War Hammer and Juliette are the best among many contestants with a chance

MUMBAI: The day of life has arrived for the 20 best thoroughbreds in the country. Everyone has the same dream: to win the biggest prize in Indian races: the Indian derby .

Ready to run at 5.30 pm Sunday in the picturesque Mahalaxmi Racecourse , most of the contestants may be restless because of the roaring crowd that attends the day as an annual pilgrimage.

Many of the 20 runners in the fray can win a surprising victory given the fact that seven of them have won regional derbies in various centers across the country. Three of them, however, distinguish themselves from the crowd: War Hammer, Juliette and Trouvaille.

The undefeated Bangalore challenger, War Hammer, has annihilated all the oppositions that have crossed his path in seven career starts so far. Interestingly, seven of his 19 rivals in today's race have been his victims in different races. Although his coach Prasanna Kumar states that the colt is ready to go to the most wanted crown, the most important factor that could go against him is his attempt to gain more than 2400 meters again in a space of only seven days. Add to that your long trip from Bangalore to Mumbai and things could get complicated. However, with Suraj Narredu , one of the best riders, to guide his fortune, War Hammer remains one of the clear favorites to win.

The local queen, educated in Karthik Ganapathy, Juliette, who had beaten her rivals in Indian Oaks fifteen days ago, is a clear and present danger to all. Among other serious contenders, we have Pune Derby and the winner of the 2000 Indies Guineas Trouvaille, the king of Calcutta Trafalgar, the local star Victorious Sermon and, last but not least, Pesi Shroff The two contestants: Wizard Of Stocks and Armaity.

All of them are able to alter Juliette and War Hammer's apple cart. Fingers crossed!

There are eight races on Sunday and the first one will start at 2.30 pm, while the last two races will be held under lights.

Attractive group of combined jackpot

The Royal Wesern India Turf Club will add an advanced amount of Rs 20 lakhs to the Combined Jackpot Pool which in turn will substantially increase the collections.