(Major Srinivas Nargolkar, former keeper of the Indian Stud book and a contributor to Indian racing publications for more than 34 years, updates the blog on the Indian classics scene. Today’s entry is about Indian 2000 Guineas winner Autonomy, a son of the Northern Dancer stallion Razeen. The following blog entry was written by Major Nargolkar, from India.)
By Major Srinivas Nargolkar, Mumbai, India
The Razeen colt Autonomy, out of the Steinbeck mare All Heart, won the Johnnie Walker Gold Label Indian 2000 Guineas (Gr.1) at Mumbai today to provide Usha Stud and its leading sires Razeen and Steinbeck with a unique double. Set Alight, who won the Gitanjali Indian 1000 Guineas (Gr.1) last week, is also by Razeen and bred on the same cross. Only once before, in 1966-67, has the same cross double been recorded. That was when River Haven and Multirosa, both fillies by the Rockefella horse Rock of Gibraltar out of Flower Dust mares, won the two classics.
Razeen is a son of Northern Dancer while Steinbeck is a son of Mr. Prospector. The Razeen/Steinbeck cross brings together the opposite strains of Native Dancer, Nasrullah, Hyperion, Mahmoud and Pharos. What is also noticeable about Autonomy’s pedigree is that he has Glamour and Royal Record 5×5. Glamour is a daughter of Nasrullah out of a grand-daughter of La Troienne while Royal Record is a son of Nasrullah out of a daughter of La Troienne. Karel Miedema would call it “kinbreeding”; I have been calling it the “cluster method” — a cluster of siblings.
Autonomy, who is owned by Mr. Jaydev Mody and trained by Bezan Chenoy, owed much to a splendid ride from Richard Hughes. He won by a neck and a head from two Glory of Dancer colts, Dancing Dynamite — whom he had beaten by half a length on his previous start — and Juventus, a full-brother to last year’s Indian Derby winner Hot Stepper. Autonomy clocked 1.34.10 for the mile trip, shaving more than half a second from the track record.
Montjeu‘s daughter Phenomenale, winner of the Pune Derby, was also among the 14 runners but failed to get her number up. She ran a forward race; perhaps, as prelude to the Indian Oaks.
Some years ago, Bezan Chenoy had trained Archimedes (by Razeen out of Autonomy’s grandam) to run second in the Indian Derby. Will he go one better this time? The unbeaten Set Alight, who is skipping the Indian Oaks to be in mint condition for the Indian Derby, could well come against Autonomy in the R.R. Ruia Gold Cup, the final lead-up to the Blue Riband. That race should be a real cracker.