LAHORE: Though the country’s most prestigious activity of equine sport, the Pakistan Derby, is around one and a half month away, preparation, endurance training and selection for finals trials are already afoot at the Lahore Race Club.
In the lead-up to the preparation for the classic races, the 20th day winter meeting 2020-21 of the club on Sunday (today) has a term race of four-year-old ponies and fillies. The day will have two cup races with one of them being that for assessment of the four-year-old horses which will potentially be in the trials for derby and 1000 Guineas races.
The Pakistan Derby is to be held on March 7 in which the finest of all ponies and fillies of the age of four years will hang in there for the glorious cup, trials of which will take place on February 14. But before the Derby and its trials, the classic races of Lahore Race Club will be the 1000 Guineas of Pakistan 2021, which will be held on January 31.
In Winter Cup, win is expected from Manthaar and in Ravi Cup high class performance is believed coming from Churchill.
The first fair plate race will start around 12 noon. From among a dozen participants, favourite for the top slot is Neeli The Great and for places Bright Gold and Ayubia Princess. The remaining entries are of Zaman Sahib, Chan Punjabi, Golden Pound, Tell Me, After Hero, Azm-e-Nau, Zil Prince, Anmole One and Take Care.
In the second race of 14 participants, favourite is Shaniya Princess. The places may be taken by Merchant of Venus and Shining Armour. The lineup also has Again Aye, Meray Pass Tum Hu, Master Prince, Golden Arrow, Easy Go, German Boy, Black Storm, Mani Love, Sky Dancer, Great Warrior and Jee Aya Nu.
The third race is among 13 horses. Big Foot is favouirte and for places Khabib and Twenty Twenty are likely takers. The others in the run are Royal Ascort, New Rebel, Tatla Pride, Shawaz-e-Princess, Natalia, Finisher, Jonti Road, Minding, Samore Princess and Zahid Love.
The fourth race has 12 entries. Though it’s a medium race of three-year-old fillies and ponies, the pundits have their focus for win on Fuego, Back Street Boy, Hamlet and Al Khalid. The others in the race are Wild Cost, Royal Nawab, Ruff Diamond, Midnight Storm, Sharegaar, Noor-e-Kainat, Massira Song, and Spring Festival.
The Winter Cup, the fifth race, has Manthaar as favourite. The places may go to Sparking and lbram Prince. The field also has Al Akbar, Baland-o-Bala and Jharra.
The sixth is the Ravi Cup. The main contenders for top three places are Churchill, Sahil and Big Move with the former being favourite for win. The other participants are Exceptional One, Special One, Famous One and Amazing Runner.
The seventh race has 12 acceptances but Nawab is favourite. The places likely winners are Miss World and Remember Me. This race also has Legacy, Lorenzo, Believe Me, Your Flame In Met, Lucky For Me, Prince of Arab, Missing My Love, Sohna and Rang-e-Hina.