When the celebrities stayed away

When the celebrities stayed away

The City had a few months ago witnessed an entertaining spectacle that was the Summer Derby.

The Winter Derby was not expected to live up to the lofty standards set by one of the country’s premier events. Even by those lowered expectations, the Republic Day race was a let down on certain fronts.

The racing quality was surprisingly good with most of the races lending unpredictable winners and the Derby itself showcasing an exciting race. Still there was something missing.

The punters flocked in as usual so the numbers in the stands read a healthy 22,000. But it is the celebrities who provide colour to the Derby. On Sunday, however, the Bangalore Turf Club held none -- at least not the ones who send the crowd into a frenzy with a single wave of the hand.

The usual dressed-to-kill crowd was all over the place but that did not fill the void. The only time the entire crowd got to its feet and cheered on -- barring the time when Louis-Phillipe Beuzelin bagged the winners’ trophy for guiding Agostini to a win in the Derby -- was when D Lohit won an i20 Car in the Lucky Dip Contest.

Contest winners: Lucky dip: D Lohit (i20 car) 1; N Muniyan (Karizma bike) 2; Nautam Lal (Pleasure scooter) 3.Best dressed: Gentleman: Gautam Nangiya.Lady: Prarthana Prakash.
Byramji feted

One of India’s most respected trainers, Rashid Byramji was also felicitated by the Bangalore Turf Club.

Byramji, who has trained 3082 winners in a career spanning 58 years and counting, was presented with shawl, a scroll and a memento just before the start of the Bangalore Winter Derby.

Byramji became a certified trainer in 1955 and earned his first win a year later. Since then he has trained over 230 Classic winners, and has also ensured that his son -- Darius -- has taken to the art. Known to pick unlikely yearlings before turning them into race-winning horses, Byramji is still one of the most sought after names in the business.

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