In The Spotlight (David Allan up), winner of The McDowell Signature Premier Indian St.Leger Gr.-1
‘Clean as a whistle’ would be an ideal phrase to describe another impressive conquest for the darling of the crowds In The Spotlight. Although the small field was further brought down to three runners after Bling reared up and fell at the gates to effect a last minute withdrawal, the large crowd that had gathered to catch a glimpse of the empress of the turf – In The Spotlight, was treated to some exceptional show of speed, strength and stamina.
Jockey David Allan had probably scored the easiest victory of his career in a Classic. He was relaxed and so was his filly. There was a moment of uncertainty for David Allan soon after the 1800 meter mark, when leader Swift Memories veered out suddenly and In The Spotlight got past the erratic runner. However, Swift Memories was quick to regain composure and the gait towards the finish resumed without consequence. Astapi was a watchful third of the three.
In The Spotlight decided to put an end to the cat-and-mouse show and darted into the lead approaching the 800 and that was the end of it. Astapi hurried his move to stay as close to In The Spotlight as possible and was propelled to go after the multi-Classic winner. There was to be no contest here as In The Spotlight moved with a smooth action devouring enormous ground with each majestic stride and blurring out of Astapi’s vision. She recorded another fantastic vitory amassing a massive lead of seven-and-half lengths at the winning post.
In The Spotlight returned to a standing ovation. Admiring patrons showered flowers on David Allan and In The Spotlight was they walked the aisle back into the winner’s enclosure, cheering them all the way.
In The Spotlight picked up her 11th group race her second Indian Classic after the McDowell Signature Preier Indian Derby (Gr 1). She has to her credit the Mysore 1000 Guineas, the Deccan Derby at Hyderabad, In Calcutta she made a clean sweep of the 1000 Guineas, the Oaks and the Derby. After her conquest over the Indian Derby she won the Invitation Cup at the St Leger at Bangalore, and enroute to Pune she stopped by to pocket the President of India Gold Cup at Hyderabad. The amazing run of such incredible Classic success makes her the undisputed living legend - one among the best ever to grace the Indian Turf.
“I have no words to express the immense pleasure In The Spotlight has given me as an owner,” said Captain Jamshed Appoo. “I am blessed to own a champion like her and I can’t thank the Almighty enough for bestowing upon me such grace that is rare and precious. I thank all involved in the upkeep of the filly from the stable hands to trainer Padmanabhan, his wife Sharmila for their tremendous support and contribution,” said an emotional Capt Appoo.
She is undoubtedly the best filly I have trained in my career. She trains herself and I am getting overdue credit for this wonderful filly. She is one among the best in Indian racing,” said trainer Padmanabhan. Each time I assign her a target, she returns surprising me even more. She is versatile and can settle anywhere. She switches on and off at will and she is a rider’s pleasure. On the track, she is aggressive and that’s what makes her what she is,” he added.
David Allan said “In The Spotlight is a delight to ride and she once again proved how superior she is. She is a class act and absolutely focused. She has a smooth action and is big striding filly. I am confident that she will do well in Group races overseas as well.”
Mr Vivek Jain, Chairman, RWITC then facilitated Capt Appoo, trainer Padmanbhan and the Poonawalla Stud Farm and presented them with mementos as a token of appreciation for In The Spotlight’s tremendous achievements on the turf.