Jockey Suraj Narredu with Silver Beauty, winner of The 2016 mid-day trophy. Pic /Shadab Khan
Yet another card promising excellent racing action is on offer at the Mahalaxmi Racecourse on the heels of the Indian Derby held last Sunday. Tomorrow's race card features eight races, including the mid-day trophy, which celebrates the race club's media partnership with this paper.
The other prestigious events on the card are the Eclipse Stakes Of India (Gr 2), Dr SC Jain Sprinters' Championship (Gr 2), and the Dr Jagjit Singh Tribute Salver--the last one in memory of the famous ghazal singer.
High on talent
The mid-day Trophy has attracted a field of dozen well-bred three-year-old juveniles who will be looking for their first career victory.
In fact, eight of the 12 have yet to run a race -- they will be making their debut, while the other four have run only one race each.
But that has always been the case with the mid-day trophy runners: short on experience, but high on talent, as is borne out by the fact that most mid-day trophy winners in the past have gone on to race in the highest class.
Take the case of last year's winner Silver Beauty, she went to win Kolkata Oaks! Interestingly, eight trainers have pitched in their juveniles in the mid-day trophy, and only one of them -- Faisal Abbas -- has won it earlier with Ishpingo (2011).
Pesi yet to taste glory
All others, including champion Pesi Shroff, have yet to win the coveted trophy. Ironically, despite having won the race for the last two years and being on a hat-trick, trainer Malesh Narredu is conspicuous by absence this time.
When asked, Malesh told mid-day, “It's really sad. I don't have a runner this year in the mid-day trophy, but my babies (read young horses) are taking a bit of time to come to hand this season.”
Four of the trainers -- Pesi Shroff, Adhiraj Jodha, Faisal Abbas and Karthik Ganapathy -- are hedging their bets by pitching in two horses each, while Nosher Cama, Narendra Lagad, Mansing Jadhav and SK Sunderji will be trying their luck with only a single entry.
There are three horse owners in the fray who have won the mid-day trophy in the past. One of them is Jaydev Mody who owns the only got abroad in the fray (Gazino).
He had won this race with Autonomy in 2009. Shapoor Mistry (Ishpingo, has ownership interest in two runners -- Rochester & Windsor Forest -- but only the) latter will carry his own silks of claret and gold.
Tegbir Brar, whose Win Legend progeny Hall Of Famer won the Derby less than a week ago, owns another from the same sire ('father' for layman) in Fair Warning who will race in the colours of his partner Shiven S.
Interestingly, the famous silks of navy blue, yellow and red of KN Dhunjibhoy, who has won the mid-day trophy a record three times with Il Tabarro (2009), Michele Marieci (2010), & Gerome (2013), will not be visible this time.
However, Dhunjibhoy owns a stake in the Pesi Shorff-trained filly Daffodils, who will race in Mehernosh Deboo's silks.