Star Superior romps to Indian Derby win

Monday, 4 February 2019

Suraj Narredu scores the biggest win of his career astride Star Superior to win the Indian Derby for the Poonawalla-owned horse

MUMBAI: Star Superior by Excellent Art, out of Ramjet, breezed through the 2400 metres in the season’s marquee event, the Indian Derby, leaving his opposition way behind at the Mahalaxmi Race Course on Sunday. 

The rig literally ate ground in the last 200 metres and romped home five lengths ahead. In the saddle was Suraj Narredu, who brilliantly steered the horse to the finish line in this Grade 1 race.

Adjudicate ran well on the outside to grab the second spot. Fighting for a minor placing, Sir Cecil managed to come in third followed by Sacred Roman.

Triumph of Poonawallas
Star Superior is owned by Zavaray S Poonawalla and Behroze Z Poonawalla of Poonawalla Racing and Breeding Pvt Ltd and  Adar C Poonawalla of Villoo Poonawalla Racing and Breeding based out at Manri farms in the outskirts of Pune. The horse was trained by Rajesh Narredu.

Race 1: 1.Hells Bells, 2.Hodsons Horse, 3. Ustad Pedro. Won by: 1/2, 1/2, 3/4. Time:  1:24.89.
Race 2: 1. New England, 2. Costa Brava, 3. Serjeant, 4. Cambridge. Won by: 1 1/2, Long Neck, 3/4, 2 1/4. Time. 1:37.40.
Race 3: 1. Hunt For Gold, 2. Trouvaille, 3. Malwa, 4. Mishka’s Pride. Won by: 1 3/4, 1 1/4, Long Neck. Time: 1:24.50.
Race 4: 1. Smasher, 2. Desert God, 3. Salazaar, 4. B Fifty Two. Won by: 4, 2 3/4, Neck, Head .Time: 2:00:89.
Race 5: 1. Headway, 2. Missing You, 3. Divine Glory, 4. Desert Empire. Won by: 1 1/4, 3/4, 2 3/4, 3 1/2. Time: 1:11.71.
Race 6: 1. Star Superior, 2. Adjudicate, 3. Sir Cecil, 4. Sacred Roman. Won by: 5, 2 1/4, 3 1/2, 3/4. Time: 2:28.92.
Race 7: 1. Flaming Martini,  2. Mozart, 3. Pablo, 4. Slam Dunk. Won by: Neck, 1, 1, 1/2. Time: 1:11.72.

Mumbai: The former RWITC chairman Dr Cyrus Poonawalla always believed that Star Superior was a favourite for the India Derby even as he was 7/1 in the bookmaker odds.

With conditions attached, Poonawalla had sais that the result was possible as his rivals were reportedly not in good health.

Nobody likes to hear ‘ifs or buts’ in a highly charged gambling sport like horse-racing in particular.

Yet this years’ Indian Derby was all about if’s and but’s. In what could be a matter of concern for their respective admirers, several reports related to fitness levels were doing rounds in the racing circles here this week.

It has been talked for too long that Dr Poonawalla is the right man to bring Indian racing, which is in dolldrums owing to unsolved tax issues, back to its old glory.

The last run of Star Superior was in Race No. 97 where he finished second, which he should have won as on Sunday, but the racing authorities had watered the last 300 meters from the winning post that caused the horses struggle.

This episode calls for a proper inquiry as such a blatant mistake caused irrepairable damage to some of the horses.

There have been calls for the RWITC to explain the running of the racecourse.

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