Derby Day in Pune is always a special occasion and the 2019 edition was no exception. The crowd was large and excited, and the atmosphere nothing short of electric. As part of our ongoing coverage of the Indian racing season, we had focused on the Pune Derby day in our last preview. In this follow-up article, let’s look at the winners and losers, and most important – how the horses we picked fared on race day!
Here are the two races we focused on:
The Noshir & Dolly Dhunjibhoy Sprint Million
Short 1200m sprints are always exciting, though they only last a short while. The Sprint Million was fought by seven horses on Sunday, all of them four years or over. The tote betting favorite for this event was Intense Stylist.
In our horse racing preview, we had selected Iron Age as our choice for the winner, and that proved to be the case on Sunday. But the other two horses we picked fared poorly and failed to feature among the top three at the end of the race. St Andrews, who was expected to run Iron Age close, finished in fourth. Meanwhile, our other option Governor-General was immediately behind him in fifth.
That leaves us with these three horses at the top three:
- Iron Age – The son of Strong Suit ran an incredible race, leading from start to finish. Such was his grip on this event that he also finished almost three lengths clear of his nearest rival. Iron Age was up against odds of 15/4 in this race. The ward of trainer Imtiaz Sait was ridden by jockey YS Srinath.
- Clymene – A five-year-old bay mare, she comes from the union of Western Aristocrat (USA) and Magdalena. Her trainer is Faisal A Abbas. TS Jodha was her jockey in this race. From her 18 races so far, she has five wins and also, another nine top-four finishes.
- Intense Stylist – The tote favorite for the day with odds of 3/1, Intense Stylist had to make do with a third-place finish in the end. The bay gelding is the son of Western Aristocrat, currently being trained by SK Sunderji. CS Jodha was his jockey in this race.
The Pune Derby
The day’s main Indian racing event had a major upset, but it occurred before the start of the actual race. Sultan Suleiman, one of the main contenders and our top pick, had to be withdrawn from the even on vet grounds.
That left eight horses on the track for this magnificent Grade 1 race, Wizard of Stocks, Trouvaille, and Victorious Sermon as the three favorites. For our part, besides Sultan Suleiman, we had high hopes on Prince Valiant (long shot) and Trouvaille (2nd choice).
Though he led in the early part of the race, Prince Valiant was soon overtaken by more capable horses, leaving him in the second to last position by the end of the race. That left our hopes entirely on Trouvaille, and he also did not disappoint:
- Trouvaille – In the absence of Sultan Suleiman, this dark brown gelding took full advantage to win by a comfortable margin of 2 and three-quarter lengths. The son of Surfrider had a steady start before slowly picking up the pace and chasing down Wizard of Stocks in the end. This was just his second win out of seven races.
- Wizard of Stocks – This is a bay gelding sired by Speaking of Which (IRE) off dam Margarita Rita (USA). Trained by P Shroff, he had the very experienced Neeraj Rawal in the saddle on Sunday.
- Daddy’s Pride – Trained by Subhag Singh, this bay colt comes from Oath (IRE) off Cannon Jet. The best of the chasing pack in this race, he finished 2 lengths ahead of Victorious Sermon. TS Jodha had his reins for this race.
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