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Six foreign riders pitted against one Indian at the Derby

Irrespective of whosoever turns out to be the bookmakers' favourite for the Derby, Myrtlewood is likely to go out as the Derby crowd's favourite.

Most of the 25,000 plus Derby lovers who will get together today at the Mahalaxmi Racecourse have either seen or heard amazing stories about how the queen filly, trained by Pesi Shroff, won the Indian 1000 Guineas and the Indian Oaks, both group 1 races, by sweeping past her rivals.

Myrtlewood the 'bullet'
Her turn of foot has been sensational, prompting Pradeep Reshamia, the official odds-maker of the race club, to describe her as a "bullet" train.

She has won all her three races this season with jockey Pradeep Chouhan in saddle, and therefore, her connections have decided to stick to with the 38-year old jockey, even as most Derby hopefuls' connections have made a beeline for reputed foreign riders in the hope of giving their horses the best shot in the coveted race.

Pradeep Chouhan astride Myrtlewood will be taking on six foreign riders: Pat Smullen (Colombiana), James Doyle (Costa Del Sol), David Allan (Desert God), Jim Crowley (Gestapo), Colm O'Donoghue (Phoenix Tiger) & Kevin Manning (Shadowfax).

Chouhan, who was in his element last week when he rode all his four mounts to victory on a day's card, will need to be at his absolute best to hold his own against the foreigners and do justice to the talent of Myrtlewood who is looking forward to accomplish a Guineas, Oak and Derby treble.

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