Dark Horse - Jacqueline's connections are back in action - By Usman Rangeela | Mumbai Mirror
Posted on - 21 Dec 2016
DARK HORSE - Jacqueline's connections are back in action
- By Usman Rangeela : Mumbai Mirror
FOR A RINGSIDE VIEW OF HORSE RACING
It may not have been an exact repeat of the out come witnessed on the Indian 1000 Guineas day, yet the 2000 Guineas result, and other three events in the seven-race card on Sunday, reflected the clean sweep made by the KN DhunjibhoyVijay Shirke camp of the race-days when the two Indian classics were run. After Mrs Patmore's victory in Shirke's colours, the 2000 Guineas was won by Serjeant At Arms which ran in Dhunjibhoy's silks.
This was probably for the first time after the heady experience given by their champion filly Jacqueline that Dhunjibhoy, Shirke, their associates and even their families were seen relishing the glorious moments fetched for them by the two equine athletes.
At a time when the number of horses owned by famed racehorse owners like late MAM Ramaswamy, late Deepak Khaitan and Vijay Mallya has declined and only the symbolic presence of their colours can be felt on the Indian racing circuit today, the passion and interest of both Dhunjibhoy and Shirke in thoroughbred racing remains intact. They both continue to maintain a sizeable string in Western India and the success achieved by their properties was indeed gratifying for them.
While the uncertainty surrounding the sports continues to linger, the Royal Western India Turf Club's managing committee decided to hike the prize-money pay-out by twenty-five percent. On another front, Vivek Jain led a Turf Authorities of India delegation and met Arun Jaitley, Union Finance Minister, last Friday to ensure that the game doesn't suffer a fatal blow after the long-awaited Good and Services Tax (GST) is rolled out.
According to Jain, the finance minister gave the delegation a brief but intent hearing. Among other issues, Jain highlighted the problems faced by the horse-racing industry post demonetisation and impressed upon him that, in this time of crisis, the sport needs a friendly approach both from the Centre and the State government.
In a significant move -with the objective of a national unified tax-rate in mind -Jain requested Jaitley for a favourable consideration if and when GST comes into play between April and September, which could possibly pave the way for an all-India totalizator regime.
Jaitley did not commit himself but Jain feels that the TAI have made a beginning and there is a likeli hood of this meet ing bringing the desired benefits which are critical for the sport's survival.
Not only Jain but the entire racing fraternity is keeping its fingers crossed and hopes that GST contains no negative surprises for them.
While on the subject of survival of horse-racing at RWITC, it's almost certain that GST will be the deciding factor in October next when it's expected to be rolled out.
If the government decides to tax only the commission charged by turf clubs, horseracing will be entering a different era altogether. An all-India tote betting regime could bring windfall gains for every turf club and might draw punters back to venues like Mumbai, Pune and Chennai.
According a GST expert, whose is advising the TAI, sin tax will be levied if the GST council considers betting on horse-racing as gambling.Therefore, it's imperative that TAI projects tote-betting as a pool which distributes dividends to the winners.
Any deviation from tote betting monopoly and the sport could be doomed.