Given that horse racing in India is thriving, it’s amazing to think that Indian horses and trainers are yet to truly make their mark on the sport further afield.
But there are those bearing an Indian twist to their name who have performed admirably in some of UK racing’s most prestigious renewals, and many had hoped that Star of India would add his name to the list in 2022.
A winner at Leopardstown and Chester – the latter in the highly respected Dee Stakes, Aidan O’Brien’s horse established himself as a quality operator at around the 10f mark. As such, Star of India looked set to be a leading contender in the Paddy Power horse racing betting odds for races of that distance at Royal Ascot, such as the Wolferton Stakes.
However, his horse racing results took a downturn at the Epsom Derby, where the three-year-old finished well back in the field, and he will now have to wait until July’s Coral-Eclipse before he can enjoy a form-restoring outing.
But there’s another horse who saved some of her best form for Royal Ascot – Indian Ink. The mare won the highly sought-after Cheveley Park Stakes in 2006, before heading to Ascot a year later… and delivering a performance that Timeform have described as one of the best at the festival in the past decade.
Penning the History Books
Raymond Tooth leads something of an eclectic life.
He is one of the most prominent divorce lawyers in the UK, and has acted in court cases involving high-profile figures like Eric Clapton, Roman Abramovich and Jude Law.
But in his spare time, Tooth has a love of horse racing, and he has owned many prominent stars on the turf who have been trained by the likes of Nicky Henderson and Richard Hannon.
Some of those horses have been handed names that show Tooth’s love of India, with Punjabi enjoying plenty of success over fences during his stellar career – a win in the Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in 2009 perhaps the pick of the bunch.
But another of his horses, Indian Ink, offered Tooth and his connections plenty of joy out on the track, and her victory in the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot will forever remain one of the finest days of the owner’s career.
The sire of Indian Ink, Indian Ridge, had won the King’s Stand Stakes at the meeting in 1989, so his progeny had the weight of history on her side.
Fortunately, the going at Ascot was on the sticky side for the 2007 edition of the meeting after a series of rain showers – ideal given that Indian Ink preferred the softer ground. And she took full advantage, driving clear in the final furlong under the ride of Richard Hughes to win by a comfortable six lengths. That was confirmed by Timeform to be the widest winning margin in the race in nearly two decades.
Curiously, Indian Ink never raced again – she was sold to stand at stud at Hamdan Al Maktoum’s Shadwell Estate breeding yard. But her legacy remains as one of ‘India’s’ most prized horses on UK soil.
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