Speed King tipped for mid-day Trophy
A trophy-studded nine-race card has been framed at Mahalaxmi on Sunday which features the third Classic of the racing season, namely, the Villoo Poonawalla Indian Oaks (Gr 1), popularly known as the "Ladies' Derby" because it is reserved only for four-year-old fillies who will test their stamina over the Derby trip of mile-and-a-half.
Jockey Suraj Narredu, atop Be Safe, could lead Godspeed to a win today in the Villoo Poonawalla Indian Oaks
While the Gr 3, Gool S Poonawalla Million will push one of the promising juveniles in the limelight, the mid-day Trophy will lend that special touch of glamour to the whole atmosphere.
All eyes will be on Tiger Tops, the Pesi Shroff-trained champion filly who won three races on the trot at Kolkata before narrowly losing the Kolkata Derby last Sunday.
On the strength of both class, form and stamina, she enjoys such reputation that despite traveling all the way from Kolkata and choosing to run another mile-and-a-half race in a week's time, she will have an army of followers because it is widely believed there is a huge gap between her and the rest of the Oaks aspirants. She will be partnered by Colm O'Donoghue.
However, if the Kolkata effort followed by the journey across the breadth of the country has taken anything out of Tiger Tops, the one filly who may spoil Tiger Tops' Oaks party could be Godspeed, the winner of the Indian 1000 Guineas on this track a month ago.
True, Godspeed hasn't yet ventured beyond the mile, but she has both class and speed, and since there is no real pacemaker in the Oaks, her rider Suraj Narredu may be able to conserve her stamina for the final assault.
Of the 11 runners in the fray for the mid-day Trophy, the quartet of Speed King, Moussaeif, Effialties and Quest For Love have more than average change to land the spoils.
My choice is Speed King, who set a scorching pace for the 2000 Guineas before running out of steam at the furlong marker. I expect that effort as a good conditioning run for him and nominate him as a chance bet.
First race at 1:30 pm.
Harrish Mehra Trophy - Div II (Class V; 1800m)
Secret Mission 1, Azadegan 2, Innocent Affair 3.
Tricumdas Dwarkadas Trophy (For 4y, Class IV; 1400m)
Satellite 1, Mystic Romance 2, Draco 3.
P D Avasia Trophy (Class II; 1200m)
Full Moon 1, Zander 2, Wild Waves 3.
Harrish Mehra Trophy - Div I (Class V; 1800m)
Zazou 1, Oceana 2, Sabrecat 3.
Gool S Poonawalla Million (Grade 3) (For 3y; 1200m)
Victoria Harbour 1, Colombiana 2, B Fifty Two 3.
mid-day Trophy (Class III; 1400m)
Speed King 1, Moussaeif 2, Effialties 3.
Lt. Col Govind Singh (VRC) Trophy (For 3y, maidens; 1400m)
Night Of Stars 1, Sacred Fire 2, Master Of Trinity 3.
Villoo Poonawalla Indian Oaks (Grade 1) (For 4y; 2400m)
Godspeed 1, Tiger Tops 2, Aquamarine 3.
Uttam Singh Trophy (Class IV; 2000m)
Saporelli 1, Forgotten Voice 2, Papillon 3.
Best bet: Satellite (2-5)
Good bet: Victoria Harbour (5-1)
Chance bet: Speed King (6-5)
Upset: Admiralty (7-1)
Super jackpot pool: 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