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New Sponsors, Record Stakes For Pune Races

By Mahendra Mallya | 16 Jul 2009 | PUNE


The RWITC Committee and their marketing wing in particular, have done a remarkable job in bringing together the most exciting and richest season for the Pune Meeting 2009. The prospects for the season look bright and a colourful and a festive season is well on the cards.

Addressing the heavily attended press conference at the Truf Club House, Dr Cyrus Poonawalla, Chairman, RWITC, welcomed a sizable media representation together with some of the main sponsors of races. “This is going to be one of the richest season in terms of stake money on offer. The season opens tomorrow (16th July) and the rains have just come down at the right time. The track is spot on and a great reason season is ready to unfold’, he said.

Dr Poonawalla also added that the Club had done its bit to ensure that the owners received the cushion of subsidized maintenance cost for the period lost due to the EI occurrence late last year. The stewards, he said, had agreed to restrict the participation of outstation horses to only graded and select races, which was an owner friendly drive. In addition, the Club has hiked up the performance incentive to 15% for 10% last year; running races with even just four runners and dividing races at a smaller number. These certainly are owner friendly measures.

Mr Vivek Jain, Chairman of the Stewards and Chairman of the Marketing & Media Working Group, then took over to highlight the high profile sponsors during the season. “We have ensured that every Sunday will be a Graded and/or a Sponsored day. Paranjape Group, Saarrthi, Casino Royale and Southern Paradise Stud have come aboard as first time sponsors. We hope to top our race days with prizes and events like food carnivals, wine tasting and an October fest akin to the Munich beer festival,” said Mr Jain.

Mr Jain also asserted that the stewards hope to maintain transparency in the decisions taken and in info given to racing public. Punishments would be by way of reasoned orders which shall be posted on the official website – and also published on race cards.

Mr Jain, continued “The Club welcomes The O Hotels as our ‘preferred hospitality partner’ for Pune, who have offered a range of benefits to our members, owners and others. The O Group will also continue with the O Racing Awards which were initiated last year in an Oscar-style presentation ceremony on the concluding day”.

The RWITC has formed a tie-up with the Sakal Media Group and with Network 18 hoping to telecast the two Grade I races live. He also emphasized that the Indian St Leger returns to Pune after many years and will be sponsored by Casino Royal in October.

The highlight of the season though will be the Nanoli Stud Pune Derby which will be Nanoli’s 13th year as sponsors of the big race offering a rich purse of around six million!