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Lady In Lace wins Derby in sensational fashion

By: Frankel   October 15 , 2017

Prasad Raju trained Lady In Lace recorded a sensational win in the Gr 1 Kingfisher Ultra Pune Derby, the star event of the Pune racing season on Sunday. The final entry from Hyderabad simply brooked no opposition as she spurted clear in the hands of jockey Suraj Narredu at the top of the straight to win by a widening margin of eight lengths over a hapless opposition. The reputation of quite a few fancied runners took a severe beating including those who believed that the top filly from Hyderabad could not tackle the opposition and the 2000 metres trip.

Horses have a way of defeating even the person acknowledge as being knowledgeable. Jockey Srinath who had ridden Lady In Lace believed that the filly was not capable of winning the Derby as he had doubts about the filly getting the trip. Since he had expressed his opinion in a public forum, it got wide publicity. Possibly it may have dissuaded many from wagering on the filly. Trainer Prasad Raju may have harboured thoughts of keeping the filly confined to mile long trips but the pressure from jockey Suraj Narredu to run at Pune convinced the trainer who said he would run the horse only if the jockey agreed to ride her. The rest, as they say, is history. Never has a horse from Hyderabad won this race in the past. Lady In Lace who was a modest purchase has raked in millions by way of stake money for the trainer who also part-owns the horse. This was the first Derby win for Prasad Raju and he is sure to get one more Derby prize if he lets go of his share from the filly because there are enthusiastic bidders for the same. An offer of 3/4ths of a crore for purchase of the filly which was offered before the running of the Derby was not accepted.

Pure Zinc who had won all his outings in impressive fashion was considered the best local horse to have a chance of winning the Derby as he had beaten many of the horses that were in the lineup. Lady In Lace though had better credentials having beaten dual Group I winner Manifold and classic winner Windsor Forest but then in racing hype overrides all other consideration was the reason why Lady In Lace did not receive the kind of support in the ring that she deserved. The Tohana Stud Farm bred Lady In Lace defied all expectations perhaps including those of the connections themselves for the kind of drubbing she gave to the opposition.

Lady In Lace jumped off smartly from the gates and jockey Suraj Narredu eased her to about the eighth position. Lord of the Sea and Pure Zinc were the pace-setters with Caprisca, Rochester, Perfect Star all racing in close proximity while Themis graced the rear, lacking the early speed or by intent. Approaching the final bend, jockey John made a quick move on Perfect Star and took over the running while Pure Zinc struggled to stay in place. Suraj circled around the field at the final bend on Lady In Lace and it was clear that the best travelling horse in the race was the filly who cruised past the front-runners with hardly any perceptible effort. The moment Suraj shook the reins, the response was immediate. The filly showed the brilliant acceleration that she was famous for. Lady In Lace had nobody chasing even her shadow and Suraj could afford to celebrate the success long way from home. Rochester occupied the second position ahead of Caprisca. The fancied runners had taken a drubbing.

New England`s winning streak was halted in unfortunate circumstances in the 1400 metres Sir Sultan Chinoy Trophy, a race for horses rated 60 to 86. New England perhaps was not in perfect position to jump when the start was given. The four-year-old not only missed the kick but the jockey`s leg was also off the stirrup. The jockey regained the stirrup quickly but the favourite had lost considerable ground as a result. Makino led from the start and fought on resolutely before Mygrator goet the better of the front-runner in the closing strides of the race. Srinath nursed New England through the shortest way and brought the progeny of Ace with a powerful effort. New England came up with menacing strides but the winning post came too quickly for comfort. A length and a nose separated the first three finishers. It was clear that with a level start New England would have been a facile winner. Jockey Dashrath Singh who rode Makino put an objection against P S Chouhan who was on the winner for whipping on his hand causing his whip to fall at a critical juncture of the race. Dashrath did lose the whip close home but it was not clear whether it fell because of the action of the other jockey. The objection was overruled.

After a few listless efforts, Dallas Todywalla trained Dancing Phoenix bounced back to the form of old when he led all the way and held off a formidable lot of sprinters in the 1200 metres Noshir & Dolly Dhunjibhoy Sprint Million (Gr 3), a terms race for four-year-olds and over. Dancing Phoenix had enough legs to pull through though he was strongly challenged by Holy Smoke. The veteran sprinter Dancing Prances missed the kick at the start but showed character by his finishing effort. Harvey was a close fourth.

Veteran trainer Cooji Katrak achieved a milestone in his career when the well-backed In The Stars swamped the opposition in the 1200 metres Karl Umrigar Trophy (Div II), a maiden race for three-year-olds to get the trainer his 1000th win. In The Stars moved with a flourish on the wide outside to wrap up the race by three lengths over Arc Shine. Tenerife was third. The upper division of the race was won by Shiraz Sunderji trained Sereno who made a strong bid from the front and kept the late rally of Sassy Lass at bay.

Hoshidar Daji trained Texas Gold fought a strong battle with Nelsons Blood before asserting his supremacy in the 1600 metres Pune Police Commissioner`s Trophy, a race for horses rated 40 to 66. Nelsons Blood led from the start but was unable to contain Texas Gold who got stronger at the finish. Spiridon beat Zanzibar to save place money.

Shiraz Sunderji trained Turning Point who was the betting rage in the 1400 metres Vinayak Trophy (Div I), a race for horses rated 20 to 46. But the favourite missed the kick and despite covering ground and finishing on strongly, the front-running long shot Orion`s Belt held on to win. Orion`s Belt drifted out under pressure and then ducked towards the rails closer home. Jockey Imran Khan put an optimistic objection against J Chinoy who rode the winner and the same was overruled. Vinesh trained Pilatus stormed ahead in the final furlong and had no problem in containing the late rally of favourite Eiger`s Tiger in the lower division of the race. Incidentally, Vinesh is the brother of trainer Vinayak in whose name the race is being run.

M P Jodha trained Baby Face got into the lead in the final furlong of the 2400 metres IGCC Trophy, a race for horses rated 20 to 46 and was in safe zone when Othello made a strong bid. King of Killen who raced up with the pace, weakened to finish third.


Lady In Lace (Suraj Narredu up) winner of the Kingfisher Ultra Pune Derby (Gr.1)

Pilatus (Neeraj Rawal up) winner of the Vinayak Trophy (Div-II)

Baby Face (Dashrath Singh up) winner of the Igcc Trophy

Texas Gold (Neeraj Rawal up) winner of the Pune Police Commissioner`s Trophy

In The Stars (Suraj Narredu up) winner of the Jimmy Umrigar Trophy (Div-II)

Mygrator (P S Chouhan up) winner of the Sir Sultan Chinoy Trophy

Dancing Phoenix (C S Jodha up) winner of the Noshir & Dolly Dhunjibhoy Sprint Million (Gr.3)

Sereno (A Imran Khan up) winner of the Jimmy Umrigar Trophy (Div-I)

Orion`s Belt (J Chinoy up) winner of the Vinayak Trophy (Div-I)

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