Friday, September 12, 2008

Get well soon, Punters tell RWITC (shared by Ankit)

Publication:Mumbai Mirror ;
Date:Sep 12, 2008;
Page Number:27
dark horse
Get well soon, Punters tell RWITC
USMAN RANGEELA TAKING NOTE of the points raised in this column about the deduction bias in favour of bookmakers, the RWITC Stewards, it is learnt, are seriously exploring ways to find a solution for this vexed problem. An amicable solution where there is no face-off between the club and the bookies. I also understand that some kind of respite was in the offing for punters but for Capt Jamshed Appoo, who requested that the decision be kept in abeyance. Appoo, I am sure, has not acted out of sympathy towards the bookmakers but he must realise that is imperative for the club to have the punters’ interest uppermost in their mind. Vivek Jain, on his part, agrees that the rules need modification but thinks it should ideally be through consensus and a little bit of pushing with the bookies may to lead to further reform. Getting to know these developments, race-goers cannot help but feel that something surely ails the RWITC administration. Given a chance race-goers would love to meet the ailing administration and present them roses in Gandhigiri style. Since this is not possible all they can do is pray for them to get well soon; at least for the sport and the institution if not for the race-goers sake.

RIGHT TO INFORMATION THE STEWARDS of the RWITC, on Saturday last, decided to impose a oneyear ban on jockey L Prashant for not allowing Schnell to run on its merit last month. The outcome of the enquiry was on expected lines but it hardly provides any succour to the punter whose money went down the drain. Grapevine has it that Akash Agarwal is also on his way out. According to reliable sources, some startling disclosures have come about during the investigation initiated to look into the defeat of Starlite Express last month. Prashant’s is not the first offender to be punished by the RWITC and he will certainly not be the last. However, almost all those connected with the sport are both anxious and curious to know what goes on behind the closed doors of the RWITC committee room where the Stewards deliberate on these issues and scrutinize the evidence. The race-goer, however, continues to remain in the dark. He wants to know who or what motivates the likes of Prashant to risk their careers. But all turf clubs don’t find it necessary to disclose any such information. The punter, unfortunately, is unable to invoke his right-to-information (RTI) with the clubs because they are considered private bodies.
NO CONCESSIONS LAST WEEK, when the BTC committee members met their RWITC counterparts, they were also seeking some financial relief from big-brother. The BTC pays a princely sum each year as royalty for inter-venue betting and during the course of their meeting, asked for some relief from the RWITC. The BTC delegation apprised the RWITC that their racecourse is under threat and they are staring a huge liability if forced to buy alternate land. The RWITC politely turned down their request saying that the matter is premature as no financial crisis has hit the BTC and the question of royalty waiver or concession does not arise at present.


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