Astapi: I have one victory to show from 7 starts and that was over a sprint. My master believes I can go over a trip and I am eager to prove him right. I finished a close third in a mile race and that has encouraged me to try even harder. I hope I can take on the big league players.
The headline I would like to see are just two words – Astapi Shocks!
Cardinal: I impressed many when I started successfully winning two million races back to back which included the prestigious SA Poonawalla Million. Then I was taken aback when Hills And Stars produced that super effort to beat me in the Pune Derby. I am a lot more mature now and stronger too. I had to improve on my Guineas result and I fought hard to win the RR Ruia. I have had two hard races this season, but I am not complaining. I feel good and will fight the issue out in the Derby as well, and that’s the ‘Cardinal’ truth!
The Headline I’d like to see – Holy Heavens – Cardinal Truth Prevails
Field Marshal: I had a wonderful streak of victories coming to Mumbai. I have won big races and have the temperament required for big occasions. I have learnt from my loss in the Ruia Cup and the experience will help me comeback wiser. I know I have the quality, now I need to take that belief on to the turf. I will be better prepared this time. I will try to lead and Marshal the Field.
The headline I’d like to see - Field Marshal Leads from the Front – All The Way
Knighton: I am yet to ignite the turf and what better stage to do so than the McDowell Indian Derby! I have not lived up to the early expectations of my master but I have been working hard to surprise him and many others. I have only one race to show until now, but who knows, over the extended trip I may come alive with a spirited run. I know I don’t sound too convincing, but you can count on me to give off my best. That I shall ensure!
The headline I’d like to see – Brave Knight ‘on’ horse – Conquers Derby
Marauder: I have in my career picked up races and I know what it is to win. On the day, all past records are on paper. What you do on the course is what matters. It is my attitude not to get over awed and I am prepared to rough it out on the turf. If you don’t believe me, check out my name. Don’t write me off yet.
Headline I’d like to see – Marauder Runs Amok – Collars Opposition!
Picasso: I love the Mumbai track and here is where I have recorded three of my four victories. My only outing this season was the Indian 2000 Guineas where Pronto Pronto got me in the last couple of strides. I still regret missing the kick in the Pune Derby. But that now is a thing of the past. All that is not important once I get into the gates for the Derby. I want to paint a different picture!
Headline I’d Like to see – Picasso paints a masterpiece on Turf Canvas
Pronto Pronto: I have never seized to surprise and each time I run, I toppled someone who was more fancied. I like it that way, who wants to feel any pressure? My intent has always been to put my heart into the assignment allotted to me so far I have been able to accomplish. I have had a good mock race where I got the measure of Picasso, but that was just a mock race. I know I have a fight on my hands yet again, I shall bide my time and be patient for the first half, but in the homestretch, I am going to gallop – Pronto Pronto!
The headline I’d like to see – Patient Pronto Pronto Performs to Perfection!
Pronto Star: I have spent hours reading about Noble Eagle and to say the least, I am greatly inspired. Noble Eagle scripted his own story that I am going to try to emulate. I am in a similar position and such surprises are once in a decade they say. If I am right, it’s been over ten years since Noble Eagle’s success do you also believe the time has come for another shocker to occur? I don’t know why but I am feeling a twitch on my right eye-brow. I have decided to put my right fore forward and not look back.
The headline I’d like to see - Pronto Star Takes off - Does a Noble Eagle!
Ranthambhore: I am on a new high after my latest victory over a mile. I was a bit tardy to set off, but as the field progressed, I covered good ground and my final acceleration did not go un-noticed. I galloped on effortless and realized later that I had left the others far behind. That was not too difficult; I am hoping I gather better momentum for the Derby. I know there are a few big names in the line-up, however, Ranthambhore is known for producing lion-hearted performances!
The headline I’d like to see – Lion Heart From Ranthambhore Roars at Mahalaxmi
Star Marquess: A lot more people have heard of me since my run in the Ruia. That was a good thing to happen, would have felt a lot better had the winning post at your Mumbai track not been a meter too far. I shall time my finish a lot better this time, as I have ‘marked’ the turf from where to fire on all cylinders. I know this one race can catapult to Star Status.
The headline I’d like to see – ‘Star-Marks-his’ Run to Perfection!
Hills And Stars: I want to soar high and twinkle. Give me distance and I shall cover any. The Guineas trip was so miserly and gosh were they roughing it up towards the end! So un-lady like finish that was urrrgh! What a difference from the Pune Derby! Well, actually, Derby is what I feel I am suited for. I am fresh and a lot more relaxed. All set to rise beyond the Hills to the Stars. Psst... I love the rich word, as in – Rich stakes on offer, my err... rich price tag, and I just learnt Richard is going to partner me. Inspires me to give provide rich memories once I am done.
The headline I’d like to see – Hills And Stars Reaps Rich Rewards.
In the Spotlight: I am peaking at the right time. My progress has been gradual and I am steadily making it a habit to pick up big races. I had a wonderful run at Calcutta the crowning moment was when I left Dandified far behind in the Derby there. I travelled comfortably to Mumbai and I am feeling confident too. Now, you see these days, I am rather getting used to being (Ahem) In The Spotlight.
The headline I’d like to see – In The Spotlight Sparkles in the Spotlight.
Smashing: I love to run and you saw how keen I was on my debut and the following two races that I won. I thoroughly enjoyed that and I was impressive, wasn’t I? I did come under some criticism for my plain victory over Esmeraldo, but then I don’t blame anyone as they expected me to dazzle again after my fashionable victories in Pune. I subsequently had an off-day at work while attempting the 1000 Guineas. I felt a bit off colour before the Guineas and I reckon that’s why I could not produce my best. Soon after, I started to feel the zing again which I showed in my prep workouts. In the Oaks, I bounced back and how! I am feeling on a high now and I shall carry that into the Derby. I want to make this a Smashing Derby!
Headline I’d like to see – McDowell Indian Derby - A Smashing Success!