The favourite Supreme General won the feature race of the day, the Rajpipla Trophy, for the 2017-18 season at the Royal Western India Turf Club, Mahalakshmi racecourse, Mumbai. This was the first time it was an evening race, run over 1600 metres, on Friday 22nd December 2017.
Ridden by Trevor Patel, who completed a triple in the eight-race schedule, four-year-old Supreme General triumphed easily by three lengths. Mekong Delta came in second, while Silver Beauty was third in a line-up of seven horses.
Rajpipla Trophy was instituted many decades ago by Maharaja Shri Vijaysinhji, who was one of the most famous racehorse owners in the world in the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s. He achieved a unique hat-trick of Derbys, winning the first-ever Indian Derby in 1919, the Irish Derby in 1926, and the Epsom Derby of England, the blue riband of the turf, in 1934.
Members of the erstwhile Rajpipla royal family, and descendants of Maharaja Vijaysinhji, make it a point to attend the race each season and present the trophy. To watch the races under lights this time was a novel experience, a wonderful blend of tradition and modernity.