Unpicking The Results of The Indian St Leger: The Indian St Leger ran last Sunday and as always, it was an exciting race from start to finish. One of the most hotly anticipated races in India, this mammoth race is the longest of the Indian Classics, requiring horses to gallop for more than 2800 meters.
There was a lot of talk beforehand about whether any horse would be able to challenge the great Zuccarelli and it turned out that the bookmakers were right. This brave colt powered across the finish line to take home the title for connections. Here we’ll unpack a little history of the race, as well as take a closer look at exactly how the running took place in this initiation.
What Is The Indian St. Leger
The Indian St. Leger is the longest of the five Indian Classic races. It is run over a distance of 2800 meters and is a true test of a horse’s speed and endurance. It is a Group 1 race, meaning that the horses that compete in it are some of the best in the country. Of the Indian Classics, it is the last of the season to run, taking place in late September each year. As well as this, it also forms the third and final leg of the Indian Triple Crown, with the first two legs being the 2000 Guineas and the Derby. It is run at Pune each year and draws enormous crowds.
Notable Horses and Trainers
The first horse to have ever won the race was Thunder Storm, interestingly a gelding, which would not be permitted under today’s rules. He won in 1970 and went on to have a successful long-distance flat career.
There have been many trainers who focus their efforts on the Indian St Leger but only one who has ever managed a hat trick. R. Byramji trained the winners of the race from 1975 until 1977, they were, in chronological order, Sweet Memories, Commanche, and Squanderer. It was the first of these winners, Sweet Memories in 1975, who still holds the title of the longest winning margin.
The shortest winning margin of a short head has been repeated several times over the history of the race, but the most nail-biting was certainly in 1986 when Amorous Knight beat Silver Haven and Solitary Splendour both by a short head.
Only nine horses in total have ever succeeded at winning the Triple Crown, the first being Commoner all the way back in 1954 and the most recent Smart Chieftan in 2000. It’s been 22 long years since a Triple Crown win and it would be such an exciting prospect to see a horse achieve it next season.
This Year’s Race
Going into this year’s race the Pesi Shroff-trained Zuccarelli was the favorite to win. Bookmakers had got Zuccarelli as short as odds on when it was time for the horses to enter the starting gates and judging by his dominating performance, they were right to do so. Although the race for the Triple Crown is over, the Indian St Leger is far from the last exciting race on the calendar. There are plenty of much-talked-about horse races coming up and SBO has information on all of them. Not only can you look at tips for the likely winners, but you can also look up sites that are offering bonuses for new sign-ups. All of the sites that SBO recommends are fully reviewed to make sure that they live up to the standards that you’d expect from a trustworthy online bookmaker.
Zuccarelli left the gates on a slightly grey day, though nothing compared to what the district has been experiencing lately, in the classic colours of the Pesi Shroff yard with P Trevor up top. The dark horse has an unusually low head carriage which makes him easy to spot in the early stages of the race. P Trevor kept his mount towards the rear of the pack for the early stages of the race, allowing the other horse to vie for the top position early on.
He only put his foot on the accelerator in the final stages of the race as they rounded the corner into the home straight. It was then that Zuccarelli really showed his class as he discovered a whole new gear, leaving the once promising Western Aristocrat and Circle of Bliss quite literally in the dust. This marked the milestone of 200 graded race wins for trainer Pesi Shroff, just another feather in the cap of a successful day.