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"I will definitely go all out, to try to be the leading trainer this Season"

By Bob Sawhny | 12 Aug 2003 | PUNE

Romantic Hero (C Rajendra up) being led in by trainer Imtiaz Sait and Owner of Premiere League Racing Syndicate

Western India's 51-year old veteran trainer Imtiaz Sait redeemed his formidable reputation by clinching three victories during the last weekend's racing (August 9-10) at Pune with - Ippodamia who was an authoritative winner of The 1600 Metres Chief Of Kagal Trophy, Premier Classe who was a runaway start-to-finish winner of The 1000 Metres Edgar DeSylva Trophy and Romantic Hero who trounced the opposition in The 1200 metres Fortune Hunter Plate. 
Imtiaz Sait who stands a very good chance of being the leading trainer for The Pune Season 2003 has earlier been the champion six times in Pune (1986, 1991, 1994, 1995, 1996 & 2001). The prolific trainer has also been the champion in Mumbai nine times (79-80, 84-85, 86-87, 87-88, 90-91, 91-92, 95-96, 2001-2002 and 2002-2003).
Sait has saddled around 1300 winners in his career which started in the 1975-76 Mumbai Season, when he was an assistant to trainer Aziz Mahmoud. His first classic victory was with Carnival who won The Mysore Derby in 1980. Thereafter, he has saddled 17 Indian Classic winners and won The Indian Turf Invitation Cup thrice - Charon (1984), Exhilaration(1989) and Super Brave (1994). In addition, Sait, has accomplished the unique honour of winning well over a 100 Graded races and has won every Group race in Mumbai and Pune on several occasions with a tally of over 500 Trophy Events.
Excerpts of an exclusive interview with trainer Imtiaz Sait after his three wins last weekend (August 9-10) at Pune
What's Ippodamia's next target and how do you rate her ?
Ippodamia ia a late - maturing filly who is presently in great heart. She is likely to run in The 1600 Metres Southern Command Gold Cup on September 14. I rate her as a very good filly who should win in Class One and I must add that I personally feel that she will be a very strong force to reckon with in the prestigious Southern Command Gold Cup.
Why did Premier Classe run after such a long gap. How do you rate her and when does she run next ?
After winning twice as a juvenile in Mumbai, I took Premier Classe to Bangalore last year, where she developed a lung infection and a ligament problem. She has now overcome her ailments and I rate her as a very classy sprinter. I expect to win with her again over a sprint, in the early part of September in Pune.
Why did Romantic Hero who trounced Class IV opposition run after a long gap ? How do you rate him and what's his optimum trip and itinerary ?
Romantic Hero was too soft as a 3-year old and I personally feel that he gives off his best on the Pune course which he relishes. His optimum trip should be between a seven and a mile and I expect to win with him in Class III, early next month. Barring unforeseen circumstances, Romantic Hero should take on Class two opposition in Mumbai.
Could you name a couple of your good 3-year olds ? 
Snow Fire (Razeen -London Cries) a late maturing and very well-bred filly, who won her maiden race in Bangalore in the end of June, should mature into a top class miler. However, I rate Self Appointed, a filly by Placerville out of Queen Ann, to have classic potential and think that she will mature into a very good stayer.
Do you have any runner for The Pune Derby or The RWITC Invitational Trophy ?
It's too early to say, as far as the Pune Derby is concerned. But for The Invitational Trophy I do have Big Blaze, Name Of Love and the vastly improved Ippodamia. 
How do you rate Secret Romeo who won thrice last Mumbai Season ?
At present, up to a seven, he appears to be the best 3-yearold in Western India.
What's your rating of Rapidash ?
She is a filly with a definite classic touch and I predict that she will be a frontline contender for The Indian 1000 Guineas.
Your chances of being the Champion Trainer for the ongoing Pune Season 2003 ?

I will definitely go all out, to try to be the leading trainer this Season.