PUNE: Two 3y olds trained by champion trainer Pesi Shroff's--Rigoletto and Continental--are likely to dominate the finish of the grade 1, Nanoli Stud Pune Derby, the stellar attraction of the Pune monsoon campaign, which is slated as the feature event of Sunday's bumper, well-filled and competitive ten-race card.
There are ten runners in the fray for the big race, but Shroff's two runners, on the strength of their class and recent performances, tower over the rest.
Both are winners of two races from three starts. Rigoletto (Kingda Ka - Highland Ghillie) is owned by KN Dhunjibhoy & his family, owner of Nanoli stud farm which sponsors the Pune Derby, while Continental (Rip Van Winkle - Samsa) is a got abroad owned by Shapoor Mistry & DR Thacker.
Rigoletto will be ridden by Trevor Patel, while Continental will be ridden by Suraj Narredu.
Others who may hope to shine if this duo falters are the Cooji Katrak-trained Bullrun, whose last victory was much more impressive than it looked to the naked eye, and Bold Appeal, who was putting in some good work in the final furlong of the recently run S A Poonawalla Million, and now with Sandesh replacing Neeraj Rawal, could be treated as the proverbial dark horse.
There is yet another talented filly in the fray, Intelligence trained by Vishal Gaikwad, but she is running too quickly after her last victory and may suffer on that account.
All said, though there is very little to choose between Rigoletto & Continental on paper, I choose the former only because he has won over this trip of 2,000 meters.
First race at 12.30 pm.
Jimmy Umrigar Trophy - Div II (For 3y, maidens; 1400m)
Sans Peur 1, Charging Tigress 2, Remember The Time 3.
Pune Police Commissioner's Trophy - Div II (Class III; 1200m)
Maleficent 1, Ashrafie 2, Zeda 3.
Sir Sultan Chinoy Trophy - Div I (Class IV; 1000m)
Cannonball Run 1, Zaheazaan 2, Zadora 3.
Vivanta by Taj - Blue Diamond Trophy (class IV; 2400m)
Geromino 1, Alanzo 2, Vitesse 3.
Animal Welfare Board of India Cup (Class V; 1000m)
True Heir 1, Pezzonovante 2, Polar Zone 3.
Jimmy Umrigar Trophy - Div I (For 3y, maidens; 1400m)
Silvano 1, Aurelio 2, Baker Street 3.
Noshir & Dolly Dhunjibhoy Sprint Million (Grade 3) (For 4y; 1200m)
Senorita Evita 1, Dancing Phoenix 2, Brynhill 3.
Nanoli Stud Pune Derby (Grade 1) (For 3y; 2000m)
Rigoletto 1, Continental 2, Bold Appeal 3.
Pune Police Commissioner's Trophy - Div I (Class III; 1200m)
Lucky Charm 1, Sunny Sea 2, Desert Rage 3.
Sir Sultan Chinoy Trophy - Div II (Class IV; 1000m)
Hirohama 1, Abbey 2, Spear Of Trium 3.
Best bet: None
Good bet: Maleficent (2-7)
Chance bet: Sans Peur (1-9)
Upset: Zafirah (5-7) & Rosie Sunshine (7-5)
Super jackpot pool: 5,6,7,8,9,10
Jackpot pool: I - 4,5,6,7,8; II - 6,7,8,9,10
Treble pool: I - 3,4,5; II - 7,8,9; III - 8,9,10
Tanala pool: All races.