S.D. Mahesh/Edwards Stables)

2: Night King (V. Yogaraj/Sridher Selvaratnam/Nishara Jayaratne)

3: Torpedo (K. Sanjeewan/S.V. Mathialagan/Fearless Stables and Stud Farm)

Daily Mirror Cup (Class 5 – 1,400m)

1: Krabi (K. Naidu/S.D. Mahesh/Dr. Dhanawardene Guruge)

2: Waiting for Glory (R. Vaibhav/Sridher Selvaratnam/Hasanga Jayaratne)

3: Goldie Girl (J. Chinoy/S.D. Mahesh/Edwards Stables)


Alcazaba with jockey J. Chinoy, trainer S.D. Mahesh and owner of Edwards Stables


Vigorous finishing the SLIC MotorPlus Class 3 race


Jockey Vivek on Another Ace with owner Hasanga Jayaratne and trainer Sridher Selvaratnam after winning the Sporting Star Cup


Vigorous with jockey S. Dineshraj and trainer Jayantha Wijesinghe