The returning of the RWITC auction sale to Mumbai is a step in the right direction and one that gives me great satisfaction, as I have always held that the marketplace is Mumbai and not Pune and we must take buyer friendly steps to sell where the buyer wants to be. Having been a persistent advocate for a change of venue, now that the sale has returned to Mumbai, I have entered good stock to promote this Auction.
We need to change our culture of buying and selling, we need to accustom ourselves to selling openly with full disclosure, paying GST as we do when go to a 5 star restaurant or buy other luxury goods! We need not be apologetic or shy about purchasing expensive stock in public auction, as we are not shy when we buy expensive cars and watches! We need to remove the stigma from racing by correct practices.... the world has changed and is changing swiftly....we need to update ourselves and evolve with the times, so that horse-racing and breeding can once again take their rightful place as the KING of Sports. This may no doubt take time, but it is inevitable, if we want this sport to survive.
The Auction is a place where the correct price for a horse can be established by market forces, where transparent practises such as proper vetting and scoping should be the norm, so that before a vendor bids at the Auction, she or he is fully satisfied that the product is race-worthy.
Some of the major stud farms in the breeding fraternity have got together, to name a few: Nanoli, Poonawala, Dashmesh, Yeravada, Usha, to commit themselves to selling only in the Auction ring and not entering into private treatises before-hand. This is a welcome step in the right direction, and the small Auction sale working group of Milan Luthria and Gautam Lala deserve special mention as they have taken and implemented positive suggestions and I am certain that next year will make it even more exciting and attractive to seller and buyer alike!
An Auction is a good venue where sporting owners wanting to own a potential champion with a black-type winning pedigree can come together as a group to form a syndicate and bid for a horse which otherwise may be outside their individual budgets! This way the budget is extended as all owners are present and enjoy the process of selecting a prospective 2yr old together with their trainer and have a bit of fun owning a serious racehorse.
On a personal note, the revival of the Auction sale in Mumbai brings back fond memories of the late 80's and 90's when my late father Major Mehra brought his stock to Mumbai. Each year the Usha horses paraded there, my mother with her hamper of sandwiches and coffee.... towering personalities... Suneet Khatau, Rashid Byramji, Deepak Khaitan, NM Irani to name a few, and many wonderful racing personalities frequented our ring and bought many a champion like Treasure Girl, Indictment, Lei, Goldilocks, Capricorn etc