Poonawalla’s need to retake the control of Pune racing

Kirti Patil & Muneer
Sunday, 16 July 2017

As all fear that GST will put racing in an unchartered territory as earnings will lessen, it is time for the racing fraternity to think positively and put their differences aside to face the challenge.

Pune: The passion of racing has just got costlier with the Good and Services Tax bracketing horse racing in the highest taxed activity, something that will be felt once the Pune Monsoon Racing comes along in 12 days time.

As all fear that GST will put racing in an unchartered territory as earnings will lessen, it is time for the racing fraternity to think positively and put their differences aside to face the challenge.

A strong a passionate leadership is needed at this hour of uncertainty and without doubt the contribution of Poonawallas for the Pune racing in particular and Indian racing in general come to the fore.

Poonawalla brothers, Dr Cyrus Poonawalla and ZS Poonawalla, have made tremendous contribution to Indian racing and are probably one of the few owners, who insists on clean racing.

Considering their status as one of the top breeders in India and besides being owners of Serum Institute supplying life saving vaccines to all parts of the world, the Poonawallas have done immensely for racing, which is their sheer passion.

That they are involved in a lot of charities and presently doing their bit towards Swatch Bharat in keeping Pune clean, is one such activity that puts them apart from others.

As Cyrus Poonawalla and ZSP have opted out of heading the committee for personal reasons, Adar Poonawalla becomes the right choice to take over, considering his exposure in running Serum Institute, and with the backing and support of his family. He would be able to steer RWTIC from the considerable mess it finds itself in.

The petty politics between the two factions in Pune racing just seems to not end. The whole lot needs to take a walk, maybe barring a few, and let the new generation take over.

No doubt RWTIC requires a strong leadership of Poonawallas to bring about a paradigm shift in the management of it’s affairs.

It is not impossible if the right people are in place, who would ensure fair races by strict stewardship monitored by professional stewards, fair returns to punters by keeping reasonable deductions in terms of their commission in all pools, or to put in simple terms being punter centric.
And finally, the committee should use their good office with the State and Central governments to introduce All India Totes, which will go a long way in ensuring fair racing, besides generating huge revenues.

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