Sport

Horseracing: Impressive entries for RTC season opener

31 March 2019 - 34   - 0

Two favourite runners have been forced to skip Sunday's (31) RTC Spring and Summer Raceday at the Racecourse in Nuwara Eliya, due to medical reasons, and their closest rivals will grab the opportunity to gain momentum and status. 

The two horses are tipped to miss the inaugural event hosted by the Royal Turf Club (RTC) after a brief break as the three-event season unfolds at the Racecourse in Nuwara Eliya from March 31. 

The notable absentee among the lot will be the undefeated Class 1 Thoroughbred mare, Alcazaba, who is tipped to recover and make a comeback in two more weeks. 

In her absence, the winning stakes will be high on Parshuram and Aventus, while Meheran too will be in the limelight in the 1400metre race. 

Parshuram, owned by David Anthony, gave indication of being a winning sire even at the three Mock Races held two weeks ago. 

J.R. Irugalbandara, owner of Aventus, too will be eyeing a rare and exciting Class 1 finish, where the total number of runners will be seven, with the exclusion of Alcazaba. 

Hasanga Jayaratne, owner of Meheran, will be another individual who looks forward to a surprise victory in the race where the other runners are Carlton, Santos, Baashagar and Roswald. 

Deepthika Jayakody's Alcazaba will be in action in the remaining two races on April 15 and 21. 

The Class 2 Thoroughbred race over a distance of 1400metres will go ahead with nine runners and all of them have been in great shape over the years. 

The horses in the fray are Madam Bovary, Silver Streak, Areca Wonder, Celestial Fire, Brilliant Cut, Chul Bul Panday, Plenepotent, Spirited Touch and Albertino. 

The RTC has dedicated this race in honour of the Late Ranjit Dahanayake, who was an active Committee Member as well as a horseracing devotee. 

The Class 3 Thoroughbred race will include six horses where Icelandic and Glittering are among the favourites. 

Olive, Bouquet, Charming Grey and Marcana will make this 1070metre race more exciting. 

Torpedo, owned by Anura Delgoda, will be the second absentee from the first race of the RTC holiday season races. 

Still with the absence of Torpedo, excitement will be at its fullest with eight runners set to run the Class 4 race of 1070metres. 

The remaining competitors, Vigorous, Stormount, Go Green, Tuscano, Transition, Night King, Legal Legacy and Honorius have been in fine form at the Mock Races, as a thrilling finish is anticipated. 

The Class 5 Thoroughbred race with a distance of 1070metres will be the one to watch when it comes to numbers. 

A total of 12 horses will surely set the racecourse ablaze as most of them have at least recorded a single win during their runs in recent seasons. 

The runners set to compete are Krabi, Scarlet Prince, Zulu Fantasy, Miss Ivory, Cosmopolitan, Arious, Exclusive Delight, Goldie Girl, Star Ace, Tender Mist and Star Scholar. 

Following the raceday on March 31, which acts as a forerunner, RTC will conduct its two remaining mega events during the April Holidays -- the RTC Governor's Cup and the RTC Magic Million Cup. 

On April 15, a day after the Sinhala and Tamil New Year, RTC will hold the ever popular 148th Governor's Cup and Queen's Cup on the same day followed by the RTC Magic Million on April 21. 

The RTC events for the Holiday Season are sponsored by Colombo Hilton, Blackpool Hotel Nuwara Eliya, Alpine Hotel and Mosh.

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