Bangalore: The Jockeys Association of India (JAI) and the Karnataka Racehorse Owners Association (KROA) impasse over enhancement of riding fee – from the present Rs 750 to Rs 2,000 – remains unsolved. The JAI-affiliated jockeys have ceased work since Thursday. However, racing here is unlikely to be disrupted during the weekend. Jockeys not affiliated to JAI will be donning the silks with foreign riders and apprentices – indentured under Bangalore Turf Club (BTC) rules of racing – also seen in the saddle.
Abstaining from the scene of action are the likes of Shroffs, Imrans, Shafiqs, Warrens, Rajeshs, Srinaths and some of the local jockeys. However, foreign riders G. Dickie, M. Poirier, D. Badel and M. Gallagher alongwith their Indian counterparts B. Prakash, K. P. Appu, P. Kamlesh, C. Alford and, of course, apprentices will be seen in their riding boots.
Many are of the opinion that the JAI’s decision to go on strike was premature and that they could have waited till the Turf Authorities of India (TAI) met sometime around July 13 – the Bangalore Derby day. But JAI is peeved as the KROA is not bothered to have a discussion on the issue. The matter has been going on for a year with only promises.
Our Calcutta Turf Correspondent adds: JAI, on Thursday eve-ning, had sent a faxed representation to M. L. Choudhury, president of the Calcutta Racehorse Owners Association, asking for a revision of mount fee to Rs 2,000. Choudhury, when contacted, said; “What JAI is asking for is too much. A 20 to 25 per cent hike with three years cap would be reasonable. They were given a raise only two years ago. In a day or two we will communicate our stand on the issue to RCTC.”