Derby will be as grand as ever, says RWITC
Posted on - 18 Nov 2017
Derby will be as grand as ever, says RWITC’s Shroff
Mumbai: Dr. Ram Shroff, the managing committee member of the Royal Western India Turf Club (RWITC), made it clear that Indian Derby weekend on February 3 and 4 next year will be as grand as ever.
Many eyebrows were left raised in the racing fraternity after the Indian Derby programme was missing from the booklet previewing the new season, starting November 19. The 39-day season, which also includes 23 days of under light racing, will get over on April 15.
“We will certainly have a grand Derby. It has not appeared in the prospectus because we are still in the process of finalizing the sponsors. United Spirits Limited had informed us that they will quit once the contract ends in 2017. But United Breweries Limited is on board as usual and we expect many more for the weekend,” said Shroff.
Considering RWITC’s stressed financial situation, a 23-day Evening Racing programme too came as a surprise to many but Shroff revealed that even last year it was a profit making venture. “We did make profit last year but for us evening racing is not just about profit and loss. It is about creating world class infrastructure and developing a new culture in our great city and we are confident it will be a big success in future.”
According to Shroff, phone charges for the public enclosure will remain the same but there will be a slight increase in the rates for the members and their guests from December 1onwards.
Quinella Ka Dhamaka, which was a huge success when introduced during the Pune Season, will continue this season too. “The Dhamaka Contest will start from the first day of the season with Rs2 lakhs and every Sunday we will have the same linked to totalizators. The cash prize will increase later between Rs. 2—5 lakhs. We even have found a sponsor for the same,” informed Shroff adding that there are many first time sponsors this season apart from the regular ones and virtually every weekend will feature a Graded /Sponsored race.
The RWITC admitted that the situation in Bangalore Turf Club will have its effect on club’s finances. “If it gets worse, it will certainly impact us like all other clubs in the country but we are keeping our fingers crossed as the events are still unfolding,” Shroff revealed.
The Annual Auction Sale of two year olds, which was a regular feature in Pune, will be back in Mumbai during the month of February post Indian Derby weekend.
Meanwhile, distinguished Rotarian Gulam Vahanvaty, the chairman of the stewards, has been elected by Rotary International Board of Directors to serve as a trustee of The Rotary Foundation (TRF) for a four-year term beginning 1 July, 2018. There were speculations that in view of this development he has quit his post from RWITC but Vahanvaty clarified that he will quit only next year if his new responsibility affect his duties as chairman of stewards.