Accuserís Derby victory, last Wednesday, may have surprised most but not trainer Bharath Singh who, in the past, had viewed the Twist And Turn-Arisen colt as classic material. The chestnut had wrapped up his winter season on a high and was rated among the top 10 youngsters of the season.
However, very little was heard of the champion colt during the monsoon season. Accuserís victory also brought Bharath closer to his trainerís championship target and by the end of the day the crafty trainer had already joined Daniel David and Errol Bhungard at the top of table with 15 winners apiece.
Although Accuserís owner, Deepak Khaitan was seen giving final instructions to the three jockeys sporting his colours in the Derby field, it was the stableís strategy that worked.
Jockey Shanker partnering the winner, was to stay right behind stable-mate, Modesto, and to takes off from the half-way stage. The plan was to benefit the stable-fancy, the 6-10 favourite Aretino who, perhaps, needed a hot pace.
However, with Danielís Imperial Pearl calling the shots from the start of the 2,000m race, Shanker did stay behind Modesto but in third slot.
It was near the 600m marker that Accuser had no choice but to lead the charge and Shanker wasted no time building up a useful lead, in excess of three lengths. In fact, he looked a winner 200m from home as Accuser had increased his lead to four lengths, with Aretino yet to get going, though the No Louder-Lady Cox son had improved to second after toiling with the backbenchers.
Although coming with an impressive run in the last furlong of the race, Aretino missed the bus by a good length and a quarter to hand the coveted trophy to the deserving winner.
Strategies play a vital role in races. And in as big an event as a Derby, poor race planning has seen downfall of may champions. Cristopher Alford perhaps under-assessed the opposition, Accuser in particular, thus prompting the stewards take a dim view of his riding of the favourite. He was stood down for four race meets for riding an ill-judged race.
Richie Rich, the second favourite in the Derby, was, on the other hand, never a threat to the gold-and-red-belt brigade of Deepak Khaitan, though the Batzushka-Grand Start son could not help taking the home-turn wide with a crowd up-front when Accuser made his move.
Bharath opened his account in the first race when apprentice Malcom Maseyk guided his Frontier Flame to victory, albeit, in a close contest. Bha-rath packed up after the fluent victory of Aiberni in the Star Of Italy Cup.