Mahalaxmi racecourse in Mumbai. Pic/Shadab Khan
At 5.30 pm on Sunday evening at the Mahalaxmi racecourse, 19 four-year-old horses will line up for the attention of the starter to aim for the greatest race of their life--the Indian Derby (Gr 1), which will crown one of them as the champion of champions. In all probability, the winner will emerge from the quintet of King*s Ransom, Supernatural, Once You Go Black, Mirra and Shamrock.
The top billing must go to the Pesi Shroff-trained King*s Ransom, a filly by Multidimensional out of China Creek, whose Indian Oaks victory on this same track was like a walk in the park. True, the Oaks lacked speedy pace fractions, especially compared to the RR Ruia Cup run on the same day in which Supernatural (Multidimensional - Psychic Light), Once You Go Black (Win Legend - Aksinya) and Mojito (Speaking Of Which - Margarita Rita) all displayed their razor sharp fitness, but the temperament King*s Ransom displayed when effortlessly moving on the inside rails after turning for home spoke volumes about her galloping prowess.
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Shamrock (Excellent Art - Nora) blotted his copybook in last run, but you cannot ignore that his rider, Suraj Narredu, has won this race four times, and will certainly get the best out of him on this momentous occasion. He, along with Mirra (Speaking Of Which - Myrtlewood), must be considered as dark horses who, on their day, will seriously attempt to dent the reputation of the highly regarded western India contestants.
This 81st edition of the Indian Derby, though devoid of a sponsor, promises to be an exciting contest. My money will ride on King*s Ransom whom I expect to finally give jockey PS Chouhan his first Indian Derby victory.
First race at 2.30 pm.
Usha Stud Million (For 3y, maidens; 1600m)
Granpar 1, Capitolium 2, Big Red 3.
Diego Rivera Rusi Patel Trophy - Gr 3 (For 4y&o; 1600m)
Ahead Of My Time 1, Coeur De Lion 2, Northern Lights 3.
Sir Homi Mehta Breeders* Produce Stakes - Gr 3 (For 3y; 1400m)
Irish Gold 1, Waikiki 2, Dream Alliance 3.
D & A Realty Eclipse Stakes of India - Gr 2 (For 4y&o; 2000m)
Juliette 1, Forest Flame 2, Caprisca 3.
B K Rattonsey Memorial Maiden Multi-Million (For 3y, maidens; 1200m)
Fighton 1, Blue God 2, Democracy 3.
(Spl box starts here)
Indian Derby - Gr 1 (For 4y; 2400m)
Time: 5.30 pm
1. Ashwa Magadheera 57 Yash Narredu (6);
2. Dyf 57 Neeraj Rawal (18);
3. Fortunate Son 57 PP Dhebe (11);
4. Golden Neil 57 J Chinoy (10);
5. Imperial Power 57 YS Srinath (17);
6. King Louis 57 C Umesh (9);
7. Last Wish 57 P Ajeeth Kumar (4);
8. Mojito 57 NS Parmar (16);
9. Once You Go Black 57 A Sandesh (14);
10. Ravishing Form 57 Imran Chisty (1);
11. Shamrock 57 Suraj Narredu (8);
12. Supernatural 57 P Trevor (19);
13. Vincent Van Gogh 57 S Zervaan (2);
14. Wall Street 57 Akshay Kumar (13);
15. Dangerous 55.5 CS Jodha (3);
16. King*s Ransom 55.5 PS Chouhan (15)*
17. Mirra 55.5 Antony Raj S (5);
18. Philosophy 55.5 S Saqlain (12);
19. Place Vendome 55.5 PS Kaviraj (7)
Selections: King*s Ransom 1, Supernatural 2, Once You Go Black 3. Upset: Mirra
(Spl box ends here)
Coromandel Gromor Million (Class II; 1200m)
Son Of A Gun 1, Baby Bazooka 2, Emperor Roderic 3.
Race2win.com Million (Class IV; 1400m)
Inamorata 1, Tyrone Black 2, Finch 3.
NorthAlley Million (For 5y&o, class V; 1200m)
Intense Belief 1, Anoushka 2, Rhythm Of Nature 3.
Best bet: Ahead Of My Time (2-1)
Upsets: Sea The Sun (3-5), Mirra (6-17) & Flashing Famous (8-12)
Super jackpot pool: 4,5,6,7,8,9
Jackpot pool: I - 2,3,4,5,6; II - 5,6,7,8,9
Treble pool: I - 3,4,5; II - 6,7,8; II - 7,8,9
Tanala pool: All races.