I didn`t know I had won: Jockey PS Chouhan, rider of Oaks winner Immortality


It was a detailed end for the grade 1, Villoo Poonawalla Indian Oaks, the function race of Sunday`s Mahalaxmi card. It was so thrilling that whilst Forest Flame (P Trevor up) and Immortality (PS Chouhan up) handed the profitable put up locked collectively, commentator Deepak Rajpal, who has a educated eye and usually calls out photograph end verdicts precisely, refused to commit. Rajpal did give a touch that Immortality might need put her nostril forward of Forest Flame, however refused to take sides. “It`s anybody`s race,” he shouted into the microphone, “it`s a photo finish!”
Both fillies raced nearer to the rear finish of the sector for many half of the mile-and-a-half journey, and each riders made their strikes across the closing flip earlier than straightening up–Trevor astride Forest Flame selecting the internal rails; Chouhan on Immortality taking the outermost lane. 
However, P Trevor had to ease his momentum for a fraction of a stride when he discovered a tiring Successor (NS Parmar up) and an all-out Arcadia (TS Jodha up) blocking his path, and angled out Forest Flame, whilst Chouhan, by that point, acquired Immortality into rhythmic strides, and began devouring floor. From the ultimate 100m marker, each went neck and neck all the best way right down to the wire, nearly nothing separating the 2.
Deja Vu
After the decide consulted the digital camera, and dominated Immortality to have gained the Oaks by a brief head, her backers erupted in pleasure and jockey Chouhan punched the air in ecstasy. Immortality, the bay filly by Multidimensional out of Psychic Light, is owned by breeder Ms Ameeta Mehra. Pesi Shroff educated the filly.
Interestingly, this was a deja vu second for all–jockey Chouhan, breeder Ameeta Mehra and coach Pesi Shroff–who had gained the identical race 5 years in the past (2016) with Myrtlewood, one other Multidimensional filly which had raced within the silks of Mehernosh H Deboo.
“Actually, I didn`t know I had won,” P S Chouhan frankly confessed to mid-day after the race, “in a finish like this you have to just put your head down and go all out. But Trevor congratulated me when we were pulling up after passing the winning post, so I kept up my hopes and waited for the official photo finish verdict.”
Blessing in disguise
Jockey P S Chouhan, who many felt was maybe nearer to his retirement–and in any case, actually previous his prime–has been within the limelight in latest months. He rode doubles and trebles on the Pune racetrack earlier than making a sensation by profitable six races on the cardboard solely a fortnight in the past. When mid-day requested him what was the key of his unimaginable driving kind at this age, he gave all of the credit score to the lockdown imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. 
 “The lockdown was a blessing in disguise,” he mentioned, “Like all jockeys, riding for years had taken its toll on my body too. But the longish lockdown gave me a chance to look after myself, tone up my body and raise my level of fitness. I think that is now showing up in my performance.”