Pune, March 7: Hasan Ali Khan, alleged to be India's biggest tax evader, had 18 racing horses at a time, but now has only four, and all of them are about to retire from the race tracks, reports The Indian Express.
Incidentally, all the four had run at the Mumbai race on Saturday giving 'satisfactory performances' according to their trainer.
One of them, Houdini, which Khan owns in 50-50 partnership with wife Rheema, won the race on February 20 at Mahalaxmi Race Course, Mumbai.
"He now has only four horses, all registered with the Royal Western India Turf Club (RWITC). They are Lago Medio, Hammerhead, Bonny Light and Houdini and have been taking part in races in Mumbai and Pune. All four ran on Saturday at the Mahalaxmi Race Course," said Pradyumna Singh of RWITC.
Khan owns the horses in partnership with other members and while he owns 25 per cent share for Bonny Light and Lago Medio, Hammerhead is owned at a 50 per cent share. Houdini is co-owned by his wife.
Monthly maintenance of a horse is in the range of Rs. 30-35,000 while annual costs reach Rs. 3.5 lakh. "The game is such that for the owner to profit, his horse has to win at least twice a year," said Dr Ravi Reddy, veterinary doctor.
By that standards, Ali's horses have been doing well as Hammerhead won four of the 23 races it ran over the past two seasons.
According to data on RWITC website, Houdini won on February 20. Lago Medio, once a winning horse that won seven out of 25 races it ran between 2006 and 2009, has been giving an average performance of late and finished 18th in the recent race on February 6 in Mumbai.
Bonny Light has won seven races over the past five years.