War Hammer reduces Indian Derby to a horse race

MUMBAI: War Hammer arrived, saw and exceeded all odds against him to convert the biggest race in Indian races: the Indian derby - in a horse race, mocking one of the biggest fields ever seen in this blue event. The winner obtained almost Rs 1.2cr for his efforts.

Trained by Prasanna Kumar and tactically guided in the chair by Suraj Narred , War Hammer looked a certain winner with 200 metres still to go for the winning post. The son of Airport Support (USA)-Soviet Lake also joined the short list of illustrious runners who have won the Indian derby within a week from winning a regional Derby.

While Consigliori dictated the rhythm from the beginning, Suraj placed himself in the third most favorite War Hammer, behind the second wizard of stocks. Juliette ran almost 15 horses behind.

Once Consigliori ran out of strength while heading for the final stretch, Wizard Of Stocks took over, but before he could extend his lead, War Hammer advanced him to leave the rivals fighting for small positions.

Ride tactical

Jockey Suraj, who had won the Bangalore Derby Last Sunday, astride War Hammer, he knew the energy levels of his mount and, therefore, had kept him in third place until the final curve. I didn't want my mount to do too much in the final part of the race and I also wanted to avoid the runners falling at the most important end, said Suraj, who had completed 2000 career victories recently.

I always had confidence

Coach Prasanna was happy that his neighborhood justified the faith he had in him. I was always sure of my horse's ability. The only concern was how he would take the Bangalore-Mumbai trip. Once he took it easy, I knew he would be the one to win in the race and that's why I didn't care about the rivals, said a 49-year-old engineer who became a coach.

Juliette had a lot to do

Indian Oaks winner Juliette, who was expected to fight for loot, got rid of the rapid pace and was unable to maintain a forward position, which meant she had to cover too much ground. The filly, therefore, could only finish a disappointing room.

Sandesh reaches milestone

Meanwhile, A Sandesh, one of the best riders in the country, completed 1000 career victories when he led Flying Visit to victory in the Rusi Patel Trophy (Gr.3).