Horse racing: Triple joy on the Pune track

“No one really knows which horse is going to win — certainly not the owner!” —this famous quote by English actor Robert Morley, who also dabbled as a horse owner, had once made headlines. Replace the word “owner” in that sentence by “trainer”, and you will have at least one professional whole-heartedly endorsing it — trainer Mansingh Jadhav!

Mansingh Jadhav
Mansingh Jadhav

One after another, Jadhav led in three winners on Saturday’s nine-race card at the Pune racetrack. Two of Jadhav’s runners — Ainra & Gangnam Style picked up division III & II respectively of the Air Dash Plate for class IV horses, while his third winner, Novak, unleashed a tremendous gallop to collar runaway Pezzonovante, in the hands of jockey Sandesh who also excelled in saddle by booting home four winners on the card.

“Frankly, this treble has come as a pleasant shock for me too,” trainer Jadhav confessed to Sunday MiD DAY, “all three are good horses but I really did not think they had much of a chance today, with the exception of maybe Novak who had put in a fair run last week.” Jadhav’s confession has a ring of honesty to it, because he was actually bed-ridden due to illness and could not attend work for a whole week.

“I have never taken a holiday,” revealed the veteran trainer with a career spanning nearly four decades, “and I was actually telling my friends that I was enjoying getting up as late as 8 in the morning. The credit for this success, therefore, must go to my assistant Jude who, along with my son, looked after the horses.”

Interestingly, the feat of a treble on a single day’s card came about for Manya Jadhav, as he is fondly called in racing circles, after a long long gap of ten
years. The last time he had led in three winners was at the Mahalaxmi racetrack in January 2003, exactly two weeks before he was to saddle the sensational Derby winner Noble Eagle who was actually employed as a pace maker for the connections’ main hope Zurbaran, but overstayed his brief when, in the hands of a small time jockey named Pramod Belose, he just kept on going until the winning post without showing any sign of fatigue. 

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