Tororosso makes a big statement

Neeraj-piloted colt scores maiden victory as big favourite Captain Morgan ends third

Tororosso makes a big statement
Tororosso was a maiden coming into the B N Gudiyappa Bangalore Derby. But the colt, who had shown steady improvement in a short career, arrived on the big stage in spectacular fashion, emerging champion in the feature event of the Winter meeting here at the Bangalore Turf Club on Thursday.

Piloted by Neeraj Rawal, Tororosso, who looked composed throughout the race, kept his best for the last. With the final 400 metres to go, the four-year-old surged ahead of his fancied opponents Battalion and Captain Morgan and built a huge lead to pull off a massive upset.

His seven and three quarters of a length victory showed the extent of his pace in the final phase of the race. Tororosso clocked 2:31.69 in the 2400M contest to fetch a prize money of Rs 85.58 lakh for his owners.

In a close contest for the second spot, Battalion (2:32.96) pipped favourite Captain Morgan (2:33.07) by three quarters of a length.

Prior to this memorable show, Tororosso’s best effort was a third place finish in the Bangalore 2000 Guineas last month. The Ghatala-ward had a good preparation for the Derby, defeating Battalion to clinch a 2000-metre mock race here at the Club.

“The fact that he had given me rough times ahead of the Derby makes the win more special. In the last Summer Derby he reared while saddling, injuring my head and I was bleeding badly. To see a maiden horse win a Derby so comprehensivley is a great effort. He had improved a lot and had trained well. All we had to do was to make sure he doesn’t meet with an injury. Today he kept up a good pace and looked very relaxed,” said a delighted Ghatala.   
Under overcast conditions, the race began with Amber Crown leading the pack for the first 800 metres. However, at the half-way stage, Battalion, guided by Suraj Narredu, upped the pace to go ahead. Even as Battalion continued to remain in front, the Trevor Patel-guided Captain Morgan nosed past his opponents to be in second spot.

As the contest neared the final 600 metres, all eyes were on the intense battle between Battalion and Captain Morgan. However, Tororosso, who stayed fourth for most part of the race, shifted gears to get past Battalion and Captain Morgan. Showing great firepower and stamina, Tororosso built a huge gap in the front and posted a superb come-from-behind victory.

“As the race neared the end, I realised we had a bright chance to win it. He picked up well and we never looked back,” said Rawal, who won his first ever Derby.

On a day when more than 16,000 fans thronged the BTC, Trevor, apart from finishing third in the Derby, won two races -- The MEG Cup (Div I) over 1400 metres and the Indian Republic Trophy over 1800 metres.

In the Bangalore Race Course 154th Year Commemoration Trophy, Arshad Alam guided Mickey Mouse to victory. Auriga, piloted by Suraj Narredu finished second while Bold Command (YS Srinath up) settled for the third spot.
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