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I was driving a Ferrari: Dwyer

MUMBAI: “I was driving a Ferrari!” quipped English rider Martin Dwyer, as he summed up his smooth sailing in the McDowell Signature Premier Indian Derby at the Mahalaxmi Racecourse, on Sunday.

The 36-year-old Liverpool-born has raced many times in India before, but had never been able to win an Indian Derby crown. “May be because I never had such a fantastic horse before,” added the winner of the English Derby, which he won astride Sir Percy in 2006 and the Epsom Oaks with Casual Look in 2003.

Dwyer said he was never worried throughout the journey. “It was a dream race. Everything went according to the plan. I got a good jump and was placed well. Even when Pronto Star had opened up a good lead negotiating the bend, I was not worried as I knew I was riding a very strong filly,” said Dwyer, who has now won his fourth consecutive classic with In The Spotlight.

“The moment others started coming closer to me from behind, I just alerted her and she simply flew away. Having ridden her , I knew she has awesome ability. That’s why I was supremely confident,” said the Englishman.

‘She will run an international Group race’

Trainer S Padmanabhan was jubilant after winning his first Indian Derby and said he wants to race the champion filly in a Group race abroad. “It could be America but I have to discuss this with the connections,” said the trainer, who had won every other big race in the country except the Indian Derby.

“Things went according to plan. I knew Dasrath will take Pronto Star in front. I had asked both Martin and Allan to decide who wants to go in front. Allan told me he is going, so Martin stayed behind,” added Padmanabhan, who was unlucky to have suffered one of the biggest upsets in recent Indian Derby history when Noble Eagle, the pace-setter for his favourite Zurbaran, had shocked one and all in the 2003 edition. “She is an unbelievably talented and strong filly. I consider myself lucky to have trained one like her.”

Race was over at the top of the homestretch: Sait

Trainer of Pronto Pronto, Imtiaz Sait, was all praise for In The Spotlight after her sensational win. “I think the moment she started lengthening her stride soon after the bend, the race was virtually over,” said the veteran trainer. “It was easy when you have a free runner like In The Spotlight. I think Pronto Pronto ran a good race but In The Spotlight was simply superb,” observed Sait.

Zyen Mirza, the racing manager of Smashing’s owner Vijay Mallya, said jockey Anthony Crastus had no option but to stop pressurizing Smashing once In The Spotlight had opened up a lead. “The way she was travelling, there was no point punishing Smashing. In The Spotlight had won the race half-way in the stretch,” felt Mirza.

Veteran trainer Narendra Lagad said In The Spotlight’s win was the best he had ever seen in the Indian Derby. “She was simply fantastic. She not only beat the opposition with ease, she in fact pulverized them,” said Lagad.

Jain overwhelmed with Derby success

RWITC chairman Vevek Jain said he was overwhelmed to see the response despite the fact that there was a mega block on Western Railway.

“It was an exhilarating day. To get a crowd of 24,000 on such a day was great. The top-class racing, superb entertainment, and the grand horse carriage presentation delighted the crowd,” said Jain.

 

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Posted by on Feb 6 2012. Filed under Sports News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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