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Blinding Speed and Class on display at Mahalaxmi this Sunday - By Milan Luthria

Posted on - 07 Dec 2018

Blinding Speed and Class on display at Mahalaxmi this Sunday
By Milan Luthria
The first Classic of the Indian Racing Calendar, the Spartan Poker Indian 1000 Guineas, is up for grabs this Sunday at Mahalaxmi. It is a race for 3 year old fillies (the fairer sex in equines) and is run over the traditional distance of a mile (1600 metres). 
The race sees the best of fillies compete for the coveted prize money of Rs. 27,22,500/- along with gaining what is known as Black type – a distiction when they go to stud to be bred from. 
This year, eleven fillies will line up to face the starter, and jump out of the gates to the roar of the crowd and a rush of blood to see who gets to the winning post first. 
The contest seems a very open one, with Bangalore based challenger Isn’t She Lovely trained by veteran trainer S. Padmanabhan taking on the best from the West – Mumbai’s quartet of Pesi Shroff’s Arabia, Vishal Gaekwad’s Oomph (the surprise winner of the Bangalore 1000 Guineas), Faisal Abbas’ Merlot, and her only start winner La Rondine. 
Adding spice to the race is the trio of international saddle artistes Leigh Roche, David Allan and Robbie Downey, who will take on the Indian champions and crowd favourites P. Trevor, A. Sandesh, Akshay Kumar, Y. S. Srinath and Suraj Narredu. 
Those who’ve heard it from the horse’s mouth insist that the Poonawalla filly Isn’t She Lovely has an edge, with David Allan astride, who has always picked the richest plums on the Indian racing circuit, while those fancying an “outsider” at longer odds are waiting to see Arabia’s looks in the paddock parade. 
The supporting event of the day is The Sir Homi Mehta Sprint Challenge over 1000 metres, the only “Group race” over this sharp distance. It is a tribute to a patron of the turf whose family is sponsoring the race and still racing in his colours of “Rose, Black Cap” since 1919. 
It will see six top class sprinters try and break the 57 second barrier for the 1000 metres. Queen filly Ruffina, belonging to Dr. Cyrus Poonawalla and partners, trained by Dallas Todywalla and ridden by David Allan, is all set to decimate her opponents once again, but whether her legendary “late run” will be enough to catch Pesi Shroff’s Lincoln at the wire in spite of conceding 8.5 kilos to him, will be a thrill to watch. 
Whoever be the winners, Mahalaxmi is all set to host a fabulous day of racing, complemented by the Crazy Food Festival, with a music and kids’ zone, from 11 am to 11 pm at the Members Enclosure. Entry is for all on purchase of an entry ticket. 
See you at the races dressed in your Sunday best! 
(The author is a Managing Committee member/ Steward of RWITC, and a horse enthusiast.)
(Disclaimer : Views are entirely that of the correspondent only and RWITC takes no responsibility for the same) 

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