Lightning struck Mahalakshmi race course once again on a Sunday! Same colors, same jockey and same trainer. Only the horse, Machiavelliansim (Jazil- Empress Jessie), was different. Like Vijays Pride last Sunday in the Gitanjali Indian 1000 Guineas, Gr.1, the gelding is Hyderabad-based, owned by the Estate of the late Mr. D. Pratap Chander Reddy, Mr. Ashish Bajaj and M/s. Vijay Kumar Gupta & Susheel Kumar Gupta; trained by L.V.R.Deshmukh and was ridden perfectly by P.S. Chouhan. Like the filly, he is also out of a Red Ransom mare.
A winner of six of his dozen starts so far, Machiavellianism was not winning out of turn for he was the highest-rated runner of the 18 that went to the post. However, he had lost many friends by losing as a very warm favorite last time out a fortnight ago on his home turf. He had always been coming from well off the pace. This time, he was kept in the mid-field right from the beginning and he made his move passing the 400 m.-marker. His instant acceleration caught the field napping and he won cozily by just over three lengths from Shivalik Hero, who lost his forward position but came on again to hold An Acquired Taste and Manyatta. The verdict was 3 1/4 l, 3/4 and Hd. and the time of 1.34.88 has been bettered just once before in the previous 70 runnings of the race. The first four finishers were all bred at the Hazara Stud, a tremendous achievement for a nursery that hasn’t been too long in existence.
Sired by the Belmont Stakes winner Jazil, Machiavellianism’s dam was picked up at the Keeneland November Sale in 2008 for a paltry sum of $7,500. Although unplaced, Empress Jessie had produced four winners in the US. Machiavellianism, who is balanced inbred 4×4 to Raise a Native, is from the immediate family of Flying Partner, Ajdal, Formidable, Arazi and others. Interestingly, between them Vijays Pride and Machiavellianism had won the Bangalore Fillies’ Championship Stakes, Gr.1, and Bangalore Colts’ Championship Stakes, Gr.1, during the summer and they upheld that form at Mahalakshmi.
The favorite for the race was Franklin, ridden by the Champion English Jockey Richard Hughes. Hughes had ridden the past four winners of the race — although one (Ocean and Beyond) was disqualified for testing positive — and was looking for his fifth straight win. Franklin, winner of his only previous start, was clearly too wet behind the years and was a false favorite. Hughes was also beaten on the favorite Portia last Sunday. J.P.O’Brien, the Irish Champion Jockey, was aboard the well-backed Montezuma, who was never sighted with a winning chance during the race. Perhaps, the punters are to be blamed for backing the jockeys blindly; both Franklin and Montezuma have pedigrees that demand longer distances. They could be seen in a different light on first Sunday in February.
The Gitanjali Indian 1000 Guineas