By Major S. Nargolkar (Retd.)
An Acquired Taste (Strong Contender – G Waitin On O[USA] by Brocco) drew upsides the front runners rounding the final bend and then sauntered away to win by nine and a half lengths from Tintinnabulation and Wind Stream. There have been longer margin St. Leger winners but no one had covered the distance of 2800 m. at Pune in a time faster than 2.55.19 which the chestnut gelding clocked on Sunday, Sept. 29. The winner is owned by Dr. Nevill Devlaliwalla and Mr. Paawan Seksaria and was sent out by trainer Altamash A. Ahmed. Highest rated in the field, An Acquired Taste came into the race with five black-type wins to his credit but without a Classic against his name. He had placed third in the Indian 2000 Guineas, Gr.1 and was just touched off the frame in the Indian Derby, Gr.1. He had never finished ahead of Tintinnabulation in their two meetings previously so he took his revenge in taking style. He was, like Tintinnabulation, bred at the Hazara Stud which has had a splendid year. It was a cloudy day and there was some rain around noon which freshened the track but the going was good. Altamash Ahmed is a relatively new trainer and Dr. Devlaliwalla is his principal patron. Their Multidimensional gelding Alaindair bagged the Bangalore Colts’ Championship Stakes, Gr.1 and Kingfisher Derby Bangalore, Gr.1 double a couple of months back and so have plenty to look forward to in the coming year.
An Acquired Taste traces to an excellent tap-root in Paraffin through some non-descript generations and is inbred 4×4 to Roberto. Roberto’s son Red Ransom has been a dominating influence in the 2009-born Indian crop to which An Acquired Taste belongs. Red Ransom’s son China Visit, standing at Usha Stud in India, sired Snowscape (Calcutta Derby, Gr.1) and Silverina (Calcutta St. Leger, Gr.3); Intikhab, another son resident at Derrinstown Stud in Ireland, is the sire of Tintinnabulation (Indian Turf Invitation Cup, Gr.1, Golconda Derby, Gr.1 and Bangalore St. Leger, Gr.2). Three of his daughters have also been in the limelight. Kon Tiki is the dam of Red Baron (Bangalore Derby, Gr.1); Designer Chick’s daughter Vijays Pride won the Indian 1000 Guineas, Gr.1, Bangalore Fillies’ Championship Stakes, Gr.1, Golconda 1000 Guineas, Gr.2 and Hyderabad Fillies’ Championship Stakes, Gr.3 while Empress Jesse’s son Machiavellianism picked up Indian 2000 Guineas, Gr.1, Bangalore Colts’ Championship Stakes, Gr.1 and Hyderbad Colts’ Championship Stakes, Gr.3. There are 38 plums for each crop in India — rather casually and erroneously called “Classics” — and the former Vinery/Dalham Hall Stud stalwart was to be found in the pedigrees of winners of 13 of those races!