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She's a jolly good filly

Hall of Famer looks good for most coveted 1.5 miles in Indian racing history. Put your money on Padmanabhan's cool gal for Sunday's event at Mahalaxmi

Mr and Mrs Padmanabhan (left), winners of the Kingfisher Ultra Indian Derby last year. Pic/SHADAB KHAN

I think this Derby is going to be very interesting, because the horse that has done nothing wrong, Serjeant At Arms, has yet to tackle the Derby distance of mile-and-a-half.

Serjeant At Arms may be stretched to get the mile-and-a-half.

I talk from experience as I had trained a Rahy's Serenade horse (Diego Rivera) myself who, like Serjeant, was best at the mile.

I feel trainer Padmanabhan's filly, Hall Of Famer, has proved she gets the mile-and-a-half trip, she has won the Calcutta Derby very well, beating my Accolade and Malesh's filly (Silver Beauty) by a fair margin, and that puts her at the top of the table.

I have three runners in the Derby field — Mathaiyus, Mrs Patmore and Temerity.

The first one, Mathaiyus, is a big horse, weighing 500kg. He is bred well, but he has a long way to go, he has an uphill task at hand, maybe this race (Derby) is coming a bit too early for him.

But I do believe he deserves to be in the Derby fray, and therefore, to acquaint him with the boy (YS Srinath), I let him carry overweight of 5.5kg in last start.

Mrs Patmore is a bit inexperienced, but in only her third lifetime start she won the 1000 Guineas — it shows she has got talent.

Temerity has shown great promise right from her juvenile days when she won her first start.

She has matured and got stronger as she has gone through her paces and training.

She is extremely talented, and is going to be right there in the middle. I would certainly like to lead in the winner, at the end of the day I will, like everyone else, pray, “May the best horse win.”

As told to Prakash Gosavi

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