Few are aware that horse racing in India is a 200-year-old tradition. Madras was the first state to set up a racecourse in India in the year 1777. Today, India has a very well-established racing industry, and the sport is conducted on nine tracks and regulated by six racing authorities. Racing in India is restricted to Indian-bred race horses and the breeding industry imports stallions from all over the world.
There are six horse-racing avenues in India, which are scattered all across the nation in major cities including Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kolkatta, Delhi, and Chennai. Let's get to know about these avenues in detail.
The race course is situated in Mahalaxmi, which is part of Mumbai’s prime neighbourhood. This staggering oval-shaped track with 2,400 meters (7,900) straight chute is spread over 225 acres of open land in the heart of the beautiful city. The race course was built in 1883 and modelled on the Caulfield Racecourse in Melbourne. The racing season starts by mid-November and ends in the last week of April. The Derby is conducted annually on the first Sunday in February, and is patronized by the city’s elite. From the year 1986, The Signature Indian Derby conducted at Mahalaxmi race course has been sponsored by the great liquor baron Vijay Mallya’s UB group.
The Guindy Race Course was set up in 1777 in Chennai, India. Guindy is the oldest race course in India and is renowned for organizing events during winters. The race course has managed to tackle several hurdles and unfortunate events that came in its way, and has emerged out to be one of the most important race course of India. Now, the track has about 625 horses in station, three stands, and arguably the best race track in the country. The racecourse opens in November and goes on until March. A monsoon season has been launched with races being conducted between August and October.
The Hyderabad Race Club is a Thoroughbred Racing Association, with the race track located at Malakpet, Hyderabad. The racecourse is considered as one of the top race course in India. The Hyderabad Race Course hosts the Deccan Derby. It is held on the 2nd October every year. Some other prestigious races conducted at Hyderabad Race Course include the President of India Gold Cup, Nizam’s Gold Cup, the Fillies Championship Stakes, and the Colts Championship Stakes.
The Kolkata Race Course comes under the jurisdiction of The Royal Calcutta Turf Club. The club was founded in 1847 in Calcutta and became the premier horse racing organisation in India during the British Empire. During its heydays, the club was the governing body for most of the courses in the sub-continent. The club was solely responsible for defining and applying the rules that governed the sport. The Kolkata Race Course is among the largest racing venues in India. The races are held between the month of July to September, and again from November to March. The races are conducted majorly on Saturdays and public holidays.
Image credits: firstpost.in, www.skyscrapercity.com, www.racingworldindia.com, www.hotelheavenkolkata.com, The Hindu
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