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Stars Join Seolekars for Prestigiuos O Awards 2011 - By Mahendra Mallya

Posted on - 27 Oct 2011

Stars Join Seolekars for Prestigiuos O Awards 2011

By Mahendra Mallya
The O Awards is now a tradition which recognizes the quality performance of the Pune Season’s participating horses and professionals alike. The first O Awards was held at the prestigious O Hotels at Koregaon Park in Pune in 2008. It was subsequently held at the Pune racecourse and has been a regular feature of the final day of the Pune Season, preceding the regular racing awards that the RWITC has been conducting to reward the champions of the season. The O Awards are designed in a unique points system in such a manner, that quality, rather than quantity, is the criteria for choosing the winners. Winners of graded races are accorded bonus points and a winner in each category picks him/herself by way of points accumulated.
The Seolekar family, an elite business group family from Pune whole-heartedly support the O Awards and are the sponsors for the annual event. They are a prominent family and among their friends’ list are starry names who patronise the Seolekars with regularity. For the O Awards 2011, the guests of honour were young charming starlet Ms Mugdha Godse, Jimmy Shergill and the ever popular Jackie Shroff. ‘Jaggu dada’s antics with the crowd is absolutely thrilling for the crowds and judging by the cheers and applause he drew, it was evident that the crowds were backing him to the hilt. He walked around the paddock as usual, shaking hands with unknown faces and greeting them with warmth.
“It is an honour to be associated with the RWITC in recognising the stupendous achievements of the horses, the trainers and the jockeys and all those that are connected with this sport of kings. I felt horseracing in India can do with a lot more recognition and this sport really has the potential to become a lot more popular and prominent with the masses. With the O Awards, I attempt to do my little bit for the sport and in time, I hope this will grow to a national platform which in the end should reach the highest levels. I am contemplating a much bigger stage for the coming year and make this Award night an event to look forward to. I thank the RWITC in extending the kind of support and encouragement that I have received from them each year, said Mr Anil Seolekar, the head honcho of the Oxford Properties Group”.  
Mr Vivek Jain, Chairman, RWITC was overwhelmed with the announcement. “The O Awards are the virtual Oscars of racing at Pune. It was an innovative idea which has caught on. Next year, we hope to have a grand ceremony at the Oxford Golf Club in true style,” said Mr Jain, while also thanking the Seolekars for their magnanimous contribution.
Ms Mugdha Godse was at her petite best and was taken in with the atmosphere. “Pune is like home to me and it is wonderful to spend an afternoon with the horses. The Awards, I am sure are a great motivation for anyone connected with the sport and I am privileged to give away the awards to the deserving champions of the season”.
The final day of the Pune season had its share of glamour alongside some exciting racing action. The O Awards were presented to the winners in the paddock between races and the winners proudly held the attractive trophies and posed for the media.
Awards in racing have been held time to time but the O Awards has been the one to sustain over the years. The Turf Authority of India conducts a National level racing Award night during the Invitation Cup weekend at the home centre. However, the O Awards is Pune specific and the format for the O Awards too is different. It was a fine effort and the intent was absolutely noble, to actually honour the achievements on the Pune track for season 2011.

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