Pune: The Pune Derby (Gr1) and the IGCC sponsored Oktoberfest will ensure the fun and frolic to complement Pune’s biggest racing event of Sunday.
Before we look at the fortunes of the runners, a word about the sponsors. The Pune Derby has sponsored this coveted monsoon Derby for the second year and have brought it to it’s present position of being one of the premier races in the country.
The Pune Derby looks all set for an exciting finish. Fourteen runners will vie for honours with more than half the field staking strong claims to emerge victorious.
The man for the big occasions most would believe is SK Sundreji. His achievements, as a trainer is right up there and that’s what makes his string of horses appear sharper and are most fancied. S K Sundreji is a meticulous planner and he has been more often right than not.
He plans way ahead which is why perhaps he packed off Rochester soon after his success in the FD Wadia Cup during this season.
Rochester has been rested since and is thrown into the deep end, showing up straight for the Derby. A touch of class that he is blessed with and that makes him a formidable contender for this year’s Derby here in Pune.
Pure Zinc, Perfect Star and Lady In Lace are the ones to watch out for as on their day, they are capable to emerge with a strong performance. Rochester will be ridden by CS Jodha.
The rains haven’t quite left Pune and it pours down heavily at odd times. A wet track would add a different dimension to the running and the outcome of the race on Sunday.
As with everything in racing, there is no clear cut formula to predict how a particular horse will react to a particular kind of going unless he has encountered it in the past.
Sweet Memories, the best filly trained by Rashid Byramji, simply hated rain. Yet she won the Indian St Leger at Pune. Three goods bets are Fantasy Star (2-8), Nelsons Blood (3-4) and Astral Flare (4-6).