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Vivek Sets Sights on Showcasing Indian Racing Internationally

By Mahendra Mallya | 25 Jul 2012 | PUNE


The sprawling auditorium tastefully designed at the Hyatt Regency, Pune, RWITC’s new hospitality partner, was well attended. The guests included sections from the print and electronic media, Army Senior Officers with their spouses, Sponsors, Club Members, professionals and officials of the Club. The Pune Season opener was set in a perfect ambience and began with an Audio Visual of the RWITC commercial clip.

The RWITC was represented by the Chairman Mr Vivek Jain along with Managing Committee member Mr Geoffrey Nagpal and Mr Sanjay Singh member of the Marketing Sub-Committee.

Mr Vivek Jain, the sole speaker on behalf of the Club, was at his oratory best. But before he took the microphone, Mr Gadi Hassan, General Manager of the Hyatt Regency Pune was invited to speak. In his crisp address, Mr Hassan said, “This is a new association and we are pleased to be associated with the RWITC. Horseracing is a high profile sport and the competitiveness and skill involved is of top level. The Hyatt establishment has the excellence and skill to offer our best to our clients at all times and that is our primary goal. We are happy to host the racing fraternity and we will extend our best to ensure that this bonding will develop further over the years. I wish Mr Jain and the RWITC a highly successful season.”

Mr Vivek Jain later presented a Memento to Mr Hasan welcoming the Hyatt Group to the RWITC as hospitality partners. In his address, Mr Jain revealed the highs of the Pune Season. “The stake money for the Pune Season hovers above Rs 7 crore mark. This is in par with last year’s figures, however, the performance-incentive has been enhanced making the actual payouts higher than last year,” said Mr Jain.

Mr Jain went on to state that the Global economic slowdown had led several corporate to cut costs resulting in lower marketing budgets. This had made the task more difficult in attracting sponsors. Nevertheless, despite the tough scenario, the RWITC had done well in roping in new sponsors and have been able to offer a well-packaged season with sponsored races each week for the three-and-half- month long season.  “We welcome first time sponsors in Raja Bahadur Pittie, Konark Builders, Hyatt Regency, Portside Café, Sanjay Kakade Group and Ashwin Gidwani Productions, who are all first time sponsors at Pune. Though we have lost some traditional contributors, we are confident, they will return the following season,” Mr Jain stated.

The top races with be the McDowell Indian St Leger Gr I (Sept 30th) and the Nanoli Derby Gr I(Oct 14th). “The Pune Derby is synonymous with Nanoli Stud Farm, who would be sponsoring Western India’s first Classic for a record 16th year in a row. The Dhunjibhoy family will also sponsor the Sprint Million on the Derby day and this will be an added bonus adding more color to the day. The Derby weekend will also feature the very popular Oktoberfest, for the third year running, thanks to the munificence of the Indo German Chamber of Commerce and its associates,” he stated.

One of the important developments is the effort taken to gain recognition in the international racing world. “On behalf of the Indian Turf Authorities, I made a presentation on Indian Racing. The delegation was pleasantly surprised by our races and the promotional events that add to the day.  We managed to initiate ‘The RWITC Trophy’ at the Singapore Turf Club, as part of our objective to establish reciprocal arrangements with international racing Clubs and to introduce simulcast of international races”.

Pune takes credit in attracting the highest number of international sponsorships with Irish Thoroughbred Marketing, Goffs, Coolmore Stud, Keeneland Association and Red Mills Horse Feed all sponsoring races at Pune.

An exciting prospect is the breathtaking Aerial Show and other unique fanfare on the Southern Command day.

Pune has also established a long list of media and hospitality partners. The Ista Hotels, Radio One, DNA and The Times of India Group are strong players in spreading the sport across sections of people. Special races will be run in their names to acknowledge their valued association.

Keeping up with web world, online entry-ticket booking is now an added facility to attract more visitors and by passing the long queues at the gates. Kyazoonga, a web portal will cater to the online bookings for entry for races as well as other events.

An Audio Visual marking the absence of several prominent personalities from the racing fraternity, who passed away recently, brought about a somber expression in the auditorium. The gathering stood up for the entire length of time of the AV in silence, as a mark of respect to the departed souls. The Club has thoughtfully framed trophy races in remembrance of the distinguished trainers BK Lagad, Nana Raghunath and Vinayak.

The Live Streaming of races is sponsored by the AGP Group. For those far away and cannot attend the racecourse, this will provide almost real time live viewing of the races. The afternoon finally concluded after a lively session of interaction with the media and Mr Jain. He countered all questions with panache both, the comfortable ones and a couple of not-so-comfortable ones adeptly.

A sumptuous spread of multiple cuisines served for lunch was complemented with an elaborate dessert of assorted goodies and those with a sweet tooth would have feasted to complete content.

The Pune Season then is all set to get off the gates. The horses are looking in good shape to produce their best and the form books will start ticking off with each race run. To start off on your waging venture, it is best to play a safe hand in the first few weeks and only when the horses settle down, you ought to unbridle your purse strings. Until then play safe and on behalf of the entire indiarace team, I wish you all a very enjoyable and productive Pune Racing Season. Best of luck!