Allan thwarts local heroine as he strikes
Report: India, Sunday
DAVID ALLAN claimed India’s premier Classic on Sunday when partnering Desert God to a half-length success over local favourite Myrtlewood in the R35,544,600 (£360,000/€470,000) Kingfisher Ultra Indian Derby.
Myrtlewood was strongly fancied to add the 1m4f Indian Derby to her wins in the Indian 1,000 Guineas and Oaks, the burst of speed she showed to win those races having earned her the nickname The Bullet Train.
However, Desert God came into the contest at Mahalaxmi racecourse in Mumbai with wins in the Calcutta Guineas and Derby, and Allan, who has been aboard for all three Classics, believed his mount had been unfairly overlooked.
Allan said: “I don’t think he should have been the price he was. He was around 10-1 and I think he should have been joint-favourite with the filly. He won his races in Calcutta though, so he’s not a local horse, who they rate a bit higher. He’s got plenty of ability.”
Among Allan’s rivals in the Indian Derby were horses ridden by James Doyle, Jim Crowley, Colm O’Donoghue, Kevin Manning and Pat Smullen, which presented a different tactical scenario for Allan to overcome.
He said: “My horse travelled extremely well in midfield and I was a bit tight for room and looked like I may be boxed in two and a half furlongs out. Luckily a gap appeared on the rail and he quickened up really well – and he stays the distance well, which makes a difference.
“It was good to see a few people I know riding and have a chat with them, but, on the flip side, they’re a bit clever in the races. In fact, Colm rode a very good race and was the one keeping me trapped in until the gap appeared.”
Crowley, who was third, O’Donoghue (fourth) and Smullen (fifth) earned some prize-money, while Doyle was seventh and Manning last of the 20 runners.