Enabler bags Pune Derby (Gr 1) -By Prakash Gosavi
Three-year-old chestnut colt Enabler (Ruler Of The World - Rozene), ridden by Yash Narredu, produced a powerful gallop in the homestretch of the Pune racetrack to decisively beat the piping-hot favourite Jamari (P Trevor up) and win the Mayor Baburao Sanas Memorial Pune Derby (Gr 1), the feature event of Sunday's seven-race card.
The winner, owned by BE Saldanha in partnership with Sultan Singh (who bred the winner at his Sohna stud farm), Vivek Jain, Balam Mohla and Anil Saraf, was trained by Malesh Narredu, whose success with this race, both as trainer and jockey, has been remarkable: this was Malesh's third Pune Derby victory as a trainer. He has also won the race a record seven times as a jockey earlier.
This was also the first successful father-son pair (trainer Malesh-jockey Yash) in the history of the Pune Derby. In fact, this was the first ever Pune Derby victory for jockey Yash, as it was for Mrs BE Saldanha, the owner in whose silks Enabler ran. "It's the best moment of my life," she said at the trophy presentation ceremony, "this is something I have never experienced; it's my first Derby here (at Pune)."
"I must thank trainer Malesh," Vivek Jain, former chairman of the race club who also owns a share in Enabler, said, "I was to actually fly out to the US on Friday, (but) I changed my flight to watch the horse because Malesh told me, 'Enabler will win, please stay back'-he was that confident!"
Malesh was, however, quick to point out the "source" of his confidence: "Yash was very confident from day one--so confident that I didn't have to give him any (riding) instructions! I knew he would ride a perfect race--and he did!"
"I can't describe my happiness in words," said winning jockey Yash Narredu, who actually stood in the saddle before passing the winning post and waved at his family in the stands in a sort of victory salute. "Enabler is a genuine horse, he has given his heart out in every race he has run," he added.
Pointing out that for a young jockey riding in such a big race, the owners' support is very crucial, Yash remarked, "I must thank the owners for their complete understanding, there was absolutely no pressure from their side, they placed their full trust in me, and that helped me to ride without worry."
In a special ceremony, the race club chairman, Surendra Sanas, flanked by his managing committee colleagues, presented special mementos to trainer Pesi Shroff (for matching late trainer Rashid Byramji's record of winning 29 Indian Classics) and Mumbai lad Hriday Chheda, member of the Indian team that won the equestrian gold at the Asiad recently.
Credit : mid-day