Double trouble for Pune races
On the one hand incessant rains have been lashing the monsoon racetrack over the last four days, raising concerns if the two-day racing this week scheduled for Thursday and Friday can go through.
On the other hand, strangles, the dreaded disease whose outbreak has already compromised racing at Hyderabad and Mysore in recent weeks, had reared its head at Pune.
Vivek Jain, committee member of the Royal Western India Turf Club (RWITC), confirmed the news. “Yes, I am informed that two horses, one each from trainer Pesi Shroff & Imtiaz Sait’s yards, have been suspected of the infection,” Jain told MiD DAY. “However, there is no quarantine facility at Pune, so arrangements were being made to transport them to Mumbai for the purpose of isolation.”
It may be noted that both Shroff and Sait had taken a small string of their horses for summering to Bangalore, which is now being viewed by some as a possible cause for contracting strangles, as horses and professionals from Mysore racecourse (which has been forced to shut down for two months) were freely mingling with their counterparts at Bangalore until the outbreak of the disease was confirmed at that center.
It may be noted that two leading jockeys from Pune, namely S Zervan and Trevor Patel, are engaged to ride on today’s Bangalore card, and are also likely to ride at Pune tomorrow.
However, when asked if they would be disallowed to return to Pune in view of this development, Jain replied, “I don’t think so. Like us, Bangalore has already taken precaution and banned movement from Mysore, so we have no issue with Bangalore as of now, unless the veterinary officer advises the stewards to take more stringent measures.”