JOCKEY QUOTESVICTOR ESPINOZA, ST. JOE BAY, WINNER: “It feels great to be back in the winner’s circle. It’s very encouraging to go forward in my career after what happened. This has put me on a different level, mentally as well after what happened. I thought I would never be back to ride. It was not easy not riding (during the past three week period).“I lightened up on my therapy for a week or two and then started to train hard again. I only rode two horses in coming back. This horse (St. Joe Bay) was the first horse I worked since my accident. He’s a different horse since then. He’s changed since that work. The next time I worked him he was so positive. He built up with more weight and he was so happy. The combination changed him for the good. I never thought he would win that easy. This is fun and exciting.“I tried to jump in and open up as much as I could and he took it from there. He wanted to come out of there but really his body was not too capable so bobbled a bit, but by the second stride he picked up nicely and then I just let him cruise to the lead.”TYLER BAZE, DR. DOOR, SECOND: “I didn’t think he was going to be that lazy, but besides that he got rolling and he tried hard. I think he ran really well off the layoff. I’d like to thank Bob (Baffert) for the opportunity and would love to ride him back.TRAINER QUOTESJOHN SADLER, ST. JOE BAY, WINNER: “No, this doesn’t make up for the last one (scant nose defeat of Catapult in the Kilroe Mile). We’re really happy for Victor who’s on his comeback. He’s worked hard and it’s been tough with the calendar. He was ready to go a month ago and he had to stop, so it’s good for him to get back to the winner’s circle.“The horse got was second, got beat a head in this race last year. It’s a good distance for him, he got out, got rolling and the rest is history.”NOTES: The winning owners are Kosta and Peter Hronis.
Anil Kumble claimed his place among the greats of the game after serving Indian cricket for 18 long years as a player. He single-handedly won a lot of games for the country. During the course of his illustrious career, he has dethroned many and went on to become India’s highest wicket-taker in Tests and ODIs.Almost five years after retiring from international cricket, Kumble is back. The Karnataka leg-spinner will be part of the Indian dressing room again. This time, he has piped 56 other candidates including the likes of Ravi Shastri and Tom Moody to become Team India’s head coach. (‘Honoured’ Anil Kumble ready for ‘big responsibility’)As part of the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s selection process, Kumble had to appear for an interview before his former teammates and close friends Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman. (BCCI has complete faith in Kumble: Anurag Thakur)Kumble described how ‘nerve-racking’ it was to have been interviewed by men with whom he had shared the dressing room. (Also read: Heartiest welcome to Anil Kumble as India coach, says Virat Kohli)’WAS DIFFERENT’ “It was very different. This was first time I was attending an interview to seek a job. My colleagues, with whom I had played, were on the other side of the table. We have had many meetings as part of the team – strategy meetings and casual meetings but this was something new. (Also read: Kumble says interview with Tendulkar, Ganguly and Laxman was nerve-racking)”It was very different to present my case to the three members. Of course, Sachin was on a video conference but Dada and Laxman were on the other side. It was nerve-racking but it was great to present a plan,” Kumble told bcci.tv. (India coaches from the past | BCCI finally gets over its obsession with foreign coaches)advertisement’GREAT TIME FOR INDIAN CRICKET’ The legendary spinner said he cannot wait to join forces with his former teammates again. He added he would work with them closely to take Indian cricket forward.”This is a great time for Indian cricket. I have played for long with Sourav, Sachin, VVS and Rahul (Dravid) is also guiding the junior team.”The five of us share wonderful relation on the field and off it as well. It will be great for the five us to get together and take Indian cricket forward,” he said. ‘SPOKEN TO VIRAT KOHLI’ Kumble, who has been given a one-year contract, said his immediate focus would be on the four-Test tour to West Indies.”I am looking forward to work with the team. We are going to West Indies soon, the focus will be on the Test series. I have spoken to Virat Kohli. It’s nice to have a camp in Bengaluru ahead of the West Indies tour.”Kumble also said he believed in the potential of the young team at his disposal.”I believe this team has the potential. It driven by a young leader. I am looking forward to work with Kohli and MS Dhoni as well.”‘WRIGHT A BIG INFLUENCE’ The leg-spinner revealed he had learnt a lot from former India coach John Wright and would pick his brain when it came to working from behind the scenes.”I played a lot under John Wright. He will be a big influence in terms of how I would go about my job, about being in the background. When I became the mentor of Mumbai Indians, I brought John in. He understood a lot about the Indian culture. I would certainly pick his brain,” he said.Kumble said it was necessary for him to be in the middle with the young team and that he felt this was the right time to get involved. ‘STILL FIT ENOUGH’ “I am still fit enough to run round. You need to get your hands dirty, you need with the players, train with them because it’s a young team. “If it was a very senior team you can sit back and strategize. But for a young team you need be in the middle. I felt I could do that at this age,” he said. Kumble also said his family backed his decision without any second thoughts.”I spoke to my family and they supported my decision. I have travelled for almost 18 years (as an international cricketer) and it is not going to be easy as we will be travelling a lot.”