Windfall for horse owners
In a note written to the Western India Race Horse Owners' Association (WIRHOA), Khushroo N Dhunjibhoy, chairman of the Royal Western India Turf Club (RWITC), yesterday announced an enhancement of benefits to horse owners, giving a boost to the image of the premier racing centre which, for many years, was facing ridicule for its pathetic stakes money structure.
The largesse, which includes an increase of Rs 60,000 to 70,000 across the all classes of horses (from class I to class V, and also 2-3 year olds), will come in force with immediate effect, the note says. This decision will result in total increase of Rs 7.18 crore in stakes since the last Mumbai season.
An additional Rs 1.04 crore benefit will also accrue to owners as the race club will bear a part of the electrical charges and full water charges which were earlier levied on the owners.
In addition, entry fees worth another Rs 62 lakh will be refunded to owners of horses that actually run after putting in an entry, encouraging bigger fields.
“This was long overdue,” KN Dhujibhoy, chairman of the RWITC, told MiD DAY.
“I am happy to report there are some decent profits this year, and it is only fair it is used to attract horse owners who are, like the punter, the backbone of this sport.”
When asked what he has planned for the punting community, Dhunjibhoy said, “We are getting the finest technology to enhance the racing experience of our customers.
I am also hopeful we will have some good news about reduction in betting taxes along with the lease renewal. I recently met revenue minister Mr Thorat, and I got good and positive vibes from him.”