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Immortality lands the Indian Derby in style

By: Frankel   March 28 , 2021

Pesi Shroff trained Immortality was ridden to a splendid win in the Gr 1 Kingfisher Ultra Indian Derby, the biggest race of the Indian calendar by the hat-trick seeking Suraj Narredu at Mahalakshmi on Sunday. Suraj Narredu who got a chance ride on Immortality had to undergo uncertainty because of a pending enquiry at Bangalore and got the clearance to ride only on Friday night. He seized the opportunity with both hands with a typical copybook style to ensure the victory of the daughter of Multidimensional over old adversary Forest Flame. The Usha Stud Farm swelled its Indian Derby tally to 14 which is a record.

The race went on expected lines with only Lagarde running way below par. Lagarde who had won the Bangalore Derby, Immortality who had won the Indian Oaks and Forest Flame who had lost by a whisker to Immortality were the principal contenders. There was no other horse that looked capable of an upset. Immortality who made her debut at Pune in December had since gone on to win three classics and accordingly the horse expected to make most progress against other adversaries who had been on the boil for a long time. Immortality was helped by the fact that she was fresher and was more stoutly bred to stay than her adversaries and this reflected in the decisive manner in which she beat Forest Flame this time out.

The pacemakers in the race ensured that the principal contenders led by Lagarde, Forest Flame and Immortality could settle comfortably in the mid group. The pacemakers changed during the race with the designated pacemaker Successor leading for a while before being replaced by Ashwa Bravo who raced too keen. Then approaching the final turn, Sporting Memories led for a while. When the horses took the final turn, it was clear that the principal contenders were having a trouble-free run and they would swamp those in front the moment their jockeys got into their act in the stretch.

Pradeep Chouhan made his move first on the improving Alluring Silver who showed a good turn of foot to take charge along the rails and led deep into the final furlong. Trevor Patel too got busy on Forest Flame who went in the chase followed by Immortality. Alluring Silver weakened in the closing stages of the race and it was left to Immortality and Forest Flame to fight for the spoils. The former in the hands of jockey Suraj Narredu asserted her superiority over a tiring Forest Flame to win by a length and a half. Alluring Silver was a creditable third a similar margin behind the runner-up while Taimur was fourth with Sporting Memories finishing fifth ahead of Lagarde. The winner clocked a smart time of two minutes 28.67 seconds.

Pesi Shroff who had a habit of winning the Indian Derby as a jockey having won a record eight times saddled his second win as a trainer through Immortality. His other success had come through Jacqueline who incidentally was also a filly. Suraj Narredu had the distinction of emulating Pesi Shroff who too had recorded a hat-trick as a jockey. This was the fourth Indian Derby win for Suraj whose first in this prestigious race coming through Be Safe. Star Superior, War Hammer and Immortality are the horses that helped Suraj to complete a dream hat-trick in what is considered the biggest and the most prestigious race in the Indian Racing Calendar. The only thing lacking in this year`s event was the fact that it was largely spectator less due to Covid related restriction.

Irfan Ghatala trained Salazaar swamped the opposition in the Gr 2 C N Wadia Gold Cup, a terms race for four-year-olds and over. Salazaar had lost in controversial circumstances at Bangalore in a three-horse finish which had been the subject of a Stewards enquiry resulting in the four-month long suspension for Suraj. The Appeal Board has reverted the matter back to the Stewards after staying the suspension which was the reason why Suraj could ride Immortality. Full brother to Immortality, Psychic Force was the pacesetter followed by Wizard of Stocks, Apsara Star, Caprisca, Salazaar and My Opinion who stayed glued to the rear. Approaching the final bend, Psychic Force went slightly wide allowing Apsara Star to take charge. Sandesh brought favourite Salazaar with a smooth run along the rails and by the final furlong, the Bangalore challenger had gone away from the rest, running straight as an arrow, to win by a widening margin of four lengths in a good time of two minutes 29.49 seconds. Bottom weighted Apsara Star stayed on to take the second position ahead of Caprisca. My Opinion was a big disappointment.

Prasanna Kumar trained Redoubtable recorded an easy win in the 2400 metes Zavaray S Poonawalla Million, a race for horses rated 40 to 66. Redoubtable had been subjected to a controversial ride by jockey Trevor Patel who had been suspended for four race days at Bangalore The horse had since gone on to win a race impressively and the second successive win once again put a question mark about the way Trevor rode the horse. In the hands of jockey Akshay Kumar, Redoubtable moved swiftly in the stretch from about the fourth position and shot ahead along the rails with a furlong left in the race. Favourite Arcadia put up a fight but failed to sustain it. Justified came up with a late bid but fell short. High Priestess was badly held up at the rails while another Bangalore challenger Priceless Gold who led from the start finished way down the field in distress.

Sulaiman Attaollahi trained Cosmic Ray had it easy in the Gr 2 1600 metres Rusi Patel Trophy, a terms race for four-year-olds and over. Sandesh kept Cosmic Ray a handy second behind pace-setting Victorious Sermon. Cosmic Ray cruised into the lead on turning for home and skipped away to win with a measure of comfort from Flying Visit. Northern Alliance lost some ground at the start but made rapid strides in the straight losing the runner up by a whisker.

Columbian from the stables of trainer Pesi Shroff had been blazing the track as such was well fancied to win the 1200 metres B K Rattonsey Memorial Maiden Multi-Million, a race for maiden three-year-olds. Moghul and Ahead of His Time were also well supported though both these horses lost whatever chances they had by their tantrums at the gate. Columbian shot ahead with a furlong left in the race and won with a great deal of ease from My Treasure and Keystone.

After failed attempts in the classics, Malesh Narredu trained Giant Star was brought back to a handicap race in the 1400 metres R M & Rukmani Goculdas Million, a race for horses rated 40 to 66. Though Giant Star was essaying a sharp trip, he was well backed on the basis of his class. Suraj Narredu rode a power-packed race on Giant Star to get the nod in the dying stride of the race from Hyderabad challenge Scramjet. Rays of Sun and The Sovereign Orb too were not far from the winner.

Pesi Shroff trained Enigma was an eye-catching second in her last run about 121 days ago and looked set to make amends in the 1000 metres Mahalakshmi Million, a race for horses rated 20 to 46. Enigma proved too superior bursting clear of the pack in the final furlong to win by a widening margin of six lengths over Desert Fire and Super Girl.

Malesh Narredu led in the winner of the 1600 metres Homi Mehta Million, a race for maiden three-year-olds. After racing a handy third well into the straight, Supreme Runner asserted his superiority in the stretch by drawing clear of Arc De Triomphe who held sway for a brief while. Alfayiz and Zarak occupied the next two spots. The heavily supported Stockbridge from trainer Arjun Mangalorkar`s stables failed to make an impression.


Redoubtable (Akshay Kumar up) winner of the Zavaray s Poonawalla Million

Salazaar (A Sandesh up) winner of the C. N. Wadia Gold Cup (Gr.2)

Cosmic Ray (A Sandesh up) winner of the Rusi Patel Trophy (Gr.3)

Supreme Runner (Akshay Kumar up) winner of the Sir Homi Mehta Million

Columbian (P S Chouhan up) winner of the B. K. Rattonsey Memorial Maiden Multi-Million

Immortality (Suraj Narredu up) winner of the Kingfisher Ultra Indian Derby (Gr.1)

Giant Star (Suraj Narredu up) winner of the R M & Rukmani Goculdas Million

Enigma (P S Chouhan up) winner of the Mahalakshmi Million

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Total Comments : 2
Posted by Punter on ( March 29 , 2021 )
The veterinary doctor made a serious mistake in allowing Stockbridge to run even after the horse backflipped n landed on head n back... draining millions of our money.
Posted by vroom vroom on ( March 29 , 2021 )
Feel sorry for PS Chouhan. This should have been his ride ! Suraj N will trample over anybody & everyone to get what he wants ! Why was the suspension over ruled?
The vets in RWITC are nuts, even during the PBMM, a couple of runners reared up and flipped over, still allowed to run !

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