Will Ishpingo get lucky on Sunday?

Published: Dec 24, 2011, 08:46 IST | Prakash Gosavi |

Abhishek Bachchan to give away MiD DAY Trophy

Abhishek Bachchan to give away MiD DAY Trophy

A glistening, dark, sinewy body with rippling muscles that reflect vigour and raw horse power [see pic above], isn't Ishpingo a great-looking horse? But he has yet to win a race despite trying hard three times; and ironically, the Major Imapct - Speed of Light three-year-old trained by Faisal Abbas has finished runner up on all three occasions. 

Ishpingo  (Dashrath Singh up) will be the favourite for the MiD DAY 
trophy at Mahalaxmi on Sunday

Will he go one better on Sunday and return to the winner's enclosure? The running of the MiD DAY Trophy will hold the answer to that question. 

Instituted by the Royal Western India Turf Club (RWITC) Ltd to commemorate their favourite media partner MiD DAY's contribution to horse racing, the MiD DAY trophy presents a unique opportunity to three-year-old horses like Ishpingo who are looking to celebrate the first victory of their young career in grand style. There will be ten horses in the fray when the starter will flag off the MiD DAY trophy around 4.30 pm on Sunday at the picturesque Mahalaxmi racecourse.

Ishpingo, bred at the Manjri stud farm, is rated as the best among them all also by the official RWITC handicapper, Niranjan Singh, who has assigned a rating of 46 points (Class III) to the Shapoor Mistry-owned horse. Of late, the goddess of luck has been smiling on the Mistrys & their Manjri stud farm, Pronto Pronto bred and owned by them won the Casino Royale Indian 2000 Guineas only a week ago at the same venue!

The main threat to Ishpingo is likely to come from Sorrento, a Pesi Shroff-trained Diamond Green - Sonatina three-year-old, who in his only run at Bangalore more than five months ago, had narrowly lost in a four-horse photo finish. Sorrento has been painstakingly prepared by the champion trainer, and has also won a "mock" race last month in a nice way.

"Ishpingo is the horse everyone will have to beat," Pesi Shroff admitted when speaking to MiD DAY, "and then there is a filly (Alejandra) trained by Bezan Chenoy too. My horse (Sorrento) had too many problems which I have tried to sort out, and I hope he will run a good race." Interestingly, Sorrento is partly owned by Khushroo Dhunjibhoy who has almost monopolized the MiD DAY trophy by winning it for the last two years. 

While regular rider Dashrath Singh will most likely ride Ishpingo, there is some uncertainty about who will ride Sorrento. "My two main jockeys are not available," Shroff revealed to MiD DAY, "B Prakash is under suspension, and Stephen Pasquier has gone back to France for the Christmas vacation. I will take a decision on Saturday morning."

Whether it will be Ishpingo, who has been knocking at the doors; or Sorrento, who is bidding for a MiD DAY trophy hat-trick for owner Khushroo Dhunjibhoy; or some other dark horse who will triumph in the MiD DAY Trophy, the Sunday experience at Mahalaxmi surely promises to be a treat for the lovers of horse racing thrill and high life. 

Besides MiD DAY Trophy, the eight-race Sunday card will also feature two "Million" races--the grade 3, Maharaja Jiwajirao Scindia Trophy for top class horses & the Macau Magic Million for two-year-old fresh talent. 

Four more trophy events--the Ranjit Bhat Memorial Trophy for class I horses, the Nawabzada Rashiduzzafar Khan trophy for class II, the Jasdanwalla Cup for class III, and the Christmas Cup for class IV horses--make it a wholesome experience which you cannot miss for the world!

Your favourite newspaper has always made it a point to present the MiD DAY trophy to the connections of the winning horse at the hands of a Bollywood superstar. 

After John Abraham, Saif Ali Khan & Akshay Kumar over the earlier years, superstar Abhishek Bachchan will grace the Mahalaxmi turf to give away the prestigious trophy on Sunday.

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