Zinia Lawyer: Storming the male bastion

THERE’S been a solitary instance in the history of the Royal Western India Turf Club (RWITC) when a lady member was elected to its managing committee.

Interestingly, Zinia Lawyer, of London Pilsner fame, has decided to storm the male bastion this year and has entered the fray for a seat in RWITC’s boardroom. Eleven candidates, including Bollywood director Milan Luthria, are contesting the elections for the Club’s nine-member committee this year. Zinia, who famously sold her family’s beer business to Vijay Mallya in 2000, is no newbie to the sport. Much before the likes of Mallya, Deepak Khaitan and MAM Ramaswamy arrived on the scene, her late father Noshir Irani was a leading racehorse owner at RWITC.

Zinia’s association with horse racing doesn’t end there. Her sister Bakhtawar happens to be the better half of veteran horse trainer Bezan Chenoy, while daughter Farah is married to Riyad Oomerbhoy, whose family’s passion for the equine sport is an open secret. With such solid pedigree to back her claim, it seems some of Zinia’s rivals are already feeling the heat.