Friday, May 22, 2015

Maharaja Sir Vijaysinhji of Rajpipla, arguably the greatest-ever Indian racehorse owner

A keen horseman, Maharaja Sir Vijaysinhji of Rajpipla maintained one of the finest stables of race horses in India and England, marked by quality and not quantity.

His thoroughbreds won several prestigious races, including the first Indian Derby in 1919 (Tipster), the Irish Derby in 1926 and Belgian Grand Prix in 1927 (Embargo), and the blue riband of the turf, the Epsom Derby of England in 1934 (Windsor Lad).

Maharaja Vijaysinhji – or ‘Pip’, as he was affectionately known in the UK - is still the only Indian owner to have bagged the English Derby, considered the greatest horse race in the world, cheered on by an estimated quarter to half a million people which included King George V and Queen Mary of Britain and other members of the royal family. The Maharaja thereby completed a brilliant hat-trick of Derby wins: the first-ever Indian Derby, the Irish Derby and the coveted Epsom Derby of England, making him arguably the greatest-ever Indian racehorse owner.

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