India Weekend Race Preview – 15 September, 2019
by Dhanu Dhelpi
The racing season is currently underway at four different race clubs across India. But this weekend, Sunday races are only scheduled at the Pune Racecourse. That is where we are headed today with our latest weekend race preview. The biggest races on the cards are without a doubt the two Poonawalla Millions, which includes a Grade 3 race.
Another interesting event that we are interested in is a Class 2 race aimed at experienced horses. Both these races have very competitive fields. As usual, here are the three horses we would recommend to punters interested in placing a wager on these races.
- The Inglenook Plate
At 1000m this is a very short sprint with a Class 2 classification. The event is open to horses with a rating between 60 and 86. Scheduled for a 3 PM start, this is the fourth event of the race day. While there are 10 horses signed up as per the race card, one of them, Congressional, has been withdrawn. That leaves us with a field of nine, out of which these look the strongest:
- Flaming Martini – Sired by the famous Excellent Art (GB), this four-year-old bay filly hails from the stables of Dallas Todywalla. Rated at an impressive 72, Flaming Martini has an impressive record with nine finishes in the top three out of as many starts. With jockey P Trevor in the saddle, she will be looking to add a fourth win to her collection on Sunday.
- King Khalil – The progeny of Multidimensional (IRE) and Khalila (USA) has four wins from just six starts. A four-year-old dark brown gelding trained by Deepesh Narredu, King Khalil will probably start as one of the favourites for this race. Jockey Gagandeep Mann will hold his reins in this race.
- Pokerface – This five-year-old bay gelding is the son of Stern Opinion (USA) and Silk Runner (IRE). Coming from the stables of trainer Nosher Cama with a rating of 70, he has run 18 races so far and scored four wins. He has great consistency though, having finished in the top four a total of nine times. K Nazil will be his jockey on Sunday.
Our Picks – It looks like a dead heat between Flaming Martini and King Khalil. The former may be a good bet if the bookies start listing at 5/1. For an interesting long shot pick, we suggest Pokerface.
- The S A Poonawalla Million
The second of the two Poonawalla races, this is the Grade 3 version scheduled to start at 4 PM. It is also the longer race at 1600m. The field is quite small with just six horses in the mix. All of them are three-year-olds as that is the age limit for this race. The total prize purse for this event is INR 150,000 or roughly 17000 pounds.
- Trouvaille – The son of Surfrider (IRE) is a dark brown gelding with a fair bit experience under his belt. Trained by SK Sunderji, he has scored one win and a trio of second places out of 5 runs. CS Jodha will be his jockey in the Poonawalla Million.
- Golden Guest – Sired by Excellent Art (GB), this bay colt has impressed with three wins from four runs so far. A ward of Dallas Todywalla, he is yet to finish outside the top two. Currently, he is on a hot run of three wins on the trot and looking to make it four out of four on Sunday. P Trevor has been signed as his jockey.
- Sultan Suleiman – Fresh from his maiden win in the Southern Command Trophy, this bay gelding is the son of Arazan (IRE) and Saffron Dancer (IRE). Trained by Altaf Hussain, Sultan Suleiman will be running in his second race ever on Sunday. His rider for this race will be A Sandesh.
Our Picks – Golden Guest looks like a great pick for the top spot and is our pick if the odds makers start listing at 5/1, with Trouvaille also another solid option. Sultan Suleiman is very inexperienced and would make a great underdog pick.
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