By Major Srinivas Nargolkar
PUNE–Ocean and Beyond (trained by Siraj Sunderji), the winner of Indian 2000 Guineas, and Star Future (trained by Cooji Katrak), who finished second in that race, have returned positive for a prohibited substance in their urine samples taken after the race. So has the filly Eloise (trained by Pesi Shroff), who had run third to Siachen and Moonlight Romance in the Indian 1000 Guineas.
Both Ocean and Beyond and Star Future are owned by Rakesh Wadhwan, the construction tycoon, while Eloise belongs to Mr. and Mrs. Vijay Shirke, Mr. and Mrs. K.N.Dhunjibhoy and Mr. Bergis Desai, the owners of Jacqueline last year. Messrs. Wadhwan, Shirke and Dhunjibhoy are by far the biggest owners in Western India while trainers Pesi Shroff and Cooji Katrak head the trainers’ table. Katrak is the principal trainer for Wadhwan while Siraj Sunderji is his second trainer. The fact that such big names are involved and that all three horses have come positive for the same substance—boldenone—has caused quite a stir.
The affected parties have the option of sending the split sample for a confirmatory tests and it seems inevitable that the option will be exercised. The whole episode, however, has left, naturally, a very bitter taste.