‘Track conditions are going to be firm and if there are heavy showers the track would be good going,’ according Jockey Trainer of the RTC, Sinclair Marshal
Event Coordinator Nikhil Punna, stated that competition this season is expected to be fiercer than the seasons gone by, due to the ‘Selvaratnam Challenge Trophy’ Class 1 race to be held on April, in addition to the usual Royal Turf Club, signature race ‘RTC Magic Million’ that is to be held on April 16, both which offer a Rs. 1 million stake to the winner.
The Selvaratnam Trophy is supported by a family of exemplary horsemen, Renga Selvaratnam and sons Gopi, Karthik and Druba Selvaratnam. Trained under the tutelage of Sri Lanka Trainer Renga Selvaratnam, Druba has trained Sheikh Ahmed bin Rashid al Maktoum’s horses for the past 27 years.
Speaking to Punna, Senior Trainer Jayantha stated that he has a few good runners this season, including Champion Honorius who shook the race course by winning his first ever race in Sri Lanka. Owned by Fearless Stables belonging to Eresha Weerasinghe, Honorius is targetted to win the Class 5 races with Crimson Quest owned by Mr. and Mrs. Gamini Jayaratne and trained by veteran trainer Madialagan being the main Challenger. Champion Trainer Raju stated that he has a good string of horses especially for the Class 1 Races and stated that Alcazaba and the RTC Governors Cup 2016 winner Roswell are owned by Deepthika Jayakody.
Trainer for the Jayaratne Stables, Indian Trainer, Manish Raj Sethi stated that he had not had much opportunity to train Meheran for the Class 1 Race to his satisfaction, but nevertheless he hoped to challenge both Alcazaba and Roswell for the Million races.
As always, animal welfare is uppermost with the RTC, who have started a ‘Pony Welfare Fund’ for 115 ponies registered with RTC. Dr Balaji Consultant Medical Officer for RTC stated that RTC has set up a free medical scheme for these ponies owned by low income groups and the unemployed Youth of Nuwara Eliya. The scheme would ensure that the ponies would be vaccinated periodically and their general health condition monitored from time to time.
Races are scheduled to commence at 10 am on April 2, 16 and 29. Tickets and the latest news will be available on www.royalturfclub.com/, or via Email firstname.lastname@example.org.