Dr SC Jain Sprinters' Trophy to be presented by governor - By Vivek Jain | TOI
Posted on - 10 Feb 2018
Dr SC Jain Sprinters’ Trophy to be presented by governor
By Vivek Jain
THE INDIAN Derby Weekend is always tough act to follow but the two Grade 2 races the Dr SC Jain Sprinters’ and the time honoured Eclipse Stakes on Saturday will ensure racing remains at a high order. The Dr SC Jain Sprinters’ Championship, named after a long serving chairman of the RWITC, is one of the country’s topmost sprint races and seen as the premier trial for the Sprinters’ Cup.
I have invited His Excellency the H’ble Governor of Maharashtra to be our family’s guest and to present the trophy named after Dr Jain and he has honoured the family by his gracious acceptance. Dr SC Jain was chairman for a record 13 years in two periods from 1979/80 till 1988/89 and then again from 1990/91, and served for 29 years as a committee member in intermittent periods from 1972/73. His record of leadership and performance has given him the stature of an elder statesman and after some confusion on when the race was instituted, it appears it was in 1994, making today’s running its silver jubilee.
The race achieved Grade 2 status when Indiscretion won in 1999, and Dancing Prances, who has completed a hat trick of wins in the last three editions, will attempt a boundary for a fourth straight win on Saturday. Five of this race’s winners Indiscretion, Pallazio, Oyster Cove , Oasis Star and Forest Flair all went on to win the Sprinters’ Cup, with the prolific Oasis Star being the only horse to winning both the SC Jain and Sprinters’ back to back in successive years.
We have always presented special trophies, including art pieces and even a hand-made sculpture painted by Paresh Maity and added to the race by giving away lucrative prizes including paintings, complimentary stays abroad and this year will be a three night stay at Ananda in the Himalayas, coordinated by my former marketing colleague Gitanjali Gurbaxani.
To add a touch of glamor, Preity Zinta, when at her peak, and the reigning Miss India’s, have been our guests and the presence of the head of our state for this running should give this year’s presentation a formal, special edge.
The 2018 running has been advanced to Saturday due to the request of BTC to run their postponed Derby on Sunday. It appears to be a blistering ten horse field but ownerbreeder Dr Cyrus Poonawalla’s brilliant filly Ruffina is the red hot choice. Though an obvious contender for either the Sprinters’ Cup or Super Mile (or both) at Kolkata on the Invitation Cup weekend, the grapevine tells me that Cyrus is reluctant for her to take the long journey, a decision he may well revisit should she win in style.
If Ruffina does win, it would make for a poignant picture indeed, with two illustrious former chairmen sharing the dias, flanked appropriately by the H’ble Governor, giving this year’s 25th SC Jain Sprinters’ a very special feel, and fittingly with His Excellency gracing the occasion.