RWITC to host Invitation Cup weekend
Following the runaway success of the Indian Invitation Cup weekend last summer, the Royal Western India Turf Club has been given the honour of hosting the premier event of the racing calender for the second year running in March 2011 after Madras Race Club (MRC) expressed its inability to host the event at Chennai.
The Invitation Cup carnival, which is held nearly a month after the conclusion of the McDowell Indian Derby at Mahalaxmi race course, is hosted by the five members of the Turf Authority of India (TAI) on rotational basis. It was MRC's turn to play host in March next year, but they eventually backed out.
MRC chairman MAM Ramaswamy informed this decision to the chairmen of the other four major turf clubs during their meeting held at Bangalore in July.
The MRC cited the huge expenditure involved and the inability of the MRC to foot the bill as reason to back out.
It is learnt that Vivek Jain then volunteered on behalf of the RWITC to host the event provided he could find a willing sponsor.
After meeting several prospective bidders like last year's sponsor HIRCO, DB Realty and others, Vivek finally clinched the sponsorship issue when he met Rakesh Kumar Wadhawan of HDIL.
HDIL, which sponsors the Indian Oaks on a regular basis, has agreed to sponsor the Indian Invitation Cup and the Stayer's Cup.
The Sprinters' Cup will have a new sponsor in Shapoor Mistry who has decided to dedicate the race to Oasis Star, the sprinting sensation foaled at his Manjri Stud Farms. Ameeta Mehra of Usha Stud Farm will continue its association with the Super Mile event which is dedicated to the memory of her late father, Major Pradeep K Mehra.
Having succeeded in bringing the event back to Mahalaxmi, Vivek will now be hoping that there is another replay of the fight that took place between the heroic filly Jacqueline and Becket, known as the rebel with a cause.
The fight between Jacqueline and Becket for this year's Invitation Cup was billed as the fight of the decade and the pulsating finish between the two horses provided a fitting finale to the grand occasion.