It was deja vu for me: Naresh Narredu
Manyatta, owned by Jaydev Mody and trained by Malesh Narredu, won the Tata Housing Mahalaxmi 130-years Anniversary Turf Championship, the feature event of Sunday's ten-race card that was slated to mark the beginning of the 130th anniversary celebrations of Mahalaxmi racing which began in the year 1883-84.
"I expected to win, because I had a feeling of deja vu when I entered this horse for this race," trainer Malesh Narredu told mid-day after leading in the winner, "because he (Manyatta) had won the same race last year too. And I know you are not going to believe this, but check out the last year's running, and you will be shocked - he had won in identical fashion, in the hands of same jockey DK Ashish, and by the same verdict of a neck!
"In fact, last year when Ashish won this same race with Manyatta," Narredu added, "the great Aslam Kader (legendary former jockey) had called me to specially praise the boy's superb handling, and I remembered that when giving him this ride."
Interestingly, jockey Ashish who had spent six months out of the saddle due to an accident last year which necessitated a shoulder surgery, was struggling to regain his form since his return last month as he failed to even open his account despite more than 30 rides until last Sunday. However, luck started smiling on him three days ago when he rode a back to back double on the Thursday card, and topped it today with his first two rides on the card—Casino Jack in the second race and Manyatta in the feature event, thus switching from 0 for 31 to a sensational 4 out of 4 wins on the trot.
Record super jackpot collection
As anticipated, the carried over amount of Rs 75 lakh from earlier unsolved pools that was added to Sunday's super jackpot pool in the hope that it would cross the 130-lakh mark to match the 130 years' existence of the Mahalaxmi racecourse, fetched in another 58.76, a new record for super jackpot pool collection, to take the gross pool to Rs 1,33,76,900. Despite some upsets, 22 people managed to solve the pool, each taking home a cool Rs 1.91 lakh.
Dream come true
A lucky race goer named Bhandari walked away with the top prize of the contest of skill by successfully predicting the first four finishers in the main event, the Tata Housing Mahalaxmi 130-years Anniversary Turf Championship. The lucky punter, when asked, revealed that he had had a dream about those horses finishing in that order, and believing in the dream, he went ahead and filled the same numbers in the contest form.