The Barbarians are at the Gates - By Mohit Lalvani
Posted on - 30 Jan 2020
The Barbarians are at the Gates
By Mohit Lalvani
Just two weeks after demolishing the India Oaks field, the queen of the turf, Juliette is facing an episode of Game of Thrones rather than a horse race. With 20 runners expected to face the starterincluding 8 regional Derby winners, the field for the Kingfisher Ultra Indian Derby this Sunday is not just one of the largest, but one of the most open too.
Bangalore is represented by its summer and winter Derby winners, Well Connected and War Hammer, both. The former lost to the Juliettein the Oaks while the latter,comes off animpressive victory in the winter editionthat has put him at the head of the plundering hordes. This,however, was just 4 days ago and his recovery and his travel to Mahalaxmi and is being scrutinised with much speculation.
Sir Supremooutstayed the field to win the Chennai Derby and all racing pundits will agree that stamina is key to getting the gruelling pace of the 2.4-kilometre Derby trip. Trafalgar looked strong in the City of Joy and has had the most recovery time when compared to the other winter Derby winners. Southern Rulerwears the Mysore Derby crown, but the stable’s first rider has abandoned him for Juliette.
Back in Western India, Trouvaille not just won the Poona Derby but added the Indian 2000 Guineas to his credit.He lost to Victorious Sermon post that and if he’s to be forgiven that run, he might be the biggest threat to Juliette. Royal Crystal won in Hyderabad in the winter with Consigliori winning during the monsoon.While the script may sound confusing, what isn’t is that this is a very strong field. For, to win even a regional Derby, you must be very good.
Meanwhile, at the stables, the Queen goes about her day nonplussed and oblivious to the many serious contenders and pretenders. It is a crown that every owner, jockey, trainer and breeder hungrily covet each year and with the barbarians having arrived at the gates, the plunder of Mahalaxmi is going to battle royal worth experiencing this Sunday.
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