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When jockeys worked hard to ensure Salman Khan won the race - By Prakash Gosavi I MidDay

Posted on - 30 Jan 2016

When jockeys worked hard to ensure Salman Khan won the race
By Prakash Gosavi
 “ I would like to conclude with a joke,” said Vivek Jain at the end of his 30 minutes at the podium at the 36th Asian Racing Conference ( ARC), “ what’s the difference between praying in church and praying at the racetrack? Answer: At the racetrack, you really mean it.”
The audience broke into loud applause, acknowledging the point Jain wished to make that the fact that horse racing is so difficult to beat makes it even more difficult to market it to the public.
The former chairman of the Royal Western India Turf Club ( RWITC) has also been the chief of its marketing committee for many years.
Jain was at his candid best on Wednesday when he opened the discussion on “How to market racing”. With help of some audio- visuals and a speech that covered a broad spectrum of his efforts to sell horse racing to the masses, Jain was honest about the fact that despite working almost 24/ 7, his task was far from finished.
Jain talked about everything he has tried so far, from contests of skill (even offering the Mercedez as prize) to media alliances to creative ads to sponsorships to starting a website and initiating live streaming of the races. “ We even invited Bollywood superstar Salman Khan to ride in a special race, and pitched him against some of our ace jockeys who had to work really hard to make sure he won the race,” Jain said, as the audience erupted in laughter.
Dr. Cyrus Poonawalla, chairman of the organising committee of the ARC, displayed almost boundless energy in discharging his duties as a host- par- excellence. The opening ceremony on Sunday evening made it apparent that great thought was given even to the smallest detail as over 500 delegates from 20 different countries around the world filed into the National Sports Club of India (NSCI) dome. “ I and my team have done our best to make this experience a memorable one for each of you,” he said when addressing the august gathering, “ and still if any of you have any problem — be it with your stay, movement or even food — I request you not to hesitate even for a second and to contact me at once,” said Dr Poonawalla. True to word, this correspondent spotted the good Dr, with his son Adar and daughter- in- law Natasha in tow, checking out the dinner arrangements and its presentation. 

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