The Pune Derby is a sure shot crowd puller in the racing season. Home to one of the biggest races of the season,it also saw the most attendance this year. The Oktoberfest theme has been associated with the derby for the last three years. This year,the members’ area at the race course was done up tastefully with blue and white streamers,signifying the colours of Bavaria,and huge tents for the beers and the Bockwursts to be served to the people. Vivek Jain,chairman of the Royal Western Turf Club of India (RWITC),says,In terms of sponsorship,attendance,and the excitement,this has been one of the best derby’s ever. There is nothing more that one can do in terms of organisation for an event like this.
The Oktoberfest was sponsored by the Marriott properties in the city,and the expat turnout for it was huge. The German band,Die Sulmtalers,was at hand to entertain the guests,even as the beers and other German delicacies flowed freely. Frank ‘The Tank’,who is the drummer for the band,says,This is our second year here and the atmosphere is better than the one in Munich. With the people having a good time trying out the Sauerbratens,the Schnitzels,and the German beers,along with the horses racing in the background,the atmosphere is perfect for a day-long party here.
The main attraction of the day however was the Nanoli Stud Pune Derby – a thrilling race fought right down to the wire. KN Dhunjibhoy,who is the main sponsor and owner of the Nanoli Stud Farms,says,This was one of the best derby’s ever. The race was closely contested,and the crowd favourite won. What is more important is that the people who had come here also had a good time with the Oktoberfest event,and the band playing.
Falguni Kharwa,head of Design Services,DE International,who was responsible for the designs for the Oktoberfest party,says,Since this is the third year of the Oktoberfest that is celebrated in sync with the Indo-German Chamber of Commerce (IGCC),our main aim was to recreate the Bavarian atmosphere here,while keeping in mind the backdrop of the races for which the members and guests have come. Hence,as the main design we have a Sikh and an Indian woman wearing the traditional dresses of the Bavarian province,to signify the bond between the two countries.