Ramu still calls the shots, says Indian Touch's trainer Karthik

Ridden by CS Jodha, who excelled by riding three winners and as many seconds on the card, Indian Touch made them all gallop from the word go, cruising effortlessly around the final bend when all her rivals were already off the bridle, chasing without any hope.

Horse owner MAM Ramaswamy. pics/ RS Gupta

Indian Touch carried the famous silks of racing baron Dr MAM Ramaswamy, who even today maintains a sizable string of horses at all racing centers in India, employs nearly half a dozen trainers and a score of jockeys.

Trainer Karthik Ganapathy

However, of late, Ramu, as Dr Ramaswamy is fondly called by the racing fraternity, whose imposing and colourful personality was once ubiquitous in Indian racing paddocks, has become somewhat of a recluse. He was recently sighted, after a gap of several years, during the Bangalore summer Derby in July. But that only put the rumour mills in overdrive, everyone believing that due to old age and poor health, Ramu was not taking personal interest in his racing affairs.

“Nothing can be further from the truth,” trainer Karthik Ganapathy told MiD DAY after leading in winner Indian Touch. “Boss (Dr Ramaswamy) takes active interest. Today, it was he who gave detailed instructions how he wanted the horse to be ridden. I just passed it on to the jockey. He’s still as passionate about horses and racing as always. In fact, when The Ministerian won his maiden race, boss immediately called and told me to enter him in the General Rajendrasinhji Million.

And when he narrowly lost there, he again called to say that perhaps jockey CS Jodha erred in making a split-second decision, and told me we should run the horse in the Pune Derby. This is not day-to-day management, but moment-to-moment interaction. And they say he’s lost interest? I wonder where such rumours come from. In this age of technological revolution, he can micromanage his entire racing empire without having to travel to every center.” When asked if Indian Touch will be in the Derby fray, Karthik said: “Boss feels she’s not meant for that trip.” 

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