Zuccarelli puts on a stunning show in the Republic Day Derby

Zuccarelli was the overwhelming favorite of most coaches and bookmakers. Although they believed their respective horses had a chance in a depleted field, they were candid enough to admit it would take a magical performance to defeat Zuccarelli.

On a balmy Republic Day at the Bangalore Turf Club, Zuccarelli delivered a performance worthy of a favorite. Running a perfectly judged race and showing immense lung capacity towards the final stages, Zuccarelli, ridden exceptionally well by P Trevor, galloped to a landslide victory in the Kingfisher Ultra Derby Bangalore, a Grade I race over 2,400 meters here on Wednesday.

Trainer Pesi Shroff chose his second Revolution horse, PP Dhebe astride, to set the tone from the start of the race. Shroff had admitted before the Blue Ribbon race that his main competitor was Zuccarelli and that Revolution was a long way from success. He was probably considering using Revolution as a tag team partner for Zuccarelli.

Revolution did their part by rushing first and setting a decent pace for the race. Angelico, one of three classic winners in the seven-horse field, was second and Etosha was third. The trio crossed the start-finish line for the first time in the same order while Zuccarelli remained comfortable behind, looking in a very good pace.

Revolution continued to set the pace around the first corner and emerged from the long curve on pole position, with Angelico (Akshay Kumar astride) and Etosha (A Sandesh up) coming in second and third. The pattern continued down the straight before things started to change at the start of the final corner.

YS Srinath decided to roll his dice first and put Silvarius in the lead while Angelico sneaked into second place with Angelico third. They rode around the final curve in the same position as the ice-cold Trevor simply brought Zuccarelli out on the outside, giving his four-year-old gelding a clear field and a good position to make the final push as the horses emerged in the home stretch. .

Trevor looked to his right, then looked up and decided it was time to hit the gas and Zuccarelli responded in a polished manner. Within seconds or so, Zuccarelli passed his rivals and pulled a massive gap, now battling between second, third and fourth position.

The commentator aptly remarked that “Zuccarelli turns this into a one-horse race”. Indeed, it was then that Trevor, with about 50 yards to go, looked back to see where his rivals were. They were way behind and he took his hand off the whip to cool Zuccarelli. Zuccarelli however was in nitro mode and he crossed the finish line in 2:31.24, beating All Attractive (Suraj Narredu up) by 15-1/4 lengths and collecting a prize money of Rs 82,77,391.

“Zuccarelli did really well,” said a delighted Shroff at the presentation ceremony. “Trevor set him up beautifully and got him into a good rhythm and was on the bridle the whole time. It served him really well in the end. Having won this derby, now we’re going to test him for the Indian derby.

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