Mumbai: Zavaray Poonawalla buys Vijay Mallya’s Mahalaxmi racecourse lounge for Rs 1.61 Crore
According to reports, Zavaray Poonawalla, champion horse breeder and popular racing personality, has won the bid for the Vijay Mallya lounge, which is located on the first deck of the members’ enclosure at the Mahalaxmi racecourse. Apparently, Poonawalla won the 500 sq feet UB lounge or Vijay Mallya lounge as it is known colloquially for a sum of Rs 1 crore 61 lakh for a period of 15 years.
Confirming the news, Poonawalla said, “Yes, I have won the bid for the lounge or air-conditioned box. I may use it personally, or give it to the Royal Western India Turf Club (RWITC) as space to entertain their special guests or seat them on special race days as a goodwill gesture to the club and to the sport of horse racing.”
Reportedly, the club had sent out letters to its 9,000-member strong base in early November that the lounge was open for bidding and the last date for bidding was December 1. In an exclusive report mid-day had stated earlier that this uber luxe seating arrangement had been leased out for 15 years to the flamboyant Vijay Mallya, synonymous with racing in India.
Though the liquor baron is in the UK now, but the RWITC had confirmed that Mallya’s 15-year lease for the lounge was over. The current club chairman, Khushroo Dhunjibhoy had told the paper in the earlier report, “The lounge was leased to Mallya for 15 years. The lease period is over. Now, the club seeks to lease it out once again for a term of 15 years.”
On November 18 this, the Mumbai racing season had started. The first Classic of the Mumbai season, the 1,000 Guineas, is to be run at Mahalaxmi on Sunday. A former RWITC chairman- Zavaray Poonawalla is the younger brother of racing denizen Dr Cyrus Poonawalla who held the reins of the turf club for many years.