Indian jockey Irvan Singh finished four of the five races among the top three at the RTC Premier Cup Raceday 2020, including a hat-trick of first three places for the Edwards Stable, kicking off a promising horseracing season, at the Racecourse in Nuwara Eliya on Sunday.
Singh guided the famous ‘Queen of Nuwara Eliya’ Alcazaba to a comfortable win in the main attraction of the day, the RTC Premier Cup, after winning the RTC Alpine Hotel Trophy on Goldie Girl and the RTC Daily Mirror Cup on Zulu Fantacy.
Taking the field after almost 11 months, all eyes were on the main race of the day, the RTC Premier Cup, for Class 1 thoroughbreds on a distance of 1400metres. Singh had already completed a double and was left with a final opportunity of recording a hat-trick, riding the famous and reliable mare, Alcazaba, who competed against Baashagar and Western Wind from the Jayaratne Stables and Carlton owned by Anita Dorai.
Yet the tough competition was from their own Edwards Stable – Roswald and Santos, who was guided by Kuldeep Singh to a first-second finish in the main race. Western Wind came close behind at third, but yards away from Alcazaba.
Singh’s first win came in the RTC Alpine Hotel Cup, a Class 5, 1070 metre race, guiding Goldie Girl to win. The next two places were owned by the Jayaratnes – Crimson Quest, ridden by S. Imran and at third Waiting for Glory, ridden by S. Asgar and owned by Hasanga Jayaratne.
"I’m really thrilled to record a hat-trick after almost a year for Mr and Mrs Edwards. My trainer, Mr. Mahesh is as thrilled as me to complete three wins from five races. This is a very good start for the upcoming two races in April. I’m glad that Alcazaba is still in good touch and perfect form, which is a promising fact," said Irvan Singh, the champion jockey of the day.
On Zulu Fantasy, Singh completed his second win in the RTC Daily Mirror Cup for Class 4 horses on a 1070 metre length. S. Imran finished in at second, guiding Night King, owned by Nishara Jayaratne while the successful trainer for the Edwards Stable, S.D. Mahesh, enjoyed a victorious day, after Stormont, ridden by Kuldeep Singh, finished third, recording a ‘first-third’ finish in the race.
The petite Indian jockey flagged off the day placing second in the RTC International Women’s Day Cup with Captain Haddock, following winner Another Ace, ridden by S. Imran and owned by Hasanga Jayaratne. Silver Streak, ridden by K. Sanjeewan and owned by Peter Fernando was placed third in the Class 2, 1400metre race.
The only race Singh could not lay his hand on a win or a place was the RTC Hi Magazine Trophy race, which was comprehensively won by the avenging Vigorous, ridden by local jockey S.D. Janaka and owned by Ajantha de Soyza. Gazaki, ridden by L. Sanjeewan and owned by Peter Fernando finished second ahead of Arabian Gold, ridden by Kuldeep Singh and owned by Mr and Mrs Edwards in the Class 3, 1070 metre race.
The RTC Premier Cup Raceday was the first event organized by the Royal Turf Club (RTC) for 2020, after their last racing event, which fell on the fateful Easter Sunday on 21st April, 2019. Since then the RTC had attempted to hold horseracing events, but continuous torrential weather prevented any possibility.
After this Sunday’s success, the RTC intends to hold the two upcoming events in April, the Magic Million Raceday on 5th and the Governor’s Cup Raceday on 15th on grand scale.