Monday, October 12, 2009

Pune racing conducted during the monsoon season in that part of the country has its own charm as it provides a different approach to racing in Western India. Mumbai is the prime racing centre with racing focusing on two year old juveniles and the numerous plum features for all age and classes finally terminating into the most awaited Indian Derby. Pune racing is centered around the hardened three year olds, and the regular dose of richly endowed races for all distances. The climatic conditions are different at Pune and so is the race track for the horses. The track at Mumbai is coarse and dry in comparison to the grassy and giving surface of the monsoon blanched Pune course. Some years back not all trainers and owners were very serious about the participation at this centre but over the years that feeling has changed as the money on offer for most races is equally attractive and the prospectus is filled with inviting features.

The noticeable change in approach by the professionals to racing here is also reflected in the results achieved. No more is Pune considered the graveyard of favorites, ( this was the feeling amongst punters in the eighties and nineties) , the bookies and the punters have been equally benefited as out of the 233 races held, 96 favorites obliged( 41 %) . The second favorites have scored only in 45 races with the Jodie” failing in a good amount of 92 (39 % ) races. At Mumbai last season the punters had a better fare with almost 50 % favorites obliging yet here with all the vagarities of the nature of sport we still have a pretty fair result.



3. C D KATRAK continues to dominate as the best trainer with an awesome record of favorites obliging. The punters would sure want more such trainers who in his 24 winners had 17 favorites paying up and the failed favorites being 13 only. He has also got the most horses from the best performing owner who has been purchasing cream of the thoroughbreds lately. HIGHLAND IN 2007, RIVER in 2008 and now OCEAN as the first portion of the horses names makes it easier for one to symbolize with the runners of R K Wadhawan who has nearly all the top trainers vying to train for him.. C D KATRAK remains not only the top trainer but best for the juveniles, the youngsters in his charge can be spotted as likely winners during training time itself. The only two juvenile races were at his mercy irrespective of the fact that many inter related horse were there as runners and the competitive value was not very intensive. VERSAKI proved that he was the best horse during the season by remaining undefeated and picking up the Derby. In rider Imran Chisty he has got a decent rider who has been riding as a mature jockey after having been in 2nd string for long.

4 B CHENOY As a senior trainer he has been consistent in winning the right type of races for a very few of the owners he has. 10 races won with 6 as favorites and only failing when backed . J M Mody his main owner has done very well with YANA and now AUTONOMY making him the proud owner of the Invitation Trophy. By reposing faith in Y Srinath this astute trainer has proved his maturity.

5. IMTIAZ SAIT has done fairly well this season by winning on 6 and loosing on equal number of backed ones while tallying 13 wins. The thing against him is the consistency and the fact that his horses perform well when at a decent odds only.

6. A DAJEE has benefited from being an under study to a good trainer by perhaps being the best performing on e this season. With a limited number of runners he managed to get 6 winners and all the four who ran as favorites obliged.

7. N LAGAD has very few admirers this season. Hailed for his string of successes on brought down horses season after season this year he was a sort of disappointment in not finding the mark with the same frequency. He has got 18 winners with only 3 as obliging favorites and 4 failed favorites in his tally. He continues to win races with longer odds by hoodwinking the handicapper. He blotted all the good work by the highly reported incident of his foreign jockey S Breux and SPARKLING SPIRIT affair. Immaculately dressed and neat in appearance at all times, he seems to also have a shady touch to his personality.

8. M P JODHA is a trainer with a difference as he trains most of the horses bred in his home state of Rajasthan and has riders from his clan who win at good odds also. In the 16 wins he had only 3 favorites winning and 5 failing to deliver. He is known to take his time with the horses and this gives him the leverage as the horses don’t get caught up in handicap by being hustled for effort in all earlier runs. He has got most winners in four year and above categories. It was wonderful to see him lead in the winners of the first race on a regular basis to such an extent that even knowledgeable punters started to back his first runner, specially under C Jodha with out considering any other factor. It is difficult to reason out on this sequence yet it was delightful for the winners who reaped good results by following this nonsensical racing nuance.


9. ALTAF HUSSAIN continues to be the leader in this pack with 3 favorites obliging in 7 wins. He had 11 favorites biting the dust which indicates that either he is poor in handicapping or is playing buddy with the bookies. What is intriguing is that this pattern of his was very much there during last Mumbai meet also. Avoidable trainer at all costs.

10 S K SUNDERJI had 11 winners, 6 as favorites and 12 failing ones. The number of winners looks OK but then the look at the owner of this winners confirms that the owner factor had been the key. Wadhawan’s horses have won this season with most of his trainers due to a number of reasons which are not being discussed here. The heaviest betting is on Sunderji’s favorites and yet they continue to bite the dust more often than delivering, signs of a trainer who is either not good or not clean in dealings. The worst horse who has taken down the public money in last two seasons ;ie, WESTERN CHALLENGE belongs to him.
11 H J ANTIA had a forgettable season with 3 winners all as favorites but 8 failed favorites, a bad ratio at all levels. He trains only older horses as none of his youngsters show improvement at all. He is a shoot and scoot type trainer as the horses which perform are those who win from the front mostly in sharp sprints.
12 M SHAH is the trainer who is synonymous with H N Mehta’s horses. He had 3 winners with 2 favorites obliging and 7 biting the dust. The trainer who has done a lot for his owner by working out good gambles for his betting owner has played second fiddle as the owner has now got better performing stables for his costlier purchases.
13 K GANAPATHY has won 10 races with 4 as favorites and 11 as failed ones. Despite the good breeds at his disposal he has not measured upto the expectations and the overall declining effect of the MAM Brigade has also been evident in the performance of his horses here. The good point in his favor is that he appears to have had a better season than his father at Bangalore and he has given some good odds winner to the owner.
14 F ABBAS finds place in this category for failing in a big way after half the season was over. He had started off in a healthy way in monsoons but after the regulation wins what a turn around as he hardly succeeded with backed horses in the last couple of months. In a tally of 17 winners, he had 7 winning as favorites and a13 failures. He was a good performer at Mumbai last season and with a decent number of horses has to be watched in the coming season as he is on the up.
15 D TODYWALLA has 13 winners with 2 favorites and 5 failing . A second string trainer he has averaged out as such.


16. IMRAN CHISTY by the sheer fact that he has been the most consistent winner on favorites as well as the leading rider tops the list. In 24 winners, he had 14 favorites and lost on 10 only, a good record. Being the number 1 rider for the top trainer helped.
17. Y SRINATH got the maximum applauses for winning some very tough races as also his coming out on top in the big events. A most improved rider he had 14 favorites obliging and 11 failures while tallying 19 winners. The biggest gainer of his riding skills were the trainer and owner combination of B CHENOY and J MODY.
18. NEERAJ R5AWAL has played as second fiddle for far too long to the senior riders, this year he has established himself in the top few by an impressive display of jockeyship. Winner of 18 races he was successful on 3 favorites and lost on 4. Most of his winners were at good odds.
19. D S RATHORE is the one who has improved by leaps and bounds as an apprentice jockey, he has exploited the good rides fully and won on 6 favorites in his tally of 14 winners while failing on 4 only.
20. C JODHA was the wonder boy winning at good odds for the trainer at regular intervals. His wins came at good odds and in his total of 13 winners he won on 3 favorites and lost on two.
21. S RAJENDRA has been on decline, one of the reason being a bit of lack of interest by his retaining owner who is getting his horses to slide down the handicap. Rajendra has lost many friends in the betting ring as he has been riding poorly to loose on many mounts. In 13 winners he won on 9 favorites and bit the dust on 13, a bad performance from this talented rider.
22. KAMLESH is a mature rider who was back in this circuit after a couple of seasons at Hyderabad. In 12 winners he had only 5 favorites as winners and he was the bashing boy on a rather largish 13 loosing favorites, teaming up with a controversial trainer like A HUSSAIN was the main reason.
23. B PRAKASH had a reasonably mediocre season by winning only 11 races and 6 favorites obliging. The loosing ones being 11 show him in poor light. The change of strategy by his owner in not trying horses against the top breeder’s lobby as well as the tendency to go easy on public fancied horses is one of the reasons for the decline of this team.
24. SURAJ NARREDU is one of the top riders in this country now. He is riding very well and is remaining clean which is a harbinger of many more successes for him. I visualize him winning at the classic level very soon. In 10 wins as a visiting rider on ltd mounts he had 5 favorites and 4 loosing ones.
25. DASRATH SINGH had a satisfying season with 10 wins , he had no winning favorite but lost on four, winning on outsiders only.
26. M NARREDU did not even win in double figures yet he managed to loose on 10 favorites and obliged only on 5 in a tally of 9 winners. Over the years he remains one of the most tainted riders with few die hard sympathizers. A master in winning some long distance races and loosing out on sure shots.
27. S BREUX was the only regular foreign jockey who had 8 winners winning and loosing on 3 favorites each. His performance has been much discussed and it doesn’t look likely that he will reappear in this country again.


28. After many years DIFFIDENT got dethroned as the leading sire at this centre, primarily because of age and secondly due to the fact that he did not get to cross the classy mares after having been relocated to his owners farm at Yeravada. ALNASR ALWASHEEK leads the tally of winners and it was a competitive result for most of the top sires of the country. Both RAZEEN and PLACERVILLE have lesser number of winners now compared to a few years back, RAZEEN has not been given many mares and the produce of PLACERVILLE has not been as good as years back though he is covering a large number of mares.

WARSHAAN-------------- 14
SENURE------------------ -13
MAJOR IMPACT--------- 13
ONTARIO----------------- 12
RAZEEN------------------- 11
BLACK CASH------------ 10



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