After a delay of a week due to rains, the Mumbai racing season is ready to kick off from Sunday (Nov. 22). The bright sunshine has helped the track condition to improve.

The RWITC has decided to conduct 40 Club race days (after the cancellation of two days) during a period of five and half months. There will be no special race days. The gross advertised prize money will be Rs. 16.84 crores.

Mr. Vivek Jain, Chairman of the Marketing Working Group, who addressed the press on Wednesday said “We have guaranteed sponsors contributions of Rs. 6.83 crores, as compared to last year’s Rs. 3.62 crores and Rs. 3.06 crores of 2007-08.

The owner remains the backbone of the sport and this year the RWITC is doing its best to improve the economics of horse ownership. We already have the largest number of syndicated ownerships by which even 20 individuals can own a single horse jointly. In a measure to reward the entire cross section of owners, the performance incentive has been enhanced to 20 per cent which means a non-deductible credit to owners’ accounts of over 2 crores per year.”

“After a gap of six years, the Indian Turf Invitation Cup week-end returns to Mumbai. We were unable to host it last year as the equine influenza shortened the season, but are on target to stage, in all probability, the biggest and best Invitation week-end ever. We have already established new records for this mega event. Hirco and the Vandrevala Foundation are first time sponsors to racing and have come forth to be associated with the most prestigious racing carnival in the country. The sponsorship of over Rs. 1.5 crore is the highest ever for an Invitation week-end,” he added.

He also said that “The United Spirits sponsored McDowell Signature Indian Derby will establish a new record in 2010 with the Indian Derby crossing the Rs. 2 crores mark in prize money.”

Racing dates: Nov. 22, 26 and 29, Dec. 3, 6, 10, 13, 20, 24, 27 and 31, Jan. 2010: 3, 7, 13, 17, 21, 24 and 28, Feb. 6, 7, 14, 18, 21, 25 and 28, March 6, 7, 14, 18, 21, 25 and 28, April : 3, 4, 10, 11, 17, 18, 24 and 25.

More In: Races | Sport