With his three-month long suspension to begin from Monday, trainer Pesi Shroff has lined up an imposing array of horses in an attempt to dominate the Sunday card which will feature the Deltin Casinos Indian 2000 Guineas (Gr 1) as the feature race of the card. Shroff has runners in six of the eight races on the card, and at least a treble looks extremely likely.
Shroff has entered three horses in the Indian 2000 Guineas--the Vijay Mallya-owned Admiralty, described as the "best-horse-gone-wrong" by most racing experts after he won his third race from as many starts at Bangalore but unfortunately developed a tendon issue that forced him to stay away from the race track for nearly seven months; Costa Del Sol, winner of four races from six starts, who will carry the colours of big bull Rakesh Jhunjhunwalla; and the vastly improved Rigoletto, the failed Pune Derby favrouite who will carry the Dhunjibhoy silks.
However, all of them have a formidable rival in Shapoor Mistry's Phoenix Tiger who has gone from strength to strength when winning five of his six lifetime starts
without once working up sweat. Phoenix Tiger, to be ridden by Colm O'Donoghue, is clearly the horse to beat, and if Admiralty suffers due to tendon issue during the race, there is nothing that will perhaps stop Phoenix Tiger from winning the sesaon's second Classic. He is in fine trim, and his last two wins were at the highest class level.
However, I have minutely observed both the mock races that Admiralty has run in a span of eight days last month, and I think there is an excellent chance that he will be able to run his best race on Sunday. At the likely odds of 5-1, I actually see tremendous value in Admiralty as a chance bet, and nominate him as one.
First race at 1.30 pm.
Nawabzada Rashiduzzafar Khan Cup (Class II; 2000m)
Ostwind 1, Helping Hand 2.
Gulamhusein Essaji Trophy - Div II (Class IV; 1600m)
Shooting Star 1, Aeolus Maximus 2, Midnight Romance 3.
Ranjit V Bhat Memorial Gold Trophy (Class I; 1000m)
Ladybird 1, Mine Forever 2, Victorious March 3.
Allah Rakhkha Gold Trophy (For 2y, maidens; 1200m)
Accolade 1, Devoted Eyes 2, Imperial Heritage 3.
Gracias Saldanha Memorial Million (For 4y&o; 1400m)
Adam 1, Your Royal Majesty 2, Shivalik Storm 3.
P M Rungta Golden Sprint Stakes (Class III; 1200m)
Holy Smoke 1, Stateira 2, Be Cautious 3.
Deltin Casinos Indian 2000 Guineas (Grade 1) (For 3y; 1600m)
Admiralty 1, Phoenix Tiger 2, Bold Command 3.
Gulamhusein Essaji Trophy - Div I (Class IV; 1600m)
Shivalik Heroine 1, Shadowfax 2, Sentosa Cove 3.