Text and Pix by Shanuka Aravinda in Nuwara Eliya
Deepthika Jayakody Stables did what had to be done to turn the disappointments of the previous outing into glory as Alcazaba and Captain Haddock gave the stable a double win at the RTC Governor’s Cup horseracing meet held at the racecourse in Nuwara Eliya on Saturday.
In addition, trainer S.P.A. Raju enjoyed the rare success of four wins in seven races, which included wins of the HNB Grameen Cup, Queen’s Cup, Governor’s Cup and the Highway and Higher Education Ministry Cup.
After being edged out by Hasanga Jayaratne’s Meheran in the RTC Magic Million Cup a fortnight ago, Alcazaba made a brilliant comeback to regain its winning momentum by claiming the 1,600 metres race, run on Terms, to win the coveted RTC Governor’s Cup for the first time.
The race belonged to Santos, ridden by L. Dayalan, from the start almost right up to the end but A. Vishwanath challenged on Charlemagne over the final 300-metre stretch. The battle was between Charlemagne and Santos for the next 150 metres but right before the winning post Alcazaba and Silver Streak, both owned by Jayakody and run by Y.S. Srinath and Irvan Singh respectively, snatched the first and second places out of nowhere to leave Charlemagne in third and push Santos further to back of the pack.
Earlier on in the Queen’s Cup, another race run on Terms, over a distance of 2,000 metres, Jayakody enjoyed her first win after Irvan Singh rode Captain Haddock in a race which RTC Magic Million Cup winner Meheran dominated almost through one-third of the race. But Singh brought matters in hand in the final quarter to put Captain Haddock in the front as Celestial Fire, ridden by A. Vishwanath, claimed second place, pushing Meheran into third.
Y.S. Srinath rode Glittering to the wining post in the Highway and Higher Education Ministry Cup ahead of Spirited Touch and Icelandic. The Hi Magazine Cup was won by Stormy Petrel ridden by L. Ravi Kumar as Honourious and Waiting for Glory finished behind in second and third respectively.
Vigorous was steered to victory by S. Punithraj ahead of Stormont and Torpedo in the Blackpool Hotel Cup while M. Mohanraj took Krabi ahead of Agusta and Blazing Berry in the HNB Grameen Cup. Eye Touch, ridden by A. Dilan, won the Lankadeepa Challenge Trophy comfortably over Misty Queen and Flash. L. Dayalan was awarded the Best Local Jockey award and S.V. Mathialagan won the Best Trainer’s award in the April Holiday Horseracing Season conducted by the Royal Turf Club.