Murioi (Dubawi – Zacheta’s Girl) — which is a biblical word meaning ten thousand — found the Deltin Casinos Indian 2000 Guineas, Gr.1 an easy picking today at Mahalakshmi in Mumbai as he posted an emphatic victory, scoring by three and a half lengths without being stretched. Last week’s Indian 1000 Guineas victress Mariinsky was pitched in as a late entry to give Dr. Vijay Mallya’s camp a strong hand, and the filly finished third. Apart from Mariinsky, which he co-owns, Dr. Mallya also had a pair of greys, both by Verglas, running in his own colours. The best backed of his runners was Silver Arrow, the mount of P. Trevor who had ridden Mariinsky last Sunday and who was a joint second favourite with Alaindair. The winning partnership was broken because Silver Arrow has had his problems — he tends to get claustrophobic in the gates — and has usually gone well for Trevor.
Today, Silver Arrow reared up badly and fell in his stall and was withdrawn at the 11th hour. The other grey, Silver Streak, went to the front after Alaindair — as well backed as Silver Arrow — had shown the way for a while. Alaindair waited behind the pace-setter and took up the running soon after coming into the straight and had opened up a useful looking lead which was quickly whittled down as Murioi was shaken up by B. Sreekanth. Murioi soon joined Alaindair and passed him in a trice to win very comfortably. Mariinsky on a tad sluggishly to finish third. The winning time of 1.35.52 was a wee bit slower than the 1000 Guineas. The winning margins were 3 1/2, 2 1/4 and 3 3/4 lengths.
Murioi is owned by Dr. M.A.M. Ramswamy, who was winning this race for the sixth time, half of them — Murioi included — trained by S. Ganapathy. For B. Sreekanth, however, it was a first. Murioi was bred at the Hazara Stud like last year’s winner and the farm’s good run with foals imported ‘in utero’ continues. Murioi’s grandam is a half-sister to Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winner Marienbard, the star of an otherwise plebian family. Hazara Stud acquired Zacheta’s Girl for a mere 18,000 euros at Goffs November 2009 Sale. Dubawi’s covering fee then was only 15,000 gns; today the Dalham Hall Stud stalwart commands a hefty 100,000 gns, so in retrospect it was a great bargain.
Having won the Poonawalla Breeders’ Multi-Million, Gr.1 last February, Murioi was the top juvenile when the winter season ended. He fared badly in the big races when taken to Bangalore in the summer but has bounced back handsomely. He was sent early to Mumbai and had won his lead-up race quite convincingly and is yet to be beaten on the Mahalakshmi track in three starts. He is inbred to Northern Dancer as well as Shirley Heights. His pedigree, and more importantly the manner of his victory today, suggests that he will be a warm order for the Indian Derby in February.