The Indian Derby is the most highly anticipated race of the year for Indian horse race betting fans and Indian race enthusiasts. The Indian Derby 2023 will be held on Feb 5.

If you are on the lookout for the latest Indian Derby odds, Indian Derby betting tips, and a close look at the race card, you are at the right place.

In this Indian Derby betting preview, we will take a quick look at the history and origins of the Indian Derby, as well as some of its shining stars over the years.

We have compiled everything you need to know about this grand old horse race: what is the Indian Derby? When is the race? Who are the top competitors this year? Which horse has the best odds to win the 2023 Indian Derby?

To find the answers to all these questions and more, read on.

Indian Derby 2023 – Things You Need To Know

The Indian Derby is the most prestigious event in Indian horse racing. The race is traditionally held at the Mahalaxmi Race Course in Mumbai, under the auspices of the Royal Western India Turf Club (RWITC).

Apart from a sporting event, the Indian Derby is also a highlight on the social calendar in Mumbai. Big business tycoons, movie stars, and other VIPs throng Mahalaxmi Racecourse to watch the finest horses and jockeys compete for the top honors.

Indian Derby 2023 Tickets

If you are looking for Indian Derby 2023 tickets, you can head to the official RWITC website and purchase the tickets there. RWITC also announced that it will be providing free tickets to all the members, owners, trainers, and other staff.

Indian Derby 2023 Schedule

According to the established racing tradition in the country, the Indian Derby is usually held on the first Sunday in February each year. The 2023 edition of the Indian Derby will be held on the evening of Sunday, February 5th.

The headline event will be part of a hectic race day at Mumbai, featuring nine races in total. And since the Derby is the grand finale, it will take place under floodlights at the Mahalaxmi Racecourse creating a unique atmosphere.

Indian Derby Betting Sites

How to Bet On Indian Derby 2023?

If you can make it in person to the Mahalaxmi Racecourse in Mumbai, there is the option to place your bets at the counters. The RWITC operates tote betting counters at the venue. They also have off-course betting counters in various parts of Mumbai and Pune.

However, if you don’t live in Mumbai, or don’t have the opportunity to go there to attend the race in person, you can always place your bets online. It is safer, faster, and so much more convenient as well.

And apart from races at the Mahalaxmi racecourse, you can also place bets on a wide range of other horse races, both in India and abroad.

For the best odds and betting markets on the 2023 Indian Derby, check out any of our trusted Indian Derby betting sites.

Indian Derby 2023 Race Card

The field for the 2023 Indian Derby is quite crowded with 19 horses in the fray. Many of these horses are in it just for the name – for racehorse owners in India, having a horse participate in the Indian Derby is a matter of pride.

But the Indian Derby is a legendary stage renowned for its fair share of shocks and upsets. Fancied runners have fallen short at the final hurdle – so we will take a closer look at all the 19 horses on the race card.

1. ASWHA MAGADHEERA – Kingda Ka (AUS) – Mesmerized (IRE)

With a recent record of 1-1-2-2-3, the bay colt trained by S Narredu is a decent runner, though not a very fancied one considering the rest of the field.

His last run was a third-place finish in the Bangalore Derby (Gr1). Jockey Yash Narredu will be hoping to improve on that showing at Mumbai. Aswha Magadheera comes with a modest rating of 70.

2. DYF – Cougar Mountain (IRE) – Soak (IRE)

Trained by AS Jodha, DYF is a proven contender with a win in the South Indian Derby (Gr1) at Chennai in mid-January. However, he may be a tough choice in this race, despite a recent run of 2-3-3-1-2.

His last race was just a week ago, where he finished second to Salento in the Golconda Derby Stakes (Gr1). One week is too short an interval for a horse to recover, including the travel to Mumbai. He still comes with an 80 rating, with Neeraj Rawal as the jockey.

3. FORTUNATE SON – Roderic O’ Connor (IRE) – Only For Gold

An unremarkable bay gelding with a record of 2-4-3-6-6, this one is trained by PP Dhebe. His career record is not spectacular with 2 wins and 8 places out of 14 runs. A lowly 54 rating is probably fair here. MK Jadhav is the jockey.

4. GOLDEN NEIL – Excellent Art (GB) – Mauna Kea

Probably another also-ran, with 3 wins and 2 places out of 6 runs in Class 3 and 4 races. The bay gelding has a rating of 61 and is trained by Narendra Lagad. The recent record is pretty good at 5-1-4-1-1. J Chinoy will be in the saddle on Sunday.

5. IMPERIAL POWER – Multidimensional(IRE) – Majestic Opinion

The rating of 100 seems a tad excessive, but this bay colt is a possible contender for the title. He has 6 wins out of 10, including multiple Gr2 races at Calcutta. However, he is yet to race in a 2400m classic.

Trained by P Quinn, Imperial Power comes with a recent run of 2-1-1-1-2 and will have YS Srinath as his jockey.

6. KING LOUIS – Win Legend (JPN) – Georgina (GB)

This dark brown colt is quite ordinary with a 61 rating and a recent form of 2-4-5-2-6. He finished 6th in the South Indian Derby, his last race. Trainer James McKeown has another more fancied horse in this race as well. His jockey will be C Umesh.

7. LAST WISH – Top Class (USA) – Marilyn

The bay gelding was second in the Bangalore Derby (Gr1) on 26th January. His recent run shows improvements with 5-9-3-3-2. But given the short gap between the last race and the Indian Derby, it is doubtful whether this ward of trainer Neil B Devaney will be able to make an impact.

His rating is 71 and Ajeeth Kumar will be the jockey.

8. MOJITO – Speaking of Which (IRE) – Margarita Rita (USA)

The 81-rated chestnut gelding from the stables of trainer MK Jadhav has a lot of potential, often unrealized. He has 3 wins and 5 third-place finishes out of 8 runs.

The recent record shows a lot of consistency – 3-1-3-3-3. A winner of the Summer Derby and the Colt Championship Stakes (both Gr1) as a 3-year-old, Mojito is an interesting prospect. NS Parmar will be his jockey.

9. ONCE YOU GO BLACK – Win Legend (JPN) – Aksinya

Trainer James McKeown’s main entry in the race is an 80-rated colt with a recent record of 1-2-2-1-4. Forced to withdraw from the Bangalore Derby, he made up for that with a win at the Mysore Derby (Gr1) last year.

Well rested, he comes into this race with 4 wins out of 7 and has never finished outside the top 3. A Sandesh will be the jockey for Sunday’s race.

10. RAVISHING FORM – Speaking of Which (IRE) – Adiella

P Byramji’s chestnut colt is an untested entity at 2400m. He does have an 80 rating and boasts 4 wins, including the Mysore 2000 Guineas (Gr3). The recent record is 2-1-1-3-4. Well rested, and it will be interesting to see his run on Sunday. Imran Chisty is the jockey.

11. SHAMROCK – Excellent Art(GB) – Nora

The second entry from S Narredu is a 76-rated bay colt with an impressive run of 2-1-1-1-2 in his 5 career runs. Winner of the Bangalore 2000 Guineas (Gr2) and second at the South Indian Derby (Gr1), Shamrock has been rested for the big race. He is a contender, with Suraj Narredu in the saddle.

12. SUPERNATURAL – Multidimensional(IRE) – Psychic Light

Ace trainer P Shroff’s bay colt has top billing with a rating of 88. A winner of the Bangalore Summer Derby (Gr1), he had to take some time off for an operation.

A direct sibling of Immortality – an Indian Derby winner in recent years – he is a strong prospect in this race. He has 4 wins and 4 places from 9 runs. P Trevor, the winner of the 2022 Indian Derby, will be his jockey.

13. VINCENT VAN GOGH – Multidimensional(IRE) – Irises

AS Jodha’s bay colt is an untested and somewhat unknown quantity, with just 4 races and 1 win, in a maiden event. Understandably, his rating is a lowly 45. The record is 1-5-3-4 and his jockey will be S Zervan.

14. WALL STREET – Speaking of Which (IRE) – Nifty

The 57-rated bay colt has 2 wins from 5 runs and specializes in 2000m events. He comes from the stables of M Narredu. Akshay Kumar will be the jockey for Sunday’s race. He is not a major prospect.

15. DANGEROUS – Speaking of Which (IRE) – Transformation

AS Jodha’s second horse in the race is a chestnut filly capable of big things. Her recent form is not bad at 2-5-2-3-2, with 2 wins and 4 places from 7 runs.

She finished second in the Indian Oaks (Gr1) and comes to this race well-rested. Despite a 66 rating, Dangerous is capable of an upset, with CS Jodha as her jockey.

16. KING’S RANSOM – Multidimensional (IRE) – China Creek (IRE)

All eyes will be on P Shroff’s main entrance to the Indian Derby. With a solid 76 rating and a brilliant run of 3-2-1-1-1, it is safe to say that King’s Ransom could very well be the punter’s favorite for this year’s Indian Derby.

She has won 5 of 8 runs and has never finished below 3rd. The winner of the Indian Oaks (Gr1), she is also a proven quantity at 2400m. Well rested, the bay filly is a safe bet for this race with PS Chouhan in the saddle.

17. MIRRA – Speaking of Which (IRE) – Myrtlewood

Arjun Mangalorkar’s bay filly is the winner of the Bangalore Oaks (Gr2). Her recent form is 1-4-3-3-1 and she has a rating of 70 for this race. A winner at 2400m, the filly can give any horse on the card a tough fight on her day. Her jockey will be Antony Raj.

18. PHILOSOPHY – Speaking of Which (IRE) – Manifold

Trainer S Padmanabhan’s entry has a modest rating of 60. The bay filly won the Fillies Championship Stakes (Gr1) last year but has not delivered much since then. Her recent run of form is 1-6-3-2-3. S Saqlain will be her jockey on Sunday.

19. PLACE VENDOME – Phoenix Tower(USA) – Aquamarine

A 56-rated bay filly from the stables of trainer Attaollahi, this one comes with a recent run of 2-2-12-3-4. She has never won a race in 6 runs but has 5 places to her credit. She is not a great pick in this race. PS Kaviraj will be the jockey.

Indian Derby 2023 Winner Prediction

On top of the list has to be King’s Ransom, trained by P Shroff who is gunning for a third straight Indian Derby win. But like all Derbies of yore, this one is far from an open-and-shut case. There are plenty of other strong contenders capable of ruining the filly’s day.

Chief among them is Once You Go Black, trained by James McKeown. Well rested, the winner of the Mysore Derby is capable of beating any horse on that race card. We also cannot miss Shamrock, winner of the Bangalore Guineas and in excellent form, trained by S Narredu.

Other major names worth a look at include Pesi Shroff’s own Supernatural, the winner of the Bangalore Derby. AS Jodha’s Dangerous and Arjun Mangalorkar’s Mirra are both prospects for this race as well. If fitness was not a worry, DYF, winner of the South Indian Derby would also be a choice.

Our Pick: #16 King’s Ransom (P Shroff)

Long Odds: #15 Dangerous (AS Jodha)

Indian Derby 2023 Race Details

The Indian Derby is a Grade 1 race open to fresh young horses aged 4 years. As a classic race, it has a distance of 2400m. This is no race for sprinters – only the best stayers with huge reserves of stamina can prosper at the Indian Derby.

This will be the 81st edition of the Indian Derby in 2023. The race is always full of surprises and late twists. In many instances, a horse can lead the race from the front only to run out of steam at the last 100m.

Indian Derby 2023 Prize Money & Sponsors

With each successive year, the total stakes in the Classics seem to go up. In 2022 Indian Derby, the total purse was around ₹1.5 crores. That has been raised to ₹2 crores from the 2023 Indian Derby.

In the past, the event was sponsored for nearly 3 decades by the liquor company United Breweries. This tradition started in the 1980s. And the Derby was usually called the Kingfisher’s Indian Derby.

That arrangement ended in 2022 when the race organizers signed an agreement with new sponsors Jagatjit Industries. However, due to a ban on liquor sponsorships and indirect advertisements, the 2023 Indian Derby will not have a sponsor for the first time in decades.

However, that is not likely to dampen the spirit of racegoers. In fact, there has been plenty of buzz about the Indian Derby 2023 on twitter.


The Indian Derby – Significance and History

Go anywhere in the globe with a tradition of horse racing and you will find a Derby race. It is generally considered the top event of the annual racing season. The English have the Epsom Derby while the Americans have the celebrated Kentucky Derby.

For the Indian horse racing fraternity, the blue riband event of similar stature is the Indian Derby. The event is so prestigious, trainers go to great lengths to keep their horses in peak condition for the race.

In 2023, this caused unintended harm to another major event – the Bangalore Derby.  A blue riband race held annually at the Bangalore Turf Club, it is a Grade 1 race run over 2400m.

Unfortunately, since it was held barely two weeks before the Indian Derby, many trainers opted to hold back their horses for the Mumbai race, resulting in a depleted field at Bangalore. Such is the power and prestige of the Indian Derby.

A Brief History of the Indian Derby

The roots of horse racing in India date back to colonial times. The British introduced the sport to India, with the local princes and Rajahs soon becoming the major patrons. The Indian racing calendar was operated along the lines of British racing traditions.

In the UK, the Epsom Derby was the most prestigious race of the year. It is one of the oldest races in horse racing history, dating back to 1780. The race gets its name from two sources:

  • Epsom Downs was the track where the first race was held
  • The race was hosted and sponsored by the Earl of Derby

While Epsom Derby is still held at the Epsom Downs Racecourse, the name “Derby” has been exported around the globe for Grade 1 races for long distances up to 2400m. The Indian Derby arrived rather late, with the first race starting in 1943.

The original editions of this race were not held on the first Sunday of February – that tradition only started in the late 1970s. Before that, the race was usually hosted on any convenient date in either January or February.

However, the venue of the Indian Derby has remained unchanged over the decades. The first race was held at the Mahalaxmi Racecourse, on the coast of the Arabian Sea in Mumbai, by the RWITC.

Indian Derby Past Winners

The first-ever Indian Derby in 1943 was won by Princess Beautiful. Her trainer was MC Patel and she was ridden by an Australian jockey – Edgar Britt. The filly was owned by the Maharaja of Baroda.

There have been many other memorable winners over the decades. Bucephalus, Nijinsky, Starfire Girl, Elusive Pimpernel, Star Supreme, and Diabolical are some of the major racehorses who were Derby winners.

In the last 5 years, the colts have dominated with 3 wins – Rochester, Star Superior, and War Hammer. But the last two winners were not – Immortality in 2021 was a filly, while Zuccarelli last year became the first gelding to win the Derby after Alandaire in 2014.

Zuccarelli Crowned Winner Of Indian Derby 2022

Among trainers, the late Rashid Byramji holds the record for most wins in the Indian Derby – 10. David Allan is one of the most successful jockeys in the event with 3 wins. His record was emulated by Suraj Narredu in 2019 – 2021.

As for active trainers, it is hard to look beyond Pesi Shroff – the Mumbaikar has won the Indian Derby twice in succession and is eyeing a hat trick in 2023. He has 5 Indian Derby wins to his credit – 3 as a trainer and 2 as a jockey.

The 2022 Indian Derby was won by Zuccarelli, a gelding bred at Nanoli Stud. The jockey was P. Trevor. The winning trainer, as already mentioned, was Pesi Shroff.

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