• Ruffina wins The Sprinters Cup (Gr.1)
  • Azzurro wins The Dr M A M Ramaswamy Stayers Cup (Gr.1)
  • Whomakestherules wins The Maj P K Mehra Memorial Super Mile Cup (Gr.1)
  • Kangra wins The Indian Turf Invitation Cup (Gr.1) in record timing

Capt Jamshed Appoo, cheerful and uncomplicated 

The charm of racing apart from the performance of the four-legged wonders is the persons who play a significant role in ensuring that racing becomes thoroughly enjoyable. Captain Appoo undoubtedly signifies the new breed of horse owners: He exudes great enthusiasm, has child like simplicity and is totally uncomplicated. Appoo enjoys every bit of the thrill that the sport offers and takes setbacks with equanimity. A relatively late entrant to the field of horse racing, Capt Appoo has been lucky to own some of the finest thoroughbreds that have won their share of graded races to make him crave for more.

Appoo’s enthusiasm is infectious and he brings an air of freshness, which should help lift the sport that is being increasingly plagued by adventurism on the part of the owners. Capt Appoo enjoys the sport every bit, be it winning his share of races or picking a winner or backing the same. Success and failure is determined by an ounce of luck and Appoo has more than his share of luck. His choice of horses, trainers, jockeys and friends have indeed seen him grow in stature with every passing day. The sport has given him immense pleasure that he may have missed had he not drifted into the magical world of horse racing.

Capt Jamshed Appoo & Sunil G. Jhangiani receiving the McDowell Indian Guineas 2000 (Grade I) from Dr. Vijay mallya

Radical Force

His association with trainer C D Katrak has brought him ample rewards. The duo has struck it rich. One of the best horses that he has owned, Radical Force decimated the field in the Gr 1 Stayers Cup recently in spectacular fashion, clipping five seconds off the existing course record. Though the trainer was skeptical about his ward getting the grueling 3000 metres trip, Appoo was not plagued by any doubt. ``I was pretty confident that Radical Force would win. What gave me greater satisfaction was the manner in which he smashed the field in splendid fashion. In hindsight, I can only regret what I could have achieved with this horse had he not been plagued by problems. He was twice operated for soft palate problem despite which he has won six graded races and seems to be getting better by the day. He undoubtedly was my Indian Derby horse.’’

In the decade long association with the sport, Capt Appoo has owned some of the finest thoroughbreds and he has been lucky with the choice of his horses. Majority of his horses have won graded races or reached the highest class. His all time favourite is a horse called Rosmini though he was not particularly enamored when burying it. He was persuaded to buy the Diffident colt by Mr Zavary Poonwalla and Appoo reluctantly bought the same.

``He was a small made horse and he didn’t impress me much. I named him Rosmini after a client and a friend who had betrayed me. But Rosmini turned out to be such a loyal, honest and dedicated horse that he changed my perception totally. When you saw him walk, he appeared unsound. Put him on grass, he was a killer. With broken legs (he had a knee chip problem for which he has undergone three operations), he won a seven-furlong race in record timing, leaving horses of the caliber of Classical Act way behind. When he was operated for the first time, I spent the whole night with him. He is such a gutsy and darling of a horse that had I not hurried him and raced him at Pune, I could well have picked up this year’s Sprinters Cup. He suffered a setback and was operated again and there was not sufficient time for him to regain his fitness. I am pretty confident he will win me the Sprinters Cup next year. Incidentally, my friendship with Rosmini has been restored because of the horse!,’’ he says with child like innocence.

Rosmini (P Kamlesh up) winner of The N H Dhunjiboy Sprint Championship being led by owner Capt Jamshed J. Appoo's

Appoo’s successful association with trainer Katrak started after he agreed to take half share in a horse called Lady Moura from the Chanhill stud farm after much persuasion from the trainer. There was no looking back after that. Lady Moura who was a modest purchase, went on to earn over Rs 30 lakh in stakes and gave Appoo the first taste of owning a big horse. Lady Moura placed second in the Gr 1 Poonawalla Breeders’ Multi-Million and the Gr 1 Indian 1000 Guineas. Recently, he won the Gr 1 Indian 2000 Guineas with Rapidash. Incidentally, the names of almost all his horses begin with the alphabet `R’ just as India’s leading owner from Kolkata, Deepak Khaitan has his horses with the alphabet ``A”. Appoo is a loyalist and he consistently buys from the Poonawalla Stud Farms and trains only with Katrak. He has a few horses with trainer Padmanabhan that are based in Bangalore. 

In a field marked mostly by hard-nosed owners, cheerful people like Appoo present the positive side of the sport.