Kingfisher Ultra India Derby beckons this weekend - By Vinayak M Zodge | The Hindu
Posted on - 31 Jan 2020
Kingfisher Ultra India Derby beckons this weekend
- By Vinayak M Zodge | The Hindu
The Kingfisher Ultra Indian Derby (Gr.1) (2,400m), which occupies the pride of place as the blue riband of the Indian racing calendar, will be staged here on Sunday, February 2, at the Mahalaxmi race course.
This year’s edition will mark the 78th successive running of this prestigious event and the total prize money on offer is ₹2,20,80,000 and the winner’s purse is ₹1,32,48,000. All the 15 races over the Derby weekend (Feb. 1 & 2) are high stakes races.
The weekend carnival will feature evening racing on Saturday (Feb. 1) starting at 4.30 p.m. and afternoon racing on Sunday (Feb. 2) starting at 2.30 p.m. But two races post Derby will be run under floodlights.
Another added attraction for the punters on Derby day will be the carried forward amount of ₹20 lakh, which will be added to the collection of combined jackpot pool of Sunday, February 2.
A large field of 20 runners will face the starter this year. Among them the present form of Bangalore based colt War Hammer looks imposing. He is unbeaten in all his seven starts including last Sunday’s (Jan. 26) Bangalore Derby, where he put all the doubts of his staying ability to rest, by winning the mile and a half trip in a decisive manner. One has to see how he recovers from this hard run and travel within a short span of seven days.
The Mumbai based queen filly Juliette, who won the Indian Oaks (2,400 m) with an amazing turn of foot, will enjoy lot of fan following and may pose a serious threat. Apart from this top duo, the Vishal Gaikwad-trained Victorious Sermon — who won the Ruia Cup comfortably over 2000m — is also making good promises on the training track. The Pune Derby winner Trouvaille, who lost to Victorious Sermon in Ruia Cup, if ignored his last run, is working well on track and might be a threat to all.
The Kolkatta Derby winner Trafalgar also looks strong to reckon with, as evidenced by his track performances.
Trainer Satish Narredu’s Sir Supremo, who decimated his rivals in the South India Derby at Chennai, puts himself in contention too for this coveted event.