The spotlight is on the Mahalaxmi Race Course as it prepares to host the pinnacle of horse racing events in the country — the Grade 1 Indian Derby on February 4 (Sunday). Sponsored by Horse Power Sports League (HPSL), the total prize money on offer is ₹2 crore with a winner’s purse of ₹1.2 crore.
The weekend carnival will feature 19 races with 10 races on Saturday and of the nine on Sunday, the last two will be run under the floodlights.
Adding to the excitement on Derby day are two lucky draws. The first draw, offering a prize money of ₹10 lakh, requires participants to fill out a form at the entrance and drop it into the lucky draw boxes placed in the Members and First Enclosures. The winner will take home ₹6 lakh, the first runner-up ₹3 lakh, and the second runner-up ₹1 lakh.
The second draw, a free contest of skill, invites attendees to predict the first and second placings in the Derby. The winner will ride away with a Jawa 42 Bobber motorcycle.
Tote punters can anticipate a bonanza on Derby day, as the carried forward amount of ₹50 lakh will be added to the Second Jackpot Pool.
This year’s Derby field, consisting of 13 runners, wears an open look. Trainer Malesh Narredu’s ward Enabler, victorious in the Ruia Cup, is in good shape and may win. Pesi Shroff’s unbeaten filly Jendayi, who displayed her staying ability by taking the Indian Oaks in a decisive manner, may repeat.
Jamari, another of Shroff’s filly which won the Bangalore Derby & Oaks, maintains her winning form and may pose a threat. Shroff’s third contender is Christofle, who ran close second to Enabler in the Ruia Cup, may upset.
Rajesh Narredu’s Synthesis, who came back sore in the Ruia Cup and finished fourth, is looking fit according to his morning trials and may turn the tables.
Credits : The Hindu