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Mumbai Derby set to be richest race run

Mumbai Indian Derby,to be held on Sunday at Mahalaxmi race course,is set to become the richest race in India.

Written by Rohan Swamy | Pune | Published: February 4, 2012 2:04:43 am

The total prize money will be Rs 2.61 crore,the highest ever awarded during the race

The Mumbai Indian Derby,to be held on Sunday at Mahalaxmi race course,is set to become the richest race in India. The total prize money for the event will be Rs 2.61 crore,the highest ever awarded during the race.

Speaking about the race,Vivek Jain,chairman of Royal Western India Turf Club (RWITC),says,“The money that has come in — in terms of sponsorships — will ensure that the race this year will be more glamorous. In fact,with the high prize money also ensures that the public that will attend the race will have a good chance to win a big sum.”

Some of the major attractions of the tournament include tribute performances to Lady Gaga,Britney Spears and the Bee Gees. In addition,the race day will also see fashion designer Adam Saaks showcase his collection.

Jain says that the main reason behind having so many events leading up to the race is to ensure good crowd build-up and participation during the race. “The race will also be telecast live. We will also promote the race on social media so that those who cannot attend can at least follow it.”

Nina Lalwani,a horse trainer,says,“The derby will be bigger this year,and with Vijay Mallya sponsoring the event,it will have a higher glam quotient. Personally,however,I feel that the race will be decided between Hills and Stars,In The Spotlight and Pronto Pronto. In fact,over the last 10 years,the derby has risen phenomenally not just as a sporting event,but also as a lifestyle event.”

Around 10 years ago,the prize money for the event was Rs 75 lakh. RWITC expects an attendance of around 30,000 this year,including business tycoons and Bollywood celebrities.

Last year,the race was won by Moonlight Romance owned by Rakesh Kumar Wadhawan,Waryam Singh and Prem Tharani who represent Wadhawan Livestock Pvt Ltd. The 13 horses that will be running the race include,Astapi,Cardinal,Field Marshall,Hills and Stars,In The Spotlight,Knighton,Marauder,Picasso,Pronto Pronto,Ranthambore,Smashing and Star Marquess.

The highlight of the race is also the newly imported air-conditioned hangar where all the events will be held. The 16,000 sq ft air-conditioned hangar has been bought from Germany for the event. Other events during the race day include Up Close Personal Magic with Katherine Mills and a dance-and-music gala by the group Sheketak.

Jain said they will also offer a Mercedes Benz,a Skoda Fabia and a Honda City as prizes for various events that will be held during the race.

Kelly Kotwal,director of sales and marketing for Poonawalla Stud Farms,says,“The whole list of horses that are running is so compelling that it is difficult to predict an outcome. It could be just about anyone’s race. Right from the likes of In The Spotlight,Pronto Pronto and Hills and Stars or even Ranthambore,anyone can win it. That is the best part,that is what will make the race more exciting.”

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