The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Derby bears an open look

Mumbai: Who will win the McDowell Indian Derby on Sunday' Will it be Star Strider or Classical Act' Mumbaikars, who love singing in chorus about the Derby favourites, however, look a confused lot. Even the likes of Aldeburghs and Spaniard's Inn are talked about at the morning breakfast tables of 'Gallops,' that has recently been shifted closer to the party lawn. Incidentally, there will be no McDowell night bash this year. The annual multi-crore rupee Derby-eve build-up by the sponsors, UB Group, has become a non-starter following an advise by the US state department that the Latino pop star Enrique Iglesias must skip this part of the world in view of security reasons.

Coming back to the Derby and jockey Pesi Shroff sounded fully satisfied with the progress made by Classical Act. The Placerville-Stunning son has been showing glimpses of his Pune-Bangalore summer season form after the patch on his lungs was treated and cured. He was simply brilliant in his Friday morning gallop that stopped the clock at 1 min 17.6 secs (last 600m in 36.7 secs) for six furlong trip.

Dr. MAM is a man of few words but, it has been learnt that the south Indian racing baron is quite convinced about the speed and the staying credentials of the Razeen-Zaya four-year-old.

Everyone aspires to win this premier event, but old hands like Imtiaz Sait, Vinayak, Bezan Chenoy and S. Padmanabhan, all feel it's a very open Derby.

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