Quasar, the champion colt trained by Malesh Narredu, faces the starter yet again on Sunday to complete what looks like a mere formality. There is not a horse among his rivals who can stop him from winning the Deltin Stayers Challenge, the prime event of Sunday's eight-race card.
Quasar has won 13 of his last 15 starts after taking a rather unusually long time to break his maiden jinx in the fourth career start in March last year. He has already demolised oppositoin of all hues, including his conqueror Be Safe, to emerge as the richest stakes earner in the history of Indian racing. The four year old colt will be ridden by his regular partner Yash Narredu.
Needless to add, Quasar is expected to give weight and a beating to his five rivals over the trip of 2,400 meters. However, thanks to the 10-kg advantage that Azzrurro enjoys at the scales over Quasar with respect to their encounter in the St Leger at Pune, there will be many backers for him, and that will mean Quasar will get some fair price after a long time. If this happens, Quasar shapes as the best betting proposition of the afternoon. In fact, I expect Shivalik Showers, thanks to his last victory run at Pune, to finish ahead of Azzurro, and follow Quasar home.
First race at 1.30 pm.
Roedl & Partner Trophy (For 5y&o, class III; 1200m)
Hunt For Heads 1, Beyond Horizons 2, Samba Warrior 3.
HDFC-Ergo Trophy (For 2y, maidens; 1200m)
Hasta La Vista 1, Allora 2.
Hamburg Ambassador Cup (Class V; 1600m)
Dia 1, Royal Wish 2, Midnight Romance 3.
Lufthansa Senator Cup (Class II; 1400m)
Melinda 1, Brahmachari 2.
Metro Motors Auto Hangar Sir H M Mehta Sprinters' Challenge (For 4y&o; 1000m)
Dancing Phoenix 1, Brynhill 2, Victorious March 3.
Bayer Good Governance Trophy (Class IV; 1400m)
Replica 1, Remember The Time 2,Red Bug 3.
Deltin Stayers' Challenge (For 4y&o; 2400m)
Quasar 1, Shivalik Showers 2, Azzurro 3.
IGCC Christmas Fest Trophy (For 4y, class IV; 1200m)
Cool Runnings 1, Kandinsky 2, The Soprano 3.
Best bet: Quasar (7-1)
Good bet: Replica (6-7)
Chance bet: Melinda (4-2)
Upset: Charging Empress (3-1)
Super jackpot pool: 3,4,5,6,7,8
Jackpot pool: 4,5,6,7,8
Treble pool: I - 5,6,7; II - 6,7,8
Tanala pool: All races.