BENGALURU: The Republic Day holds a great significance for people associated with horse racing in India. The blue riband of the Bangalore Winter Derby — Kingfisher Ultra Derby Bangalore — is held on the day and the excitement at the Bangalore Turf Club is quite palpable. The 1.39 crore derby is expected to be an exciting affair with Zuccareli being the overwhelming favourite this time around. Meanwhile, Eternal Blaze and Angelico are other serious contenders in the fray for the big-ticket race today. The winner will take home Rs 83 lakh.
However, it could be a tricky affair for Zuccareli as it will be his first race at the venue. With Zuccareli piloted by one of the experienced jockeys around P Trevor and trained by Pedi Shroff, one can expect a positive outcome. It has to be said that Zuccareli has always looked sharp with good speed and power in his races and one does not see that changing on the big day.
“Zuccareli arrived from Mumbai to Bengaluru about three weeks ago. He has acclimatised well. However, he has never run here so that is going to be a disadvantage because the track has got uphill and downhill. He is not familiar with it. Those are the disadvantages of him running for the first time. But, Trevor is an experienced rider so it is a good thing,” said Shroff.
The four-year-old colt comes into this race with confidence after managing to win the Pune Derby late November in record time. The same can be said about the Eternal Blaze from the stables of S Ganapathy, with the horse having won Bangalore 1000 Guineas to make matters quite interesting. Suleiman Attaollahi trained Angelico, to be partnered by Akshay Kumar, who won South India 2000 Guineas in Chennai, is one of the underdogs in the seven horse field and is likely to add pep to the finish.
With two horses — Kensington Court and Setareh — having withdrawn, All Attractive, Etosha, Silverius and Revolution are the other four-year-colts in the main event. The field is relatively small with some of the horses preparing to compete in the Chennai derby and Hyderabad derby, which is scheduled in the next few days.