Indian Oaks wears an open look

Updated: Jan 18, 2020, 08:24 IST | Prakash Gosavi | Mumbai

The best one can do is attempt to extrapolate the form of the Indian 1000 Guineas run over the mile, and try to guess who among them can perform creditably over the extended trip

This picture has been used for representation purpose
This picture has been used for representation purpose

The Indian Oaks (Gr 1), popularly known as the "Ladies' Derby" because the four year old fillies are asked to test their speed and stamina over the Derby trip of mile-and-a-half, is slated as the feature event of Saturday's excellent nine-race card. Eleven fillies are in the fray, and going by their recent form, none enjoys a decisive edge, and therefore, the third Classic of the Mumbai season wears an extremely open look.

The best one can do is attempt to extrapolate the form of the Indian 1000 Guineas run over the mile, and try to guess who among them can perform creditably over the extended trip. Three of the first four finishers in that race, barring the runner up Cosmic Ray, are in the Oaks fray, and it makes sense to focus on that trio: the winner Gift Of Grace (Speaking Of Which - Appeasing, trained by Ms Parvati Byramji), the third placed Juliette (Musketier - Gimmesumsugar, trained by Karthik G) and the fourth-placed Well Connected (Arazan Guest Connections, trained by S Padmanabhan).

The first two, after having run in the Guineas, had gone back to Bangalore, and have now returned after freshening up, while Juliette, who is a light-framed filly with weight hovering around only 400 kg, has also been well-rested, showing up only twice on the trial track.

Personally, I am inclined towards Juliette because her performance in the Guineas was way below her earlier show when she beat Alexi who all but won the 2000 Guineas last month. I see two reasons why Juliette underperformed: lack of fast early pace (first 1000m in 1 minute 2.64 seconds) and racing 5 horses wide all through the trip, thereby having to cover substantial extra ground.

I therefore pin my hopes (and money!) on Juliette (Colm O'Donoghue up), but not without hedging a small amount with long shot Kate (Kingda ka - Cyrene, trained by Laxman Singh) who posted an absolutely incredible debut victory at the Hyderabad racetrack on Jan 5, thereafter put in some sensational track work, and like Gift Of Grace, has been ambitiously pitched in the Oaks by paying the exorbitant final entry fee. Kate is trying to do the unthinkable, winning an Indian Classic in two weeks of starting her racing career, and she might just create history with this Oaks wearing such an open look.

First race at 1.30 pm.

Rao Saheb D K Parkar Trophy (Class IV; 1600m)
Shae 1, Tudor Hall 2, Mount Moriah 3.

Yawar Rashid Trophy (For 5y&o, class IV; 1400m)
Classicus 1, Cormorant 2, Laburnum 3.

Tricumdas Dwarkadas Trophy - Div II (Class IV; 1000m)
Brave 1, Falconette 2, Egalite 3.

R R Byramji Trophy (Class III; 1400m)
Mirabilis 1, Majestic Warrior 2, Golden Hind 3.

P D Avasia Trophy (Class II; 1200m)
Flaming Martini 1, Golden Guest 2, King Khalil 3.

Gool S. Poonawalla Million - Gr 3 (For 3y; 1200m)
California 1, Recall Of You 2, Exotic Queen 3.

Tricumdas Dwarkadas Trophy - Div I (Class IV; 1000m)
Hidden Gold 1, Turmeric Tower 2, Ms Boss 3.

Special BOX
(Highlight starts from here)

8th race at 5 pm | The Indian Oaks (Gr 1)
For 4-y old Indian Fillies | Distance: 2,400m

1. Armaity | P Shroff | A Imran Khan | 9;
2. Bostonia | SS Attaollahi | YS Srinath | 3;
3. Gift of Grace | Parvati Byramji | David Egan | 6;
4. Hokkaido | Vishal Gaikwad | P Trevor | 7;
5. Juliette | Karthik G | C O'Donoghue | 8;
6. Kate | Laxman Singh | Akshay Kumar | 5;
7. Mishka's pride | Imtiaz Sait | Nathan Evans | 2;
8. Notoriety | P Shroff | Leigh Roche | 11;
9. Sea the Dream | P Shroff | Neeraj Rawal | 10;
10. Thailand | A Mangalorkar | S. John | 4;
11. Well connected | S Padmanabhan | David Allan | 1.

Juliette 1, Well Connected 2, Gift Of Grace 3. Upset: Kate
Blue Ribbon Trophy (Class V; 1600m)
Rumba 1, Ex's And Oh's 2, Golden Eclipse 3.

Best bet: California (6-4)
Upsets: Luminosity (3-8)

Today's pools
Super jackpot pool: 2,3,4,5,6,7
Jackpot pool: 3,4,5,6,7
Treble pool: I - 4,5,6; II - 5,6,7
Tanala pool: All races.

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