MUMBAI: Aptly named Rochester blew off a classy bunch of rivals and clinched the Indian Derby, the Grade 1 race, with surprising ease.
The 4-year-old colt, son of Phoenix Tower and Krasnaya (US) became the highest grosser in terms of stake money earned, to the tune of a whopping Rs 1.89 crore.
Jointly owned by Akhtar Adamji Peerbhoy, Shapoor P Mistry of Manjri Horse Breeders’ Farm Pvt Ltd, Saba A Peerbhoy, Pramod Churi and Balkris, Rochester made all of them happiest amongst the 30,000 odd people that thronged the Mahalaxmi Racecourse for the iconic race of the year.
The manner of victory was most astounding, as all the pre-race speculation that it would be an open race proved grossly incorrect.
Rochester won on his own terms and dismissed an elite opposition with complete authority. The victory, to sum it up in one word, was Awesome!
The famous Derby roar was deafening as 30,000 vocal chords expanded in sync.
Daffodil, meanwhile was enjoying the ‘leader’s status’ approaching the final turn. Soon Zenon started to cover ground and got past Daffodil, whose game was up. Rochester showed up quickly and progressed inspiringly to get to the helm soon on turning for home.
That was the end of it. Rochester started to stretch away from them all and piled up an impregnable lead. Lady In Lace moved up paces to resign to the inevitable and settle for the runner up berth.
Manifold did well to wrest the third spot from Prevalent Force. The winner clearly was extraordinary and simply too good on the day.
ROCHESTER ALL THE WAY
In Rochester thundered his powerful hooves as he glided over the turf with inspiring grace, truly a legend in motion. He was a treat to watch, dismissing the other classy horses with complete authority. CS Jodha had accomplished yet another Classic conquest, the biggest of them all.
Rochester and CS Jodha now share a perfect bonding and have been partners in all their recent triumphs. This is sure to continue when they will next be seen in action for the Invitation Cup.
Claiming that the winning team was overjoyed, would be an understatement. Owners were ecstatic! It was nice to see all the owners flank the undisputed champion colt and take a ‘victorious march’--SK Sunderji’s colt by that name had just won the preceding race--amidst a rousing applause.
“He proved that he is a top class colt and an untiring stayer with speed to match. He has won this classic that came his way at this centre and topped it off with the crowning glory. Everything went off to a plan and this victory is one of the best. Winning his first races over 2400 meters is an exceptional achievement and Rochester is a legend in his own rights,” said Sunderji, whose wait to add the Indian Derby to his long list of Classic conquests ended in a rousing fashion.
If his heartbeats were racing, it would be only due to the feeling of triumph and not suspense. He streaked ahead royally, leaving the others to scramble for the minor placings. He was clearly ahead, dishing out one of the easiest victories ever.
Race 1: 1. Colombianaprincess, 2. Run Forest Run, 3. Godswords, 4. Julio Cesaro. Won by: 1 1/2, 5, 2 ¼, Shd. Time: 59.17s.
Race 2: 1. Checkmate 2. Southpaw 3. Wil Shire 4.Abraxas . Won by: 1/4, Short Head,1 ¾, Short Neck. Time: 59.36s.
Race 3: 1. Smasher, 2. Gdansk, 3. Silver Edge, 4. Jager Bomb. Won by: 1, Nose, Long Neck, 1/2. Time: 2:35.98.
Race 4: 1. Brainstorm, 2. Goshawk, 3. In It To Win It, 4. Red Revenge. Won by: 3 1/4, 1 1/4, ½, 3/4. Time: 1:37.79.
Race 5: 1. Dance The Dream, 2. Steppenwolf, 3. Chosen One, 4.Cormorant. Won by: 1 3/4, 3 1/4, ½, Neck. Time: 1:11.10.
Race 6: 1. Rochester, 2. Lady In Lace, 3. Manifold, 4. Prevalent Force. Won by: 2, 1 1/4, Long Neck, 2 ½. Time: 2:29.05.
Race 7: 1. In The Stars, 2. Gallant Knight, 3. Nicholas, 4. Triple Threat. Won by: Long Neck, 2 , ½, 2 1/2. Time: 1:10.47.
Race 8: 1. Lincoln, 2. Rising Brave, 3. Double Nine, 4. Governor General . Won by: 1 3/4, 3/4, 1 ¾, Shoulder. Time: 58.02s.