Qatar keen to sponsor Indian horse-racing
November 2, 2010
The Gulf state of Qatar which currently sponsors the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, a historic and most prestigious event in the racing calendar of France, through the Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club (REC), could be the future sponsors of horse-racing at the Mahalaxmi Race Course.
RWITC chairman Vivek Jain, on a recent business visit to Doha, held preliminary talks with REC general manager Sami Jassim al-Boenain. During an hour long meeting with Sami, Jain reportedly discussed the possibility of hosting an event in association with the REC on the lines of the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.
Jain while confirming this development to Mirror said, " I was in Qatar for a business trip and took the occasion to meet the officials of the Qatar Riding and Equestrian Club, who conduct horse racing in Doha. During my visit to Paris recently for the IFHA conference, which coincided with the running of the Arc, I observed the tremendous sponsorship by the State of Qatar for the Arc weekend and realised it would be a perfect fit for the Gulf state to do something similar at the RWITC since Mumbai is closer to Qatar and hopefully begin a more formal association including export of horses etc.
"During my meeting with Sami here, I broached the subject of a possible association for an Arc-type or similar event in India. I must say that his response was both instant and positive. The trade between our two countries is flourishing and interestingly India is Qatar Airways biggest destination.
"The broad terms for a partnership were also discussed and the REC agreed that it would be an fantastic idea and they were eager to take it forward for a big event. I have invited Sami to visit India and have a first hand look at what we have to offer in terms of the quality of racing and the facilities available which he accepted." "It’s still early days but the prospect looks good." Jain averred.
BIG TICKET SPONSORS
The REC not only sponsors the Arc but has also made its presence felt at Hamburg and Newbury too. According to sources close to the administration, the REC — desirous of replicating the success which it achieved in France — is extremely keen to have its footprint in Asia via Indian horse racing.
In an email communication sent to Mirror, Sami says, "I am looking ahead to visit Mumbai later this month and we are quite keen to promote racing in India as well. Like Qatar, India too has a huge legacy about horses. Indian horses like Mystical have done well in Dubai recently and I am sure that the quality of racing is of international standard there. Once we have a clear proposal (from RWITC), I will pursue the matter and look forward to Qatar being a part of Indian racing that too on a long term basis."
It is reliably learnt that Sami is likely to visit RWITC on November 21.
MUMBAI SEASON ON TIME
The Mumbai racing season is set to begin on November 14 as scheduled. Preparations of the stables and the tracks are on the right direction.The movement of horses will start from November 8 (after Diwali).The printed prospectus of the Mumbai season 2010-11 will be ready by this weekend. — Vivek Jain