Classy Sir Cecil bosses the derby

Classy Sir Cecil bosses the derby

Sir Cecil (P Trevor astride) is led in by owners (from left) Harsimran, Karan Brar and Tegbir Brar after the colt clinched the Kingfisher Ultra Derby at the Bangalore Turf Club on Sunday. (DH PHOTOS/ SRIKANTA SHARMA R)

Sir Cecil lived up to his top billing and produced a classy show to emerge winner in the Kingfisher Ultra Derby Bangalore (Grade I) here at the Bangalore Turf Club.

Despite the all-win record from four starts, Sir Cecil faced the biggest challenge of his career on Sunday. And the possibility of an upset, which is quite often witnessed in the marquee race here, added to the pressure.

But the S Padmanabha ward, guided by ace jockey P Trevor, stayed cool throughout the 2000-metre race to win in a time of 2:03.89. “He has won again and will probably remain unbeaten for a long time to come. He is one of the best horses in recent times. He showed not only class but an exceptional understanding of the race” said a delighted Padmanabhan. 

The Suraj Narredu-ridden Star Superior, who clocked 2:04.36, was expectedly the second best. But the three-year-old colt from the Narredu stable was here to offer a fierce fight to Sir Cecil. However, Star Superior bowed down to the supreme class of Sir Cecil. 

“The race went the way I had imagined. This morning I had a chat with Trevor. I didn’t want to confuse him by discussing too much but I explained certain things, like how he should ride in certain phases. I gave him the full liberty to take control whenever he felt its right during the race,” Padmanabhan offered.

The much-awaited event began with a slight drizzle but Poseidon, piloted by R N Darshan, wasn’t perturbed as the colt took the lead. The V Lokanath-ward, having won a race from the lead in the past, stuck to his regular strategy. Even as Poseidon set the pace, Star Superior followed closely with Sir Cecil keeping third. 

Star Superior had a good run inside the fence and generated more pace to stay neck-and-neck with Poseidon, who seemed to be losing steam. In the final 500 metres, Sir Cecil, having saved enough energy, shifted gears. Looking in superb control, Sir Cecil responded to Trevor brilliantly to take the lead. The three-year-old colt then increased the gap and powered past the finish line to cap off a well-planned race. 

“The first part of the day wasn’t good for me. I lost with Castlebridge, a really good horse, in the BTC Anniversary Cup. But I didn’t let negative thoughts get into my mind. Sir Cecil is a lovely horse with a good temper. The pace was good and we were cruising throughout the race,” said Trevor, who also finished first with Indian Pharaoh, in the Mystical Million over 1600 metres. 

Jockeys Y S Srinath (Chennai Cup Div II and Hyderabad Cup Div I) and Akshay Kumar (Chennai Cup Div I and BTC Anniversary Cup Grade II) also bagged a double. 

The big day of the Summer Meeting witnessed a footfall of around 15,000 and the total turnover for BTC was Rs 7.8 crore.