Monday, March 08, 2010

Becket dethrones Jacqueline

Haresh Mehta's Becket, despite racing a detached last and getting entangled in traffic problems at crucial juncture, produced an astounding gallop in the final furlong of the Mahalaxmi homestretch and pipped queen filly Jacqueline in virtually the last stride to win the Vandrevala Foundation Indian Turf Invitation Cup (grade 1) on Sunday.

"In my mind I have always compared him with tennis star John McEnroe," Becket's trainer Padmanabhan told MiD DAY, "like McEnroe, he has always been fiercely aggressive, and wants to go out and destroy opposition. I was confident he was smarting under the narrow Derby defeat, and he would not waste today's opportunity."

And true to Padamnabhan's words, Becket really did charge at Jacqueline so menacingly, the queen filly who had reeled off all the four Classics this season to set an unprecedented record could not keep him at bay despite jockey Richard Hughes' all out effort.

"When I saw Becket racing last, I was terribly worried," owner Haresh Mehta told MiD DAY after the race. "And though Suraj improved him around the bend, my heart sank when l saw him trying to maneuver through traffic instead of coming out and making his bid. Frankly, I thought we were ruined," he added frankly.

"I had not really given too many instructions to Suraj Narredu," trainer Padmanabhan revealed, "I just told him to let Becket race wherever he wanted to, and make his move just before turning for home, and try to stalk whosoever was moving best at that juncture." However, Becket found himself behind a wall of horses with 400 meters to go, while Richard Hughes cleverly raced to the front and stole a march. Momentarily it did look like the lead would come in handy for Jacqui, but Suraj Narredu's finishing effort was so spirited, Becket devoured ground with every stride and put his head in front precisely at the winning post.

Both Becket and Jacqueline were bred at the Sohna stud farm of Sultan Singh. When he was asked who he rooted for, he was quick but honest in his reply: "I have bred both the horses but today I rooted for Becket, because I had my bet riding on him."

(c) MiD DAY


  1. "I am back. But I will still need to take life easy for a couple of weeks."

    Dear Prakash sir

    How are you now?. Be cool & take rest. In between if possible give us valuable suggestions as given earlier


  2. Dear prakash
    and hoping you are certainly better
    and with passing time you will be fine
    may eternity bless you
    love and immense gratitude

  3. hi sir how r u?
    wellcome back
    my good wishes is with u


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