Oktoberfest- Pune Derby Weekend draws packed numbers
Posted on - 12 Oct 2010
With the success of the post position draw press meeting and evening held for the McDowell Indian Derby, the idea was replicated for the Pune Derby, and it was a packed gathering at the Turf Club House at Pune on Friday that kicked off the season’s biggest weekend.
The old world Ball Room of the Turf Club came alive with benches swarmed with Germans enjoying the revelry, as they do in Munich, and members, owners, trainers and media occupying the back as the Oktoberfest- Pune Derby Weekend was flagged off.
Mohit Lalvani introduced the evening with a film that was presented at the IFHA Conference in Paris on October 4th. It was a wonderful encapsulation of the strides made by Indian racing and breeding. Vivek Jain, Chairman, RWITC welcomed the sponsors and gave highlights not only of the Weekend but of the Pune season. He added, “This is surely not our last hurrah as we have two more big weekends to sign off in style.”
Peter Deubet of the IGCC and the driving force behind the Oktoberfest confirmed a three year tie-up with the RWITC for the Fest and the Derby Nite, alongwith Marriott. Representatives of both Marriott and VW spoke of their association with this mega event. Adi Narielwala, on behalf of Nanoli confirmed this was Nanoli’s 15th consecutive year of sponsorship and hoped to continue their association. Mr Khushroo Dhunjibhoy with the IGCC launched the Fest with “bonging” the beer barrel in a celebratory ritual.
The evening was topped off by a live wire performance by the German band and outstanding cuisine by Marriott.
The Weekend was full of revelry, great racing and the stands and lawns were overflowing. Derby Day attendance touched in the vicinity of 10,000 and the tote betting of 1.67 crore was not only the best of the season and the reduction of about 12% on last year compared favourably with the average 30% reduction seen on other big days.
The Nanoli Pune Derby was won by the owner making waves, Rakesh Wadhawan, who ran one-two, and added his second Derby in the short space of just three months. His horses are sure to dominate at Mumbai.
The Oktoberfest proved to be a big draw on both days, as was the VW Polo on offer on Sunday. The association by Keeneland of the U.S. was the final icing on the cake of Pune’s biggest weekend in several years.
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