Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Owners' Pride

“You may get away by insulting a man’s wife, but not his horse.” Arabian proverb

Only those intimately connected with horse racing can understand what fierce pride a horse owner takes in his equine property. And when the horse is a strong Derby contender, the owner has every right to be talking only about him.

The grade 1, McDowell Indian Derby will be run at the Mahalaxmi racetrack on Sunday, February 7. Interestingly, the three main Derby contenders this year are all owned by Mumbai-based owners. They are Khushroo N Dhunjibhoy, Haresh Mehta and Farouq Rattonsey. All three exclusively chatted with MiD DAY about this year’s Derby and their horses’ prospects. Here is what they said:

Khushroo N Dhunjibhoy (owns Jacqueline with Vijay Shirke & Bergis Desai)

I have been racing for nearly 50 years, and I have never seen any horse, and mind you I am saying ‘a horse’, not only a filly, winning a mile-and-a-half race like Jacqueline did the other day when she won the Oaks. I have myself owned some good fillies like Venus Arising, Estonia and Lei, but Jacqui the best I have ever owned.

I doubt if anyone will even challenge her, I think she is in a different league altogether when compared to his crop.

Haresh Mehta (owns Becket)

No doubt, it will take an exceptional horse to beat Jacqueline, and I have reason to feel my horse could be the one who may do the trick.

I mean look at this way—here is a horse that has always been unsound, but still won all his races with absolute ease. He is the only horse who has won his first three starts at three different centers, so I don’t really think traveling is an issue here. And then he is coming from Bangalore, a higher altitude center, to Mumbai, at sea level. So I am sure he will find it easiler.

I am also getting Martin Dwyer to ride Becket, he should be here early next week so that even he gets adjusted to the Mahalaxmi track which anyway is not new for him. Getting my horse to race under the best possible conditions is the only thing I can do, and rest I will leave to racing luck.

Farouq Rattonsey (owns Onassis with Vijay Shirke & Khushroo Dhunjibhoy)

Jacqueline has simply been incredible, and she will be hard to down. Onassis is a late bloomer, but I feel my horse has class. My stallion, Glory Of Dancer standing at the Nanoli farm, has produced two Derby winners on the trot with Hotstepper (2008) & Antonios (2009). Can Onassis do it for us again this year? I can only look to heaven for help.

(c) MiD DAY

No comments:

Post a Comment

Wish to post as "Anonymous"? Not a problem.
But a better way is to use the Name/URL option and take up some net name of your choice. That way your privacy is protected and other readers can associate your thoughts with your web personality. Think about it.
A sincere appeal by Prakash Gosavi, blog owner