Champion Mares from Kunigal Stud Farm  
   
Amazing Grace Proves Way Beyond The Best in India
- Mahendra Mallya

 

Mr Zeyn Mirza leading Amazing Grace (Trevor Patel Up), winner of The Signature Indian St. Leger (Gr.1) at Pune 2014

 
Dr Vijay Mallya’s Amazing Grace (Hurricane Run - Efrhina ), bred at the Kunigal Stud Farm, displayed awesome talent and won universal admiration for her stupendous victory in the Signature Indian St Leger (Gr1). The race touted as a close fight between the champion gelding Alaindair and the classy filly Amazing Grace and most believed it would be a needle sharp contest. However, that was not to be as Amazing Grace made it a literal no-contest, leaving Alaindair far behind just when the crowd shifted to the edge of the seats to catch some engaging action. There was none. Yet there was no feeling of being let down or any disappointment of the anticipation of an electric finish vanishing at just the time when races of this nature turn to a boiling point. On the contrary the strong crowd rooted for the graceful gait and cheered the new queen of the turf giving her a standing ovation as she trotted back for the photo-ops.

The race was a tricky one and as they jumped out the apprehension of the jockeys was obvious. Alaindair found himself in front with Starry Eyes being yanked hard not to take off. Amazing Grace settled sooner than the rest and had Montreal behind her. They went about the routine march past the stands in that order literally at a crawl over the first three-to-four furlongs.

Starry Eyes played out her trick past the 2000 m mark and went scooting ahead opening up a huge lead of close to twenty lengths. Alaindair didn’t seem too perturbed and jockey YS Srinath let Starry Eyes enjoy her moment in the sun. What was striking here was that Amazing Grace was another ten to twelve lengths behind Alaindair as they galloped well past the half way mark. Those who had wagered on the filly at on-money may have had some really anxious moments. After all, she was taking on the reigning champion on Indian turf! Such a huge leeway would get anyone jumpy. However, Trevor knew what he had under him.

Starry Eyes was panting for breath as early as a furlong from the final turn. Alaindair was catching up briskly and Trevor too must have whispered “now baby” in Amazing Grace’s ears. Alaindair had barely taken over and turned for home when Amazing Grace unleashed a scintillating turn of foot. Alaindair was instantly floored as Amazing Grace picked up scorching speed and left the great Alaindair shell-shocked! Trevor was not even stepping hard on the pedal, he didn’t have to, Amazing Grace was cruising and was leaping forward ever so fluently. She had left Alaindair behind by a good seven lengths! Such a comprehensive victory over the top horse in the country was unimaginable. Amazing Grace had raised her game to a different level and now crowned herself as the undisputed empress on the Indian racing circuit.

“We were bullish on Amazing Grace,” revealed Zeyn Mirza, Managing Director of the United Racing & Bloodstock Breeders Ltd. Her sweeping victories in Bangalore are testimony to her amazing prowess. I am delighted with her victory and the manner in which she won. She has the potential to do well overseas as well and Dr Vijay Mallya will take a call on whether to assign her the next Invitation Cup or to race her in the international arena,” he added.

Asked on the late start to her career, Mr Mirza explained, “She had injured herself as a two-year-old and that delayed her start. I must say Pesi Shroff has done a marvellous job with Amazing Grace. She had barely recovered from her injury when she hurt herself again. He was patient with her and brought her out late in Mumbai and she won her debut race over a mile-and-quarter. The Indian Classics, I will admit came in too early for her, but after the two Indian Classics (Oaks & Derby) she has won everything she was assigned to run.”. When asked to compare her with the likes of Set Alight, Mr Mirza said, “It wouldn’t be fair to compare her with any of the greats from the past, but I would say she is right up there on her current form,” concluded Mr Mirza.