Southern Command Gold Cup Weekend a big success
With the Pune Season nudging the half-way mark, a high point of the season was reached with the Southern Command Gold Cup Weekend. A high powered two days, with celebrities, top quality sport and the spotlight of the media, was just the perfect tribute to racing at the RWITC.
Saturday had the shutterbugs busy as the well known cine star Ameesha Patel came in half way through the card with her mother and Ghazal maestro Jagjit Singh and the pretty Ameesha was the cynosure of the crowd as she presented the Jaspal Enterprises September Handicap. Waving to the packed throng on the paddock periphery, Ameesha said she enjoyed the afternoon and looked forward to be invited again. Kishore Dhingra, a first time sponsor with the Club, deserves kudos for his attempt to bring a touch of glamour to the day by inviting the star.
The evening was even more high powered as Rudraksh in association with PRIVE, a Tata Housing brand, rocked the Ball Room of the Turf Club House, with a superlative fashion presentation before the members of the Club and the Pune elite. It was “standing room” only, as over 300 turned up to watch the glamour on display, reckoned by many as the best haute couture Pune has seen in a long time. What was encouraging is Chetan and Rasika Wakalkar’s promise to the RWITC Chairman to significantly upscale the showing next season. Bollywood star Aftab Shivdasani’s presence added a touch of Bollywood to the evening.
Sunday was Army Day and led by GOC-in-C Lt.Gen.Pradeep Khanna, Southern Command Day saw the military authorities out in full force with the Army Band in attendance. With the addition of The PRIVE Trophy, sponsored by Tata Housing, there was a virtual feast of racing. Interestingly, both the attendance and betting showed a smart rise, and the tote betting on a per race basis was the highest for the season.
Certainly the Club’s effort at promoting its racing days is showing up in increased attendance and media publicity this season at Pune.