Last year, after the Ponnawalla Breeders Multi- Million win, owner Vijay Shirker said, " I am delighted to finally win it--though with a furlong to go I frankly thought we had lost, because Hachiko until then was just not able to collar leader Sikandar despite my rider's (B Prakash) best efforts, and a couple of others -- Machiavellianism and Day's Best -- were closing in fast".
Shirke was doubly delighted because Hachiko was trained by none other than his childhood friend Mansingh Jadhav. "I hadn't even seen the horse when Mansingh picked him up for me at the Sohna stud farm," Shirke continued, "he just told me he was a good horse, and should do well." Incidentally, for the trainer too this was the first ever victory in the coveted race.
Owner Vijay Shirke revealed the story behind how and why the horse was named Hachiko.
"Hachiko is a Japanese dog that was immortalised by the Japanese people by erecting his statue at a railway station where he would come daily to wait for his master.
He was so devoted he kept up his routine even when the master was no more. I was touched by that story because I am a dog lover myself, and my dog also is extremely devoted to me," said Shirke.
The owner, Mr Vijay Shirke and the trainer MK Jadhav had never won the ‘Juvenile Derby’ in its history of twenty odd years. They have won many races, a number of Classics and the Invitation Cup as well, but the Poonawalla Breeders’ Multi-Million had eluded them.
The Poonawalla Breeders’ Multi-Million panned out to be a thoroughly enjoyable day at the races. The colourful cosmopolitan crowd were vocal and vibrant and the general atmosphere was one of fun and frolic. The crowds were pouring in from all directions and swanky luxury cars streamlined at the gates to drop off the elite and the petite of the society. This race has a rich history of just over 150 years and this is one race that stops the nation.