Monday, October 12, 2009

Blunder blues

RWITC does a swift turnaround in jockey case,
says 'refunding money to punters' was a mistake

By Usman Rangeela

© Mumbai Mirror

Exactly two weeks after condemning French jockey Stephane Breux for a crime that was not evident to the astute race-goers, the Stewards of the Royal Western India Turf Club (RWITC), it appears, realised that they had erred in their decision.

The Stewards concluded their investigations and after a marathon meeting held on Saturday evening decided to suspend Stephane for six race days for unsatisfactory riding and also fined him an amount of rupees 10,000.

Narendra Lagad was fined an equal amount after being held guilty of unwarranted behaviour which incited an already charged atmosphere.

French jockey Stephane Breux has been suspended for six race days after a marathon meeting.

Hasty decision

The RWITC Stewards, on September 27, had resorted to the unusual step of declaring the refund of all bets in the race where Sparkling Spirit lost. In another significant decision, the club had allowed owners of the first four horses, as placed by their judge, to earn the stake money.

These actions had created the furore in the racing circles and it was widely believed that the Stewards showed undue haste in arriving at the decision.

Vivek Jain, chairman of the Stewards of the Club, had however maintained then that the decision was taken to protect the interest of the majority of punters who suffered due to an alleged and prima facie serious malpractice in the running and riding of Sparkling Spirit. Jain also informed that it was felt by the Stewards that this occasional and rare resort was to discourage wrong doers and instil confidence in the punting public. Jain was also quoted saying, “It was a blatant case.”

When asked by this correspondent that, in hindsight, did he believe that the decision to refund all bets was wrong, Jain admitted yesterday that the Stewards were influenced by the extremely agitated atmosphere that prevailed in the committee room.

Derby drama

Apart from the nail-biting finish witnessed for the richest race of the season, there was more drama as runner-up Cabriolet lodged an objection against the winner Versaki after losing the Nanoli Stud Pune Derby by a neck. The club had to co-opt a Steward and the objection was heard by a bare minimum quorum of three Stewards.

First favourite Versaki retained the Derby as the objection was overruled. A majority of the punters was obviously overjoyed but there were some who termed the Stewards’ decision as atrocious.


  1. Dear Prakash,
    Is there no FINOO BET for to day's Hyd race?.

  2. Rudolph.A.FurtadoOct 12, 2009, 5:42:00 PM

    The Pune Derby won by "Versaki" was very controversial although it was the favourite that won."Cabriolet" was definitely the better horse that lost a certain race due to various factors.Congradulations to "Versaki" for winning although it is definitely not a "2400 metres runner", the distance for the "Indian derby".


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