Sunday, July 24, 2016

Our Handicapping System – The death knell of fair racing.

On going through the Handicaps for the first weekend of the upcoming Pune Season 2016, I see some ratings that just don’t make sense to me. I have on many occasions over the years had a word with the handicapper, but there’s always a reason or an excuse that “this is how the system is”. We have turned a blind eye to the fact that the so called system doesn’t work for fair and clean racing/owners. And yeah, the Committee or the Stewards are not supposed to interfere with the handicapper/system. Gentlemen, the system isn’t working. Or can no one see it?

I have picked my own horses as examples here as what hits/affects you the most is what gets you ranting.

Staristocrat, albeit a 5yr old, is rated 93 after winning 4 handicap races and failing miserably in all his attempts in terms races. On what planet then, is a winner of a Gr1. Derby, Bullrun winner of 3 races rated 80? Some might argue that he’s a 4yr old. Fine let’s compare apples with apples. In the same race, Ageless winner of 3 handicap races is also entered and is rated 96. The same race has Classic winner Intelligence rated 85 whereas a handicapper Holy Smoke, winner of 4 races is at 91. So the bottom line is, you have a great horse, win classics, win millions as stake money, then come and piss on the handicappers whenever you feel like as you will receive tons of weight from them.

The system,(not the handicapper as he’s merely stuck with the system) argues that ratings don’t get changed drastically in terms races/classics. Hence winners of even Classics don’t get pushed to class I e.g. Bullrun above. An argument that never made sense to me and one I feel that isn’t fair. However, how and why then do babies get pushed up in class for winning terms races/baby races within their own age group? My Greek God won 3 races as a juvenile in Mumbai and found himself in class II in Pune. It’s always what you beat that counts, not how you win. Though Greek God won easily in all 3 of his starts, all the three fields were dead sets. In all three races, there were only two subsequent winners in class IV – Koala and Fribourg. Both were less than ordinary. No other horse ever won a race between them. That says a lot for the system that pushed the winner into class II as a 3yo. The babies aren’t even given ratings at that stage, so what is argued at times in terms races, that other ratings of the runners are taken into account doesn’t hold good here.

At the end of that season, someone told me “you don’t seem excited, you have the fastest 2yo in the country” to which I said “I don’t think he’s that good. He’s beaten nothing of consequence”. He was a mere handicapper. He did win 2 more races again beating dead sets, reached class I, failed in terms races, and that was the end of that. This is not how a career of a horse should end as a 3yo. Remember Rock Concert? 1980’s? Won 7 races in a row and then found himself in class I. 

So, the system is telling us not to win in Mumbai if you have an ordinary baby, find yourself in bottom of IV in Pune, give one run, come down to V and then start with your gambles and win a few. And then we wonder why the baby races in Mumbai don’t get entries. Whereas if you have a  good horse, you win your millions and classics and post that you will still be rated lower than the handicappers when you finally reach class I as a 4yo. Awesome. Awesome for the lucky few. Awesome for the gambling types who don’t care. The death knell for the sporting owner who is racing for stakes and wanting to go up in class in a fair manner.

Gentlemen, the Handicapper is obviously going by the system. But is the system working ? That’s what is on the table here.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

STARISTOCRAT wins another Million

STARISTIOCRAT wins his second million of the season during the Invitation Cup weekend in Mumbai on 28th February 2015.

The MRC Million - a class II race over 1400 mts. Ridden yet again by Yash Narredu.

Staristocrat was the clear favorite and won convincingly by 2 lengths.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Another new purchase

A share in another one with friends Ameeta Mehra, Neil Shah, Jiyaji Bhosale, Pratik Goculdas & Adhiraj Singh Jodha.

A bay filly by China Visit - Artwork by Razeen - Regal Grace by Common Land - Eminence by Grey Gaston.

Goes into training with Adhirajsingh Jodha

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

STARISTOCRAT starts the new year with a Million for Gainville

STARISTOCRAT starts off the new year by winning a Million for Gainsville.

STARISTOCRAT by Multidimensional - Only Royale seen here winning The Bright Hanovar Million in Mumbai on 4th January 2015.

Incidently, the race was named after our 1971 Indian Derby winner.

This was his 2nd win from as many starts. Ridden by Yash Narredu.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

New For Racing 2015

bay colt by Multidimensional[IRE] - Reflected Glory by China Visit - Allaire by Razeen. 

Bred at Usha Stud. 
Goes into training with Malesh Narredu.
bay filly by Chevalier[IRE] - Celebrations by Royal Kingdom - Zuni by Seattle Dancer. 
Bred by Gainsville Stud at Ruia Stud. 
Goes into training with Dallas Todywalla

Monday, December 8, 2014

Gainsville bred wins a Classic ! And we told you so years ago.

Dare To Dream (Oath - Starynessey)
DARE TO DREAM - by Oath ex Starynessey wins The Deccan Bookmakers Golconda 2000 Guineas Gr.2 at Hyderabad today. DARE TO DREAM was bred by Gainsville at Pratap Stud. For more articles on this planned mating, check out the links below posted in 2008 and earlier in 2014.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

SM Shah's son wins the Breeders Cup Classic 2014 with Bayern

So the Owner's father the now retired SM Shah trained horses for my parents here in Bombay back int he 60s and 70s with great success winning the Indian Derby for us twice with OUR SELECT 1968 and BRIGHT HANOVAR 1971 and a host of other big races and big horses.

He then suddenly decided to shift base to Bangalore saying that his kids needed him there. Here's that kid doing him proud today.

Well done  #KaleemShah wish you many more.

Photos of his father leading in our winners can be seen on 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

GREEK GOD's 4th win.

Greek God seen here winning The J.E.Hughes
Trophy by 8,1/2 lengths in Pune on
14th September 2014.
One comes to see that a man learns nothing from winning. The act of losing however, can elicit great wisdom. Not least of which is, how much more enjoyable it is to win. It's inevitable to lose now and again. The trick is not to make a habit of it.

Greek God being led in by Gautam Lala(left)
and Dallas Todywalla after his victory in Pune
on 14th September 2014.
GREEK GOD wins this time by 8, 1/2 lengths beating a class II field out of sight. His widest winning margin yet. Ridden by A.Sandesh and trained by Dallas Todywalla.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

STARISTOCRAT makes his racecourse appearance a winning one

STARISTOCRAT's much anticipated racecourse appearance turned out to be a winning one when the gelding easily won a 5 furlong maiden in Pune on 2nd August 2014. Trained by Malesh Narredu and ridden by D.K.Ashish.
Being led in by Gautam Lala(right) and M.Narredu

STARISTOCRAT is by the sire sensation Multidimensional ex Only Royale by Razeen ex Gourgandine. This makes him a half brother to Bombardier and three parts brother to Starry Eyes.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Horse Named

Gainsville's new 2yo colt by Multidimensional - Congrats has been named. 

He's call GODSENT. 

In training with Adhirajsingh Jodha and bred at the Usha Stud.

Monday, April 7, 2014

GREEK GOD's hatrick - The Bahrain Trophy

GREEK GOD completed a hatrick and remained unbeaten this season by winning The Bahrain Trophy on 6th April 2014.
Greek God winning
The Bahrain Trophy

Ridden by ace Trevor Patel, he won in his customary start-to-finish style giving weight all around and 8 kgs to the 2nd placed Koaala, with plenty left in the saddle at the wire.

Greek God being led in by
Gautam Lala
and Dallas Todywalla.
Trevor Patel astride.
He is trained by Dallas Todywalla and bred at the Ruia Stud Farm.

Greek God is from the first Indian born crop of the Danehill horse Chevalier and comes from the prolific Canalette family that has produced the likes of Brave Hunter, Desert Carnival etc. in India.

His dam Pas de l'argent has produced many classy winners like Generalissimo, Habituated, Angels Glory, etc.

It's a good start and gives Gainsville something to look forward too.
Fingers crossed ! 

Sunday, March 2, 2014

The GREEK GOD double !

On February 13th, 2014, GREEK GOD gave Gainsville the much awaited win after a long gap. He won the 6 furlong AFS Talyarkhan Trophy on debut by 2 3/4 lengths with considerable ease.

Two weeks later on February 26th, 2014, GREEK GOD annihilated the opposition to win easing up by 7 1/2 lengths in the 5 furlong Bright Hanovar Trophy - a Trophy sponsored by Gautam Lala in memory of the family owned great Indian Derby winner Bright Hanovar.

That takes his tally to two wins from as many starts. Greek God is trained by Dallas Todywalla, bred at Ruia Stud and was ridden by A.Sandesh on both days.

New for racing !

bay colt by Multidimensional[USA] - Congrats 
Gainsville's new purchase - bay colt by Multidimensional[IRE] - Congrats by China Visit[USA] - Congratulations by Razeen[USA]. 

This colt goes into training with Adhirajsingh Jodha.

We said we were excited about this. And right we were.

Our mare Starynessey was sent to Oath on retirement. It was a mating planned by Gautam Lala. We, in our article on May 25, 2008 ( said how excited we were for the progeny of this mating to run.

DARE TO DREAM - by Oath - Starynessey(foal of 2011), last week won The Alcock Arabian Stakes Gr.3, being his 3rd win from as many starts. He annihilated his opposition to win by 8 1/2 lengths. This is a very promising start and a lot more will be heard of DARE TO DREAM who is sure to get a longer trip in future. Even at this early stage, he seems to be the best sired by Oath. 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013


Nominated "Steward of the Club" (RWITC) for 2013-2014. This will be the 9th term/year as a Steward.  

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Racing Silks

We've changed our Racing Silks. It was time for a change, time to wean away from the Black. 

Our new racing silks - Gold, white maltese cross, red, gold & white arm bands, red cap.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Epsom Derby & Gainsville's Mares - Part II

Gainsville's connection with international classic winners continues.

Yet again, this year's Epsom Derby winner, the bred in purple RULER OF THE WORLD comes from the same family of the Gainsville mare CELEBRATIONS. This is ofcourse the fantastic family i.e. UVIRA II, family of A.P.INDY, MISSY BABA, LEMON DROP KID, DUKE OF MARMALADE, KANTHARA, etc.

CELEBRATIONS was bought out of training couple of years ago and is a half sister to the Graded winner KANTHARA. Sparingly raced, she is now at Ruia Stud and has a filly foal 2013 by CHEVALIER and is in foal this year to their new Dansili horse SURFRIDER.

Do checkout the Part I of this article posted on June 4, 2011.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

2013 horses named.

The bay colt by Multidimensional[IRE] - Only Royale has been named STARISTOCRAT, and the bay colt by Chevalier[IRE] - Pas de l'argent[IRE] has been named GREEK GOD.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Royal Western India Turf Club Ltd.

Nominated as a Steward of the Club 2012-13. This will be my 8th term as a Steward of the RWITC.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

New Yearlings Purchased

bay colt by Chevalier[IRE] - Pas de L'argent[IRE] by Pistolet Bleu. Bred at the Ruia Stud. To go into training with Dallas Todywalla.

bay colt by Multidimensional[IRE] - Only Royale by Razeen[USA] - Gourgandine[IRE] by Auction Ring. Bred at the Usha Stud. Will go into training with Imtiaz Sait.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Horses Named !

bay colt by Multidimensional[USA] - Magic Touch by Razeen[USA]. From the Pretty Polly family of PLEASURE HUNT.

bay colt by Lucifer Sam[USA] - Born Beautiful[USA] by Silver Deputy. From the family of STORM BIRD.

dark bay colt by Phoenix Tower[USA] - Bushfire by Senure[USA]. Dam sister to Sandslash - dam of PRONTO PRONTO. 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

New 2yos for racing

1. bay colt by Usha Stud's new Danehill horse Multidimensional[USA] out of the Razeen[USA] mare Magic Touch. Magic Touch raced in Western India and won 7 races incl Byculla Club Trophy(twice) and placed 2nd in the C.N.Wadia Trophy, Idar Gold Cup, 3rd in the RWITC Ltd Invitational Trophy, Eve Champion Trophy, Fillies and Mares Stakes, 4th in the Eclipse Stakes of India and Maharaja Jiwajirao Scindia Trophy earning Rs.22,79,437. She is a full sister to Washingtom Irvine (C.N.Wadia Gold Cup) and her dam is half sister to the Indian Oaks winner Pleasure Hunt. This colt is in training with Imtiaz Sait.

2. bay colt by Sains Craintes Stud's new Storm Cat half brother to Admiralofthefleet, Lucifer Sam[USA] out of Born Beautiful[USA] who's dam is a three parts sister to Storm Bird. This colt in inbred 4x3 to South Ocean, 3x4 to Mr.Prospector and 4x4 to Northern Dancer. He is in training with Hosi Daji.

3. dark bay colt by Manjri Stud's new stallion Phoenix Tower[USA] out of Bushfire who is a Senure[USA] half sister to Sandslash the dam of Pronto Pronto. This colt is in partnership with Dilip Goculdas and is in training with Adhirajsingh Jodha.

Greatness wins the Christmas Cup in Mumbai

Greatness, seen here being led in after winning the Christmas Cup on Christmas Day at Mahalaxmi, Mumbai - Ridden by P.Trevor.

Later sold to Pratap Stud Farm.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Epsom Derby, The Oaks and Gainsville's fillies.

POUR MOI won the Derby at Epsom earlier today in scintillating style, coming from way off the pace to pip Treasure Beach few strides from home. A horse who was last at Tattenham Corner, to come flying the way he did to win, speaks volumes for this son of Montjeu. His 2nd dam is a three parts sister to the 2nd dam of Gainsville's ex filly Bliss-Leavitt. Bliss-Leavitt ran a  few times and now is at Jai Govind Stud. Their 4th dams are Royal Statute. This is the family of Bosra Sham, Hector Protector, etc.

Yesterday's Oaks winner DANCING RAIN is by Danehill Dancer out of a mare going back to Canalette through Torbella, Torbella being the 4th dam. This is the same family as Dr. Devious, Brave Hunter, Barood, etc of Gainsville's 3yo winning filly GREATNESS.

Couple of years back, on this very blog I had written about how well Galileo and Montjeu would do at stud. They had recently been retired to stud and their offspring had just started racing. This year, the 2000 Guineas, Irish 1000 Guineas both have been won by Galileos. The Derby was won by a son of Montjeu and in second spot was a son of Galileo. Theres no looking back for these two young sires.

Gautam Lala