Pune Season reaches Climax with the Nanoli Derby - Oktoberfest Weekend
Posted on - 10 Oct 2012
The Pune Season, now in its final days, reaches a thunderous climax with the Nanoli Stud Pune Derby and the IGCC Oktoberfest coming together this weekend.
The Pune Derby has been a virtual Nanoli property, with the farm extending its sponsorship for the 17th year in a row. Only the UB Group’s sponsorship of The Indian Derby has had a longer continous run for any classic in India. In keeping with the times, the prize money breaks the 85 lakh mark this year, an all time record. This race first crossed the 50 lakh stake money benchmark in 2008, and the previous high was the 80 lakh purse in 2010.
As has been the feature for the last few years, the association of the hugely popular Oktoberfest, has added a very special dimension to the weekend and has helped boost the attendance in no small measure. This year will see a new live band flown in from Germany which is always a huge draw. Of course, the focus is on German beer and food, and costumes that replicate the famous Munich Oktoberfest, which probably is just over. The atmosphere is festive all around, and a record turnout is on the cards, with the fun beginning from Friday evening itself!
The race itself will have a smallish field, and if the poll on www.rwitc.com is any indication, points to a straight fight between Shivalik Hero and An Acquired Taste, with two final entries pepping up the card.
Derby Day will feature two millions, the Dhunjibhoy family sponsored Sprint Million, and The Keeneland Juvenile Fillies’ Million, upped in prize money this year, and the first of the international sponsorships got by the RWITC for the season. In addition, the first two year old race to be run anywhere in India this year, is slated for Saturday and is always watched with interest. And the VW Polo Car to be won in a contest of skill is the final icing on the cake.
Adding a sombre note will be two trophies instituted by the Club as memorials. The first honours Nusli Pudumjee, a long time secretary of the RWITC, and the second, trainer Vinayak, both of whom passed away this year. It is fitting that the Club has framed the race in honour of Vinayak on Derby Day, the late trainer having won the Pune Derby last year with Hills and Stars, just months before his health took a tragic turn that led to his demise.
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