The passing of Jaggy Dhariwal brings to an end the career of one of the greatest trainers India has ever seen. His career with over 2000 winners and innumerable Classic winners is there for all to see but the true gift Jaggy had was his ability to train a champion to hold its form for the whole year. My family has been involved with Jaggy for three generations and I’m proud to say that I was an owner in his stable right to the very end. He shared a very close relationship with my grandfather, someone Jaggy always looked up to, similarly he was very close to my father and finally I too struck up a great rapport with him as did my two brothers. Every time I’d see him it would bring a smile to both of our faces and Jaggy always had a mischievous gleam in his eye. He was extremely well read and he always had the X Factor as a trainer, he would pick up things many wouldn’t simply just looking at a horse. His handling of the siblings Chaitanya Ratham and Chaitanya Chakram was absolutely flawless, he took Chakram through from the last proper Ooty season through Bangalore Summer, through the Hyderabad Monsoon season, the Indian Derby, Invitation Cup and then further on to the President of India Gold Cup with flawless precision. A shrewd tactician he was always quick to adapt. This was best seen when he trained in Madras; a certain owner would often block Jaggy’s horses during a race, not one to complain Jaggy simply decided to change his tactics. He started to teach his horses to go to the front and win their races start to finish. This manifested itself to make Chakram the machine that he was, hit the front and go fast, every furlong go faster, once clear a slight breather and then kick for home and it worked every time.
A very kind man, Jaggy was always there to help a fellow professional or a small Punjabi Breeder and he was truly loved by his friends. I would always joke with him that wherever he went he had a large fan club. Full of life his one liners would always entertain us at track in the morning, whether he was taking Dicky Singh’s trip or having a friendly argument with my father. I shared a common bond with him with both of us being Jatt Sikhs and whenever we’d talk it would always be in Punjabi. Once when he was training Bonzer another trainer asked him whether he felt Bonzer was as good as Chakram, the reply he got was one only Jaggy could give, ” Could be Chakram or he could just be Bonzer.” Jaggy was always full of life and anybody who came across him would eventually become a friend. Today there is a pall of gloom over the entire industry though his health had been failing and in the last couple of years he had been in and out of hospital quite often. The fighter that Jaggy was, he would always roar back with a vengeance. Alas his body finally gave up this time and we lost a truly loveable character from our sport.
He was an enigmatic trainer, you’d never understand his methods but man his methods were very effective. He trained some real superstars for us and when Practicallyperfect won us the Hyderabad Fillies Trial trained by him I doubt any big race win would’ve given me as much of a kick. My father was ailing with Cancer at the time and the filly winning momentarily took my entire family’s mind off our situation. We will all miss him greatly, he was a member of our family and its not just us. Similarly today Marthand Mahindra, Mr Pathy, Mr Sibia, Mr Dhillon and every single breeder in Punjab are missing him like we’d miss a family member. He trained for Vijay Mallya with tremendous success and year in and year out he would produce another top notch horse for them. I take this opportunity to condole with his wife Judy, his nephews Romi and Pinta and the entire Dhariwal clan. Today we lost one of our own and we will miss him greatly. Rest In Peace Jaggy Uncle, it would be safe to say you led a really full life and you leave us all behind with very fond memories. Jaggy went out training at the very top end of the game, Saltoro Ridge will go down in history as his last winner and that was just a few days back. Rest In Peace Jaggy Uncle, we will miss you a lot.