Friday, October 14, 2011

Dhunjibhoy smells conspiracy and sabotage

"We need to get to the bottom of this": KN Dhunjibhoy

The boldenone drug scandal that rocked the Royal Western India Turf Club (RWITC) and its top professionals took a dramatic turn on Thursday. In a bold move that is bound to have far-reaching implications for the sport in western India, K N Dhunjibhoy, owner of the Nanoli stud farm, directed his private trainer Shyam Habbu to lodge a complaint with the Pune police.

It may be noted that Nanoli stud farm, which sponsors the grade 1 Pune Derby every year, was in the news in August this year when three horses from the farm tested positive for banned drug boldenone after they arrived at the race club's stables in Pune. Trainer Shyam Habbu in whose care the horses were listed was fined Rs 175,000 for vicarious liability by the RWITC stewards.

"We have been in this business for 17 years, more than 250 horses have come and gone from our farm in all these years, and we have never had a problem," Dhunjibhoy told MiD DAY, "we suspect there is more to this than meets the eye."

Dhunjibhoy, who also trains his horses with champion trainer Pesi Shroff, did not rule out a conspiracy or sabotage angle in the whole affair. "We have had great success in recent years, especially with Pesi Shroff-trained horses," he revealed, "and interestingly, these horses were initially meant for Pesi Shroff's yard, but Pesi, for some reason, advised me to send them to Habbu, a fact that no one knew besides us. So I suspect whosoever got at the horses did so to get Pesi into big trouble."   

Shyam Habbu, on Dhunjibhoy's instructions, has given names of ten key persons to the police who are working at both the farms owned by Dhunjibhoy--Nanoli stud & Manju Meadows--and also at the RWITC stables. When MiD DAY asked Dhunjibhoy why he did not take help of private sleuths to get to the bottom of this instead of seeking police help, he said, "There wouldn't be legitimacy to the findings if I put private detectives on the job, I want this entire investigation to be transparent & above board, so I have approached the police authorities."

(c) MiD DAY

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