Nanoli to opt out of Pune Derby sponsorship

Pune: On the heels of the news that the UB group will be pulling out of the Indian Derby sponsorship after 30 years, comes another blow for racing in western India with Nanoli stud farm, who on Sunday sponsored the grade 1, Pune Derby for the 19th successive year, also planning to end the partnership with the Royal Western India Turf Club (RWITC).

Even as race club chairman Zavaray Poonawalla and marketing committee chief Vivek Jain reportedly flew to Bangalore on Thursday morning to hold urgent talks with the UB group to avert the crisis brewing with the Indian Derby which is barely four months away (Feb 7, 2016), the racing fraternity was agog with rumours that KN Dhunjibhoy, owner of Nanoli stud, had also decided to pull the plug on the Pune Derby sponsorship owing to lack of promotion on the club's part.

"Yes, it's true," KN Dhunjibhoy confirmed to mid-day, "I am disillusioned with the way the club is treating my race."

"There was no promotion, no enthusiasm from the club's side," Dhunjibhoy added, "forget added funds, even the banner visibility was missing. Despite we putting up so much money, my race carries the least purse among the monsoon Derbies, the club puts much more money as added funds for the lesser races. So what's the point in continuing?"

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