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The premier racing event is here -By Vivek Jain I TNN

Posted on - 01 Feb 2013

The premier racing event is here

Vivek Jain 

IT’s that time of the year where Mumbai hosts one of its grandest and most eagerly looked forward to event – The McDowell’s Signature Premier Indian Derby. Two weeks ago it was the marathon runners who dominated the streets of the city but this time speed and stamina will be on display on the turf of Mahalaxmi racecourse!

The talking point is already the record prize-money of 3 crore, which makes it not only the richest in its grand history, but also one of India’s biggest lifestyle sporting events. 

The 71st running this Sunday marks the first of the five year cycle of the renewal of United Spirits’ contract with the RWITC, worth 28 crore for the Derby weekends, making it one of the biggest sponsorship deals across all sport in India. 
The scale during this year is expectedly monumental. On ground will be the finest international entertainment under a mammoth Air Conditioned tent with a spectacular carnival bazaar theme and the icing on the cake are the three luxury cars and Grand Stand tickets for the Indian Formula One GP 2013 to be won. 
A media blitz with an increased emphasis on the digital space with activation on the Club’s website, promos on social media, applications to download print advertising for live viewing and RFID technology to contemporize the event will be a new attempt to attract the youth to the sport. 
In the “background” of all this buzz and hoopla will be the equines itself and the Derby race is the most competitive in decades with no clear favourite. This year only two of the fairer sex have dared to take on 15 colts. As always, it will be hats and skirts, flowery shirts under linen jackets that will sweep the colourful landscape and be equal match to the thunder of hooves on the emerald green turf. 

(Vivek Jain is former chairman of the RWITC)

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