The cancellation of the Mauritius Derby Trial Cup (Group 3) last Saturday was the topic of all conversations, not just at Champ de Mars, but throughout Mauritius. Following the withdrawal of Prince Of Thieves – ordered by the Gambling Regulatory Authority, it meant that only five horses were left in the race, and despite attempts by the Mauritius Turf Club for the race to go ahead, it was ultimately cancelled. 

As a result, this 1400 metre contest – the first leg of the Four-Year old Championship – has been rescheduled for this Saturday’s ninth meeting and it is hoped that it is third time lucky for this Group 3 race, after unfortunate and controversial circumstances. 

Last year saw M L Jet make it a winning debut with Donavan Mansour on board. He beat the Duchess Of York Cup winner Night In Seattle, while Gameloft took 3rd. The win would prove to be very crucial for M L Jet in the final reckoning, as he went on to win the Four-Year old championship for Rameshwar Gujadhur’s yard.

Hard Day’s Night (Rye Joorawon) was rated as a major player in the Vocalcom Duchess Of York Cup (Gr2). However, he ran into serious misfortune in the race. His saddle slipped just after the start, causing him to lose ground on his opponents. Then in the final straight, he was severely interfered with by Psycho Syd, who in turn had taken action in avoiding the riderless Mountain Master.

He is given another chance to prove himself on Saturday, and he has benefited from the unexpected additional preparation time. In top order, he can rebound in style and keep hold of the trophy for Rameshwar Gujadhur stable.

Champion trainer Gilbert Rousset has entered both Executive Power (Nishal Teeha) and Prince Of Thieves (Brandon Lerena).

The former is making his debut, having arrived with a handy reputation. He is renowned for being a strong frontrunner and is very hard to stop when dictating proceedings.

He has impressed in his trials and with his jockey a good judge of front running pace, he is capable of starting his new career on a winning note.

His stable companion, who has been in the news recently, makes his second appearance, after finishing a good-looking 3rd in the Noble Salute Cup (Gr3). Not only has he come out well from that run, but he has taken advantage of extra time in training. He is in very good nick and with his jockey bang on form, he is tipped to produce a bold account of himself.

The yard of Ricky Maingard is represented by the duo of Speed Limit (Kersley Ramsamy) and Memphis Mafia (Girish Goomany).

The former not only won the Three-Year old series, but also ended his debut season unbeaten. This son of Horse Chestnut may have had to wait until this Saturday to make his seasonal debut, but if his showings in training are to be taken into account, then he stands a good chance of extending his unbeaten record.

His stable mate may have finished 6th in his seasonal debut, but he was only 2.9 lengths behind the winner, who won the feature race last Saturday. He is in improved form compared to last time, and as he remains a classy sort, his chances must not be dismissed.

Ole Gunnar makes his debut here for the in-form Alain Perdrau stable. He did well in South Africa, winning three times and competed against the country’s finest. It has not taken long for him to quickly settle in his new surroundings and he looked in good shape in his exercises. With the in-form Raymond Danielson on board, he warrants plenty of respect.

Ernie (Cedric Segeon) was all set for his debut in this contest in race meeting 7, before it was cancelled. His trainer – Jean-Michel Henry – elected not to enter him last Saturday, but thanks to the rescheduling of this race, he finally makes his bow.

He has arrived in Mauritius with an interesting C.V, having won three times in his homeland, including getting the better of a certain Prince Of Thieves in his fourth career start. He has shown a lot of potential in his workouts and can make his presence felt.