Zervan, who was under suspension, and hence unable to defend his top position, is now the beneficiary of a rather strange decision of the club's appeal board which, for a monetary fine of Rs 50,000, has allowed him to wear the riding gear over the last weekend. The decision has kicked up a storm in racing circles, being debated for its wisdom or the lack of it.
Poor Zervan, who has earned each one of his 54 victories fair and square, displaying exceptional riding skill on many an occasion, may still be the favourite to win the title, but thanks to that unprecedented decision, Sandesh has monopolized the crowd's sympathies and emerged as their favourite.
Zervan has accepted to ride six horses on the Saturday card, while Sandesh will be astride eight horses. This is one race that will surely be fought down to the wire.
First race at 2.30 pm.
Bravissima Plate (For 5y&o, V; 1200m)
Neptune 1, Laurus Tikati 2, Always Smile 3.
W Buckley Plate (Class V; 2000m)
Equinox 1, Cornelian 2, Kalinga Star 3.
Trainers Trophy (Class IV; 1600m)
Snow Flake 1, Polynesia 2, Il Moran 3.
Atmosphere Plate - Div II (Class IV; 1200m)
Moon Shadow 1, Mountain Warrior 2, Macho Uno 3.
Alvida Plate (Class III; 1800m)
Colossus 1, Honest Pleasure 2, Fortune Hunter 3.
Lucky Pair Plate (For 3y, maidens; 1000m)
Rajsamman 1, War Horse 2, Wasabi 3.
Stone Ridge Plate (Class III; 1400m)
Step Up 1, Relic Hunter 2, Barringo 3.
Sweeping Success Trophy (Class III; 1000m)
Port Blair 1, Afrojack 2, Twilight 3.
Atmosphere Plate - Div I (Class IV; 1200m)
Dreams R Mine 1, Gates Of Heaven 2, Ice Skater 3.
Best bet: Colossus (5-3)
Good bet: Port Blair (8-5)
Chance bet: Rajsamman (6-3)
Upset: Ibis (2-1)
Super jackpot poo: 4,5,6,7,8,9
Jackpot pool: I - 3,4,5,6,7; II - 5,6,7,8,9
Treble pool: I - 2,3,4; II - 6,7,8; III - 7,8,9
Tanala pool: All races