Three top contenders in the fray for Indian Derby

The 2021 Indian Derby will be the 79th running of the prestigious event on the Indian racing calendar and the sixth consecutive year Kingfisher Ultra will be associated with the RWITC. However, this year it will be a closed-door affair, with only a limited number of people allowed at the Mahalaxmi racecourse.

Seventeen races have been framed for the Derby weekend (March 27 and 28) with the total prize money for Indian Derby being ₹ 1.52 crore and the winner’s purse worth ₹91.5 lakh.

According to the present form and record among the 13 contestants vying for premier honours, the three contenders to watch out are Lagarde, Immortality and Forest Flame.

Bengaluru-based trainer Suleiman Attaollahi, who has not yet tasted the success of winning this blue riband event, has two prime contenders in Lagarde and Forest Flame.

Top colt Lagarde stands tall with five wins out of six races in his career, including the Bangalore Derby & 2000 Guineas, Indian 2000 Guineas, and the Ruia Cup over 2000m here.

Attaollahi’s queen filly Forest Flame, who has won 5 out of her 7 starts, was beaten by stablemate Lagarde in the Bangalore Derby and was pipped at the post by Immortality in the Indian Oaks. She maintains her form, and having gone over the 2,400m trip twice, is capable of avenging the above defeats.

Trainer Pesi Shroff’s champion filly Immortality, who ran last in her debut as a two-year-old, has shown a vast improvement this year by winning a Class 4 race over a mile, the Golconda Oaks, and the Indian Oaks over 2,400m. She is in great heart as evidenced by her track performances and may add another feather to her hat.

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Printable version | May 16, 2022 3:08:04 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/races/three-top-contenders-in-the-fray-for-indian-derby/article34161706.ece