Gracias represented the now fast-disappearing breed of horse owners who enjoyed their racing, and an occasional punt, without compromising the integrity of the sport.
Ironically, a horse named Game To Remember, owned by him and trained by Warren Singh, on Saturday won the upper division of the Confucious Plate, a class IV affair for horses 5 years & over in Bangalore.
He was ridden by Trevor Patel, the Mumbai lad who won after a 22-ride losing streak, preceded by an incredible 14 winners from 30 mounts. Saldanha is the fifth well-known racing personality to have passed away this year.
The earlier four being — trainer Nana Raghunath (who, incidentally, trained Saldanha’s horses at Mumbai), ghazal singer Jagjit Singh, an avid race goer and horse owner, trainer Vinayak who trained the last Pune Derby winner Hills And Stars, and P M Rungta, a senior RWITC member and former steward whose horse Le Gris Cheval had won the inaugural running of Poonawalla Breeders’ Million in the 1990s.