Trouvaille prevails in nail-biting finish to win 2000 Guineas
Both past the winning post locked together, the photo finish camera resolving in favour of Trouvaille by 1/100th of a second
Englishman Nicky Mackay won his first Indian Classic, the Villoo Poonawalla Indian 2000 Guineas (Gr 1), when he vigorously rode the S K Sunderji-trained Trouvaille to a thrilling victory over the Pesi Shroff-trained Alexi (P Trevor up) to win by a "nose", virtually in the last stride. In the process, Trouvaille re-wrote the course record for the mile trip, slashing 0.13 second off the old record, touching the wire at 1 minute 35.69 seconds.
Interestingly, both Trouvaille and Alexi were racing second last and last respectively until the race took serious turn after the final bend, even as Wizard Of Odds (L Roche up) and Knight Templar (David Allan up) almost jointly guided the way to the rest of them. In fact, Trouvaille, short of a prep run after his Pune Derby victory, couldn't match early pace of the race, and Nicky Mackay, who revealed after the race he was "asked to follow David Allan (Knight Templar)", took his own decision to relax his mount at the wrong end.
Alexi had a kind of hard luck story at the start when he sharply veered to the left on jumping from the extreme outside draw, and Trevor Patel had to steady him by slowing down, and then angle him in, losing precious yards and seconds. However, when the race came to the boil after the heads turned in for home, both Trevor Patel and Nicky Mackay showed exemplary riding skills, the former saving ground at the turn and putting Alexi into top gear without wasting any further time, and the latter angling out for a clear run in the outer lane. Half a furlong from home it looked like Trevor and Alexi were set to pull it off a stunning victory at 12-to-1, but just then Nicky Mackay set alight Trouvaille for the final assault and started gaining valuable inches with every stride. Both past the winning post locked together, the photo finish camera resolving in favour of Trouvaille by 1/100th of a second.
A beaming Rajesh Monga, who owns Trouvaille, found himself choked with emotion when asked how he felt. "Happy," was his one-word answer. To "What next?", he just said "the Derby". Trainer Sunderji however refused to be drawn into any commitment when he said, "We take one race at a time. So right now, let's just enjoy this moment. About the future, we will decide later."
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