Jockey DK Ashish settled Supreme Star in mid-bunch, not far away from Rajasthan Royals called the shots early followed by Winston and Neona, but quickly improved position along the inner rails as the heads turned for home. Supreme Star responded magnificently to his urgings and bounded forward, sailing away for a comfortable victory in the final furlong.
Former ace jockey-turned-trainer Malesh Narredu who trains Supreme Star strongly believes the horse has some connection with the army. "I am convinced Supreme Star has some karmic, divine connection with the Indian army," trainer Malesh Narredu told MiD DAY after receiving the trophy from Lieutenant General Ashok Singh of the Southern Command, "Last year on this same track he won the General Rajendrasinhji Million, named after one of the most famous army personalities, and then today, he wins a trophy named after the army's Pune headquarters, the Southern Command."
"And look at this," Narredu continued, "despite being so talented he has lost all his races between these two ? and mind you, he finished second in most races, sometimes missing narrowly, so much so that finally we thought of change of name for change of luck." That's true, Supreme Star was formerly known as Shivalik Star.
When asked who thought of the new name, Narredu replied, "We had high hopes from this horse, but he narrowly lost too many big races including the Pune Derby & the Ruia Cup, so Dr Ramaswamy asked me to come up with some good name, and I thought of Supreme Star because as a jockey, the most famous horse I rode for Dr Ramaswamy was Star Supreme, with whom we won the Bangalore Derby & the St Leger. So I just shuffled those two words and registered the new name."
Narredu also confessed Supreme Star had issues earlier. "He has a very different galloping style which is quite unlike other horses," he explained, "so he always needed special care in handling and training. But I feel we have finally been able to sort all issues, especially after his last run. So I was expecting he would win today's race."