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Castlebridge should enhance derby stature - By Vivek Jain I TOI

Posted on - 16 Dec 2017

Castlebridge should enhance derby stature
By Vivek Jain
CLOSE on the heels of the fillies’ classic, comes the Indian 2000 Guineas, that could be rated amongst the top ten races in the country.
The RWITC’s brave gamble of having three racing days from Thursday to Sunday, seems to have paid off, with 26 well filled races hopefully whetting the appetite of those who can’t even miss one weekend of racing. And the interim order by the high court in Karnataka that should finally see resumption of racing in Bangalore, hopefully are the first signs of better times for the sport.
The colts’ classic has an apparently outstanding runner in Castlebridge, who started his career in Kolkata, before picking up classics in Bangalore and Mysore. He has moved to Mumbai, as he prepares to cement his stature at the top of the pyramid for The Indian Derby. He is the pride of his owner Dr Vijay Mallya, who is singularly responsible for the rise of the Indian Derby to the place it enjoys as a sporting spectacle, and who has done more for Indian racing than perhaps any other person in the last few decades.
The son of Burden of Proof, has won 7 of his 10 starts, and was particularly impressive while winning his lead up in the Morvi, in a common canter. His easy style and conformation has all the attributes of a champion, and it would be a major upset to see him get beaten.
The Rs. 51lakh overall purse is most disappointing, as the high for the race was over Rs. 80 lakhs a few years ago. The financial constraints at the club have prevented a prize money boost, and the sponsorship by the current chairman of the RWITC and his partners has been a saving grace. In absence of a corporate sponsor, it is to their credit that they have named the race after their brilliant filly Jacqueline, who was one of only a handful to do the rare 1000-2000 double.

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