The loud cheering was not just because the filly was a public favourite, but because she was trained by Sanjay Kolse, younger brother of Nana Raghunath after whom this trophy was named.
The cheering continued when Kolse, along with the quartet of owners — Inderraj Anand, Haren Malkani, S R Sanas and Rajiv S Ghule — led in Fortune Favours, with racegoers showering them with flowers.
“I feel on top of the world. Having won the trophy instituted in my elder brother’s memory — and to add to our family joy, today is his (Nana’s) birthday, so this trophy is like a birthday present I have managed to give to my brother. I am sure he is watching from above, and blessing me,” trainer Kolse told MiD DAY.
When the prospectus for the Pune season was published just before the start of the season, Sanjay Kolse was thrilled to notice that the Nana Raghunath Trophy, in memory of his elder brother whose untimely demise two years ago at Kolkata had jolted not only his family but the entire racing fraternity, was scheduled to run on Nana’s birthday (Aug 24).
“I just wondered how nice it would be if I could enter one of my horses and try to win this race. I thought of Fortune Favours because all the four who own this filly have been Nana’s close friends for years,” Kolse said.
Both Nana and Sanjay are sons of Raghunath Kolse, the famous jockey of yesteryear, who won the Indian Derby astride Red Rufus in 1966, and later became a successful trainer in western India. Nana had taken up the trainer’s license at the age of 21, while Sanjay, who worked as flight purser with Air India for eight years, joined the family’s racing business in 1997 at the age of 33.