Whisperings@at the Turf - By Vivek Jain
Posted on - 23 Mar 2022
Whisperings@at the Turf
- By Vivek Jain
Indian politics has been dominated by generations of one family, but rarely do we find multiple family members be as successful in a single sport as the Narredu’s have been in horse racing. The legacy started with brothers Satish and Malesh four decades ago, and the baton has been passed on to the next Gen of Suraj, Rajesh, Deepesh and Yash.
The sons of Malesh, Deepesh and Yash hit pay dirt at the recently concluded Chennai racing season, by winning the trainers’ and jockeys’ championships, a record, at least in India, for two brothers to win the professional honors at the same season. Deepesh, took the bold decision to hoist his flag at Chennai when Western India racing seemed under threat from the fallout of Covid. To become champion trainer in his debut season, fighting off a close battle with Adhiraj Jodha, also from Western India was a huge achievement. Four years his junior, younger brother Yash, who at the age of just 17, became the youngest ever Indian jockey to win not only the Turf Invitation Cup but also an Indian classic, on Quasar, eclipsing the age record of the legendary Karl Umrigar.
Indian racing is replete with families making a mark in this sport, and some deserving mention are Uttam Singh - Zadmal -Subhag, Rashid and Darius Byramji, Purtu Singh- Magan- Adhiraj Jodha, the Ganapathy’s, cousins Pesi Shroff and Karl Umrigar, and probably many more. However for siblings to win both the championships in the same season is worthy of a submission to the Guinness Book of Records.
Suraj Narredu, with over 2,000 wins would arguably rank at the top of India’s jockey pyramid, having won multiple classics all over India, with four Indian Derby wins including a hat trick from 2019-21, and his younger brother Rajesh, was the youngest ever Indian Derby winning trainer on Star Superior in 2019. So, as in thoroughbreds, pedigree mattered and surely the boys are a chip of the old block with Satish and Malesh having won the Indian Derby both as trainers and jockeys.
It is indeed unfortunate that carrying on the family legacy is conspicuous by its absence in the ownership of horses. Very few in the Next Gen, have followed their die hard racing parents in being bitten by the racing bug and not even getting the State to allow children to attend the races, or in relaxing the dress rules, or in giving a share in a horse, seems to have worked any magic in getting youngsters to dust off their diffidence!
Indian Derby win record of the Narredu family:
04-02-1996 - Amazing Bay - Satish Narredu (as a jockey)
02-02-1997 - Indictment - Malesh Narredu (as a jockey)
03-02-2013 - Super Storm - Satish Narredu ( as a trainer)
01-02-2015 - Be Safe - Suraj Narredu - Malesh Narredu ( as a trainer)
03-02-2019 - Star Superior - Suraj Narredu- Rajesh Narredu ( trainer)
02-02-2020 - War Hammer - Suraj Narredu
28-03-2021 - Immortality- Suraj Narredu
The family has won 7 Indian Derbies as trainers/ jockeys