Mild headwinds for RWITC after a robust 2022 - By Mr Vivek Jain
The RWITC, which found itself in a sweet spot on several fronts as it recovered from the fall out of covid, appears to be facing some headwinds, just as the last racing day for 2022 was run off on Sunday and after a robust year for the Club. First came the news that the GST Council has yet again deferred its decision on GST on online gaming, horse racing and casinos, and this matter remains in limbo for five years since the 28% GST was imposed.
The other has been the inordinate delay in launching the National Tote. Announced (rather prematurely?) with some fanfare at a private event as "going live" last week, apparently has hit some technical roadblocks, and though it appears to be of when, rather than if, it will finally see light of day, the delay does no credit to TAI. The gains to RWITC, who will have to drop its commission by half, however will be slow to come, as the turnover will need to double to just break even.
Disconcerting news that has filtered in, is the withdrawal of the first time Indian Derby sponsor, ostensibly for reasons related to restrictions on surrogate advertising on liquor. However as the Marketing Group has done a commendable job overall, it is to be assumed that an alternative will be found well before Derby Day. Whether the original sponsorship amount can be retained, is the only moot point.
The private sale of yearling thoroughbreds hit yet another high point last week, with the resounding success of the Poonawalla Stud auction, which bettered the dizzying high prices seen at the North India sale. Over 60 "lots" were sold in four hours of brisk bidding, with an average sale price possibly between 35-40 lacs. Should the RWITC not be thinking of ways to revive its own sale, an important profit center for the Club?
Two recent wins really pleased the eye. The first was the victory of Ahead of My Time, in the Indian 2,000 Guineas, more for the boost to her amiable trainer Dallas Todywalla, who has had some health setbacks and there surely is no better tonic for him than a deserved classic win. The other was the return to winning ways of the gutsy grey Juliette, who lowered Zuccarelli, presently in red hot form ( who though was the victim of a burst blood vessel) and pays tribute to the skills of her trainer Karthik Ganapathy. The prolific mare is on course to emulate Adjudicate and will be a hot order to win two successive Invitation Cups in March.