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Dark chapters of BTC: The link from the past

  May 7 , 2018
   

One of the dark chapters of Bangalore Turf Club was the charge against certain racehorse owners who were Stewards of blatant manipulation and changing the results on flimsy objections or Suo moto Stewards enquiry to suit theirs and partners` betting interest. After a series of dubious decisions, the Karnataka Government stepped in and asked the turf club to amend the Articles of Association to ban racehorse owning members from becoming Stewards. The turf club did not pay heed initially but after 55 days of no license, was forced to amend the Articles. This was in the year1985.

The turf club`s reputation was at an all-time low and the Karnataka government even wanted to hand over racing to Racing Board appointed by it. The then chairman of the Bangalore Turf Club Venugopal Naidu was removed by the special meeting of the managing committee in February 1987 as he was doing things to favour a government takeover. P G Belliappa replaced him as the Chairman. Belliappa was successful in giving a new direction and weather the storm thanks to the extensive help given by the media.


There is a link from the past to the present. Venugopal Naidu`s son Harimohan is the current chairman of the club. The club is facing a severe crisis of leadership, with the reputation of the club at an all-time low. Allegations of impropriety have been flying thick and fast. The turf club is taking actions like removing staffers without as much as a notice violating human rights and principles of natural justice and fair play. There is strife all around. Licenses are being denied to trainers without any reason and people believe Naidu could well be the poorest chairman that the club has seen. Unfortunately, he has managed to hold on to the seat even though he doesn`t seem to enjoy a majority in the committee.

There is another disastrous link to the past in the form of A C Satish Chandra who is currently on the committee which is guilty of taking several controversial decisions, disregarding acceptable norms of a civilised society. He is seen regularly interacting with a couple of trainers in the morning. Many believe he is playing the role of a racing manager for certain interests. There is also a belief that he could also be owning shares in these horses going by his involvement. If one were to track his actions, one could get to see his continuous calling of trainers with whom he reportedly has horses. Being a Steward, he should not be seen acting as a racing manager because he would be compromising his job of being an all-powerful Steward especially since he appears to have the majority in the committee with half of its members being his nominees through back door entry.


Interestingly, the horse which caused horse owning club members to be banned as Stewards were triggered by the horse (Govardhan) owned in partnership by Satish Chandra.

The old-timers readily recall the incident which happened on February 2, 1985. Two horses namely Govardhan and Certain Smile contested in a race which was won by the latter in convincing fashion. Following an objection, the Stewards gave the race to Govardhan which received widespread condemnation. Certain Smile, in the hands of jockey Warren Singh, won start to finish while Govardhan made a futile chase and lost by a length. There was an allegation that it was done to suit the betting interests of powerful Stewards and their partners. The then police commissioner of Bangalore Harlankar who was known as a tough taskmaster ordered an enquiry to go into the incident to find out if the Stewards took the decision to suit the betting interests. His report to the government was damning. The news was front-paged in Indian Express and appeared in National magazines like Indian Today. (The India Today story is carried elsewhere to give a clear perspective of what transpired at that time). Harlankar had recommended that the race owning Stewards were manipulating races and were indulging in undesirable practices and that they should be banned from holding responsible positions. The integrity of the sport was heavily compromised, he had said.

After the amendment, those who wanted to become Stewards either gave up owning horses or kept shares of horses in other people names so that they could enjoy the best of both worlds. Satish Chandra is morally disqualified from holding a responsible position as he was the owner of Govardhan for whom the race was awarded in blatant disregard of all acceptable norms.

Since Satish Chandra is seen acting as a racing manager if not having shares in the horses, he should come out clean and not associate with any trainer. He should not be seen interacting with the trainers and going to the starting gate when these horses are running in a race. He should do everything to ensure that he is above board. Or best, resign as a steward and enjoy being a racehorse owner. He cannot be hoping to enjoy the best of both worlds.

Satish Chandra was part owner of the horse who benefitted by the action of the Stewards. The incident subsequently had serious repercussions on the sport and the guilt of the connections was established by a police enquiry resulting in the banning of racehorse owners from becoming stewards, he should face the same action as the one he is proposing on the owners of Queen Latifa. I hope the members take note of this dark chapter of BTC racing and ask Satish Chandra to quit.

 
 
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Total Comments : 12
Posted by Raghuraaman on ( May 7 , 2018 )
Govardhan was not the owned by Satish chandra, it was owned by MS Krishnappa, s Moses trained and certain smile was ridden by p woods and not Warren , trained by e Cracknell, objection the decision was 50/50 among stewards and Chairman Ramakrishna Rao had casting vote decided in favour of upheld, ( present Satish Chandra father AMC Gowda was in the committee if I recollect correct he was close to MS Krishnappa who had all the Chikmagalur votes) Harlankar, Sathish Chandran and Chief Steward was Arshad Ali Khan with Ramakrishna Hegde was chief minister wanted to form Racing committee under government control hence formed Khola committee
, and I was one of the invitee for discussion.
For your records.

Admin: You can check the facts by checking on the accompanying image of the result sheet.
 
Posted by Sad on ( May 7 , 2018 )
The controversial people who brought the sport to disrepute are at the helm of putting others into trouble by their vicious campaign. Good that this article highlights these people and their past deeds.
 
Posted by Manish on ( May 7 , 2018 )
How thick is the skin of these worthies who have brought disrepute to the sport? Nothing seems to trouble them.
 
Posted by Akash on ( May 8 , 2018 )
Mr Raghuram, I am not sure who you are and what your intent is to cover up the people in question. Mr Sharan has spent time getting the facts and posting the same on this website. I hope it answers your questions.

Sharan, Thanks for posting this article. Now, I see that there is no difference in a bookie owning a horse and steward having vested interest in gambling. I need to be careful with these guys..
 
Posted by Chandra on ( May 8 , 2018 )
No wonder the retired trainer is calling the shots because of his past association with the powerful steward. The steward should come out clean about his association.
 
Posted by Daya on ( May 8 , 2018 )
The retired has no qualms about the kind of friends he has. The very same people who conspired to get him six months suspension by leaking out the complaint letter are now his best friends in his act to bring down the club. As they say, the birds of the same feather flocks together.
 
Posted by Jones on ( May 8 , 2018 )
I don`t know how this retired trainer is calling the shots. He was suspended for six months for slapping an official. He has been suspended as a trainer many times. Everybody who rode him was suspended sometime or the other. He fought with a member before he managed to become a member. He had to apologise to escape punishment. The late Ramu taught him a lesson by filling up his stables with his horses and on the eve of the season, removing them, forcing this person to retire as he was left with empty stables to manage. So much for the machinations of this trainer. He sent out of racing many good owners by promising gambles and then having them run below potential. It shows the calibre of the people who support him to damage the sport which he did when he was a professional as well.
 
Posted by Lokesh on ( May 7 , 2018 )
How come you have left out the name of the trainer Sydney Moses? Many of the controversial decisions were taken by the Stewards because the trainer called the shots. Even an honest and tough taskmaster like Dara Mody quit in disgust when he was unable to rein in the trainer because of the support he enjoyed in the stewards` room. The man who is calling the shots and responsible for the blowing up of Queen Latifa issue and the formation of a special enquiry committee to fix the old committee is none other this retired trainer.
 
Posted by Suresh Kumar on ( May 7 , 2018 )
Mr Sharan Kumar. Well written article. I would like to add some more to your article with respect to Mr Satish Chandra by nature who is a sadistic person and see his body language. He is a punter who has lost fortunes. One can see him early morning on the track with the track book number in his hand as a ready reckoner to see the horses gallop in the morning and then shamelessly interact with the jockeys and worst with the riding boys too. If Mr Arshad Ali was alive he would have withdrawn his membership. I have interacted with his father Mr AMC Gowda one of the finest gentlemen who till his last breath wanted him to stop going to race course but this defied all his instructions because of pure punting habits.

Suresh Kumar
 
Posted by star contendar on ( May 20 , 2018 )
some one please post the name of the retired trainer, weather he is sydney moses, or some one, thank you.
 
Posted by n shivakumar on ( May 7 , 2018 )
HE SHOULD QUIT IMMEDIATELY., FIRST THING HE NOT DONE ANY THING WHEN HE IS CHAIRMAN OR NOW AS MEMBER., HE MUST GO...FIRST CLEAN..CLEAN BTC...
 
Posted by Samar on ( May 7 , 2018 )
Former Police Commissioner Harlankar and himself a member of the club managing committee had said: "I have received numerous complaints from the public about how stewards were interfering with the results of races and contrary to the code of conduct expected, were even placing heavy bets on some races." The situation has not changed much. In fact, things have gone from bad to worse after this present committee took over.
 
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