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2000 Guineas : Split Wide Open - By Prakash Gosavi I Mid Day

Posted on - 17 Dec 2010

2000 Guineas : Split Wide Open
By Prakash Gosavi
THE Grade One, Casino Royale Indian 2000 Guineas to be run at the Mahalaxmi racecourse on Sunday is very open. So much so that 14 horses hope to pull it off and have stayed in at the acceptance stage. Among them, a record six runners have been entered by trainer Pesi Shroff, three by Cooji Katrak, and one each by SK Sunderji, SS Shah, Imtiaz Sait, Faisal Abbas and Arjun Manglorkar, who is travelling all the way from Bangalore.

Interestingly, Shroff’s contingent includes Shirke and Dhunjibhoys’ Eloise, who ran a game third in the Indian 1000 Guineas last Sunday, and happens to be the only female among males of the same age.
His main contenders are however likely to be Berlusconi and Macchupicchu, with Vijay Mallya’s Camacho as the dark horse, while Batista and Tender Romance may have been pitched in the fray for strategic reasons of pace advantage.
The Wadhawan camp, helped by trainers Katrak and Sunderji, is pinning their hopes on four horses, the chief among them being the Sunderji- trained Ocean And Beyond, winner of the Nanoli Stud Pune Derby two months ago. The Katrak trio consists of Moon Star who humbled Shroff’s Camacho in a close finish, Star Warrior, who lost a certain race when he finished a flying second to Astounding Gallop in the Hyderabad 2000 Guineas last Sunday and has returned to his home turf, and Star Future, a gifted horse whom I personally rate as a very strong contender for the 2000 Guineas honour.
To make it more interesting, Dr Arif and Shiven Surendranath’s Immense, who humbled the highly rated Sun Kingdom at Mysore, has joined the issue, and he is unlikely to go down without a fight, whosoever wins. The joker in the pack is last season’s Poonawalla Breeders’ Multi- Million winner Beautiful Stranger, owned by the Rattonseys and trained by S S Shah, who seems to have come out of a bad setback as evidenced by his easy victory on the opening day of the current Mahalaxmi campaign.
In the final analysis, the Casino Royale 2000 Guineas looks to be an open race, and definitely worth donning your best suit and gracing the Mahalaxmi lawns on Sunday.

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