• Ruffina wins The Sprinters Cup (Gr.1)
  • Azzurro wins The Dr M A M Ramaswamy Stayers Cup (Gr.1)
  • Whomakestherules wins The Maj P K Mehra Memorial Super Mile Cup (Gr.1)
  • Kangra wins The Indian Turf Invitation Cup (Gr.1) in record timing
By Ikram Khan
Friday 05 Jan 2018
Ikram Khan

After much tension and high drama, the Bangalore Turf Club (BTC) managed to gain the licence to conduct racing operations this winter and the club has readily framed a eight-event card for the opening day of the season on Saturday, Jan 6.

At a meeting held Wednesday night, the Chief Minister Siddaramaiah provided the all-important go-ahead and it was time for song and dance all night long for the racing buffs. It may be recalled that the government had denied the licence to conduct racing at BTC since September 1 following the CID enquiry into allegations of doping, betting and tax evasion charges. The CID report, it is learnt is almost complete and will be tabled in the month ahead.

Former Chief Secretary B K Das will spearhead the Monitoring Committee. Former IAS officer M R Kamble and former IGP T Jayaprakash, and former Additional Commissioner of Commercial Tax A B Shamshuddin are the other members of the committee. Barring Shamshuddin, all the others are members of BTC. Das incidentally had contested for the post of Steward and lost in the September elections but the choice of the government to get him to head the Monitoring Committee appears to have won the confidence of the racing public. BTC chairman Harimohan and Satish Chandra are the two of the three elected stewards who will serve in the six-member Monitoring Committee.     

The monitoring committee will report on the adverse findings if any to the government of Karnataka and the Hon`ble High Court of Karnataka and inform the Managing Committee of BTC of its findings. If aggrieved by the monitoring committee, the BTC may provide its explanations to the government of Karnataka and the Hon`ble High Court of Karnataka.

The other role the monitoring committee will play is that apart from overseeing the conduct of racing, the committee will examine and recommend to the government, any statutory provisions/amendments to the existing laws, governing the licensing of horse racing and betting in the state of Karnataka and protect the interests of the public and also of all other stakeholders. The monitoring committee will be in force for two seasons or until such time the Hon`ble Court disposes of the writ petition filed by the club, whichever is earlier

The monitoring committee will function within the existing frame of law with a view to protecting the public interest as also the interest of all parties including the other stakeholders such as horse owners, trainers and employees of BTC with respect to the racing activities conducted by the club. In particular the monitoring committee will oversee actions of BTC with respect to illegal betting, betting by members of the managing committee, positive reports from testing laboratories for doping; racing objections raised and findings of Board Of Appeal.  

Now with the new Monitoring Committee and the BTC committee having agreed to work in tandem to ensure the promotion of the sport and the image of the premier centre  which had taken a beating in the last six months, a good winter season will help put BTC back in the big league.

Most professionals pleased that their horses will be back on track revealed that the two-month close shop period was exacting and now that the starter is ready to bring down the flag on the opening event, the Black Cavalier Plate, the first event for juveniles on Saturday afternoon, the effort is on to gallop to fame.