He does not have attractive stature. But he has the speed, which made him prominent among the companions. Ashwa Paarth left the field gasping for breath in the Haryana Meadows Stud Cup at the Delhi races on Tuesday. Mrs Vandana Sharma, Sangeet Charan and Deepak Kamble Ashish - owner, trainer and jockey respectively - shared a brace each while the other owner Mrs Anita Chauhan also succeeded in leading in two horses. A Khan was the other professional to join the bandwagon of double shooters.
When the entire world was engaged in organising and holding rallies, conference and other functions over AIDS, The Delhi and Hyderabad Race Club were conducting races on the first day of the last month of 2009. The prevailing conditions at the National capital course was perfect as partly cloudy sky, and hazy climate kept the sun struggling to break through.
Ever since Ashwa Paarth and Ashwa Pushkar (who has yet to make debut) appeared for the trials, they became talk of the turf. With impressive barrier-trials to his credit, he was rated much lower than the expectations - almost money back, in the field of five after the withdrawal of Dancing Beauty on veterinary grounds.
After breaking out the gates, he tried to bolt away, but the visiting jockey Neeraj Rawal did not allow him to do so and instead made him sit behind Odds N Evens.
Hardly the leader crossed halfway down the six-furlong marker, he started breathing down on the latter' neck and 5he win was sure after another 100m. It seemed as if he had a sign board at his quarter as most of the vehicles have - Keep Distance.
"I'm proud of it," was a one-line reaction from Mrs Anita Chauhan after the victory. "It's okay, I'm happy that both (including him) have a winning debut at the turf," Uday Bhan Singh, trainer of Ashwa Paarth, who hails from Mumbai, told me. "I can't say much about it as opponent is always threat and I've seen world’s best horses getting beaten," Uday said.
Odds N Evens should make amends. Energtic Girl, who was running prominently in the early stages, gave her jockey Gurpreet Singh a tough time throughout the race as she was not settled fully and finished running through the stand side for the fourth place behind breaking Mould.
Hardship of Apprentice Jockey Arun Kumar on Ashwa Prabha paid dividends in the day's opening event. In the senior division of the Stadler's Wells Plate, Mrs Anita Chauhan-owned filly was unable to poke through between Fidel Defensor (second) and Te Quiro till the distance post. The runner-up has come to hands.
Sangget Charan-trained Sarir, who ran second in his previous outing, turned out to be an easy winner in the lower division of the Stadler's Wells Plate. However, he could have been deprived of the top prize if Amity had not been allowed to let the gap widened after slow beginning and only making a late surge when the race was towards the finishing line. DK Ashish, who guided Sarir, turned out to be successful on Beach rain in the santa Roseanna Plate. Power House and stunning View, who finished second and third respectively, would be able to taste victory soon.
Alim Khan-saddled Ascot Hunter landed spoilsports at nourishing odds in the Digamist Plate.
Syed Agsar Shah, who rode the maiden colt, never allowed him to settle. Instead he kept on improving and that bore fruits at the top of the home stretch of the seven furlongs competitions. Later, Khan-trained Real Queen followed the suit causing upset in the sadler Plate. Ashwa Panama, who needed strong handling, could only occupy the second position by displacing Ouef Toba in the strides. Ouef Toba, who was eased down before crossing the winning post, did manage to keep the fast finishing Exotic Star, who once again failed to live up to expectations.