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Juliette proves Karthik right in the Invitation Cup - By Mr. Vivek Jain

Posted on - 09 Mar 2022

- By Mr. Vivek Jain
Juliette, the diminutive mare, who was crowned Horse of the Year at Chennai’s Racing Awards evening, won many a heart by truly exceptional triumph in the Indian Turf Invitation Cup on Sunday, becoming the sixth filly in succession to win this.  Twice a bridesmaid , it proved to be third time lucky for the gutsy grey and if it were not for a shockingly poor ride by Sandesh,  at Mumbai’s Invitation in December, she would have followed in Adjudicate’s hoof beats by winning this twice in a row.
Her  usually reticent trainer Karthik Ganapathy, has indeed been proved right and by winning the Invitation,  has  cocked a snook at the controversial decision by the Stewards. The Sohna  bred got abroad,  has been truly a prolific performer, and her ten wins  includes eight group races, now topped off by the Invitation. Tipping the scales at just 406kg, she belies her petite frame, proving it’s the heart and the engine that matters in a racehorse.
Given a copy book ride by “lesser” light CS Jodha, who sat never too far from surprise “invitee”,  Souza,  kept in to make the pace for Zucarelli,  justified Karthik’s   belief  that she indeed did not need a “big name” jockey to bring her home.
The Invitation Cup weekend was superbly organized by MRC,  and though nothing came close to Juliette’s brilliance, the Usha stallion Multidimensional, proved why his progeny command the highest prices by siring both the Sprinters’ and Stayers’ winners. The only “blot” if any were the endless stream of Awards during the Weekend, and some repeated during the presentations on Invitation Day, which made it tiresome for those watching. Protocol was also broken  by several Clubs  to have multiple nominations for the prestigious “permanent invitee” status by TAI, when the norm has been for only the host centre to  to nominate one (or in rare cases, two names of exceptional merit) and which dilutes the importance to be invited as  a member of this “exclusive” club.
The talking point on the weekend,  was the news of the impending start of a national tote from May.  The only matter to be closed,  I believe was on  the commonality of deductions on various pools. This could well be the game changer the industry was looking for as relief on GST seems a dream, as of now. The Club’s must also consider taking a leaf from HRC by taking bets on international racing on a common platform,   and though the earning may not be significant to start with, every drop counts, in today’s times.

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