Pune: Top trainer SK Sunderji’s passion for horses and their well being is almost contagious as this half-centurion goes about his work in stables with same zeal every morning as he would have done more than 30 years ago when he decided to take it up as his career.
“Horses teach you a lot. You need to understand their body language as they do speak in their own way,” said Sunderji, who began his career as trainer as a 22-year-old in 1982.
Last Sunday Sunderji-trained Rochester won the FD Wadia Cup, a race that is very dear to Sunderji having won it four times over the years.
“FD Wadia Cup is one of my favourite race and Rochester proved it yet again,” Sunderji reflected in a interview with Sakal Times at his stables.
“Training horses is very intriguing and interesting subject and one needs to have passion for the game,” says Sunderji, whose horses have given him three Pune Derby titles—spaced out in three decades.
His first Pune Derby win came in 1989 when Desert Warmer won it. Six year later Desert Camel gave Sunderji his second Pune Derby title before Ocean And Beyond won the Derby in 2010 for his third trophy.
“I usually run my horses in my parent sector that is Pune and Mumbai,” said Sunderji who ventured out recently when he sent Timeless to Hyderabad for Colts trophy.
Asked what really is needed to be done to lift the morale and finances of the Royal Western India Turf Club under the GST Regime, Sunderji said though he was not an accounting person, “there is a solution for everything.”
“What is to be paid to the government has to be paid,” a categorical Sunderji said when reminded that several trainers and even the club has failed to pay taxes.
Currently he is relying on Timeless, Rochester, Bottega Louie, who won Panchshil Million, and Turning Point to give him more winners.
“All these three-year-olds are is ship-shape and are rearing to go,” said Sunderji, who might just field Rochester in the SA Poonawalla Million later this month.
“It all depends on how horses have taken up the last race. Basically how the horse has fared depends on it being fielded in the next race,” explained Sunderji when asked how long rest does he give to a horse from the last race run.