Fenil and Bollywood

Sallu, Hold your horses

Posted on: January 14, 2010

Stud Salman unavailable to practise ahead of Sunday’s event where he’ll race with top jockeys. RWITC fears an errant mare could ruin their big photo op

By Usman Rangeela (MUMBAI MIRROR; January 14, 2010)

The Royal Western India Turf Club has a delicate problem on its hands. As part of its initiative to popularise the sport of horse racing, the club has tied up with janta’s favourite, Salman Khan.

Salman, happy to use the opportunity to promote his upcoming film Veer, has promised to arrive for Sunday’s  races at the Mahalakshmi racecourse at full gallop, astride a beautiful horse, amidst the baying crowds and the eager media. Not only that, he will even run a short race with some of India’s top jockeys.

The horse for the event, but naturally, will be provided by the RWITC.

Now the concern here is that unlike in the movies where film stars ride horses trained and handled by stuntmen, the RWITC has in its stables either thoroughbreds worth hundreds of thousands, or old racetrack superstars who have been put out to pasture and are used by the amateur riders’ club to train children.

“Letting Salman ride the thoroughbreds is out of the question, but these retired horses also haven’t run on the racecourse in a long time,” disclosed a senior RWITC official. “So if they are suddenly exposed to the tracks or unruly crowds they may bolt or rear up, leading to embarrassment we don’t want…. We don’t really know how good Salman’s riding skills are, and he may want to ride a flashy-looking horse which may not necessarily be appropriate,” said the official.

“An event of this type is unprecedented and will be a big boost for racing,”  said RWITC chairman Vivek Jain.

Sources from the sets of Veer told this newspaper that Salman who has done quite a few horse riding sequences and had grown fond of the horse used in the film, a white mare called Lakshmi, but that she was trained to work on film sets.

For the last two days a desperate RWITC has been trying to get in touch with the star but withlittle success. They want him to come to the club before Sunday’s event and chose a gentle, timid mare of “sound temperament.”

But doesn’t that sound a bit odd in the context of our Sallu?


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