For the seventh largest country area wise, nine official racecourses might seem to be a shock for a Horse racing fan but it is the truth. India is home to nine Horse racing racecourses which are located at Bangalore, Mysore, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Chennai, Mumbai, Pune and Ooty. All the national racing championships are held at these nine racecourses only which are licensed by the Government of India and are termed as the official racecourses on Indian Territory. The proceedings of all the races on these nine racecourses are under the supervision of Turf Authorities of India which are a total of five in number. Let us have a broader and closer look at each one of these nine racecourses one by one.
Bangalore Turf Club Race Course
This racecourse is located in the heart of “Silicon valley of India”. Since the racecourse is located within the main city and is just a stroll away from two local stations i.e. Cunningham Road and Maharani College therefore a lot of spectators can be expected to be a part of the crowd enjoying the spectacle at the race day.
The racecourse was founded in the year of 1920 and is nearly two kilometres in length. With number of marvellous bars and eateries around the track, the crowd is even more attracted to the venue. The racecourse is under the chairmanship of Mr. D. M. Kumaraswamy who is also the head steward at the racecourse. Events like Bangalore 100 guineas and the Bangalore Oaks are few of the events that a Horse race lover cannot afford to miss.
Mysore Turf Club Race Course
Placed in the city of Mysore with a picturesque background of Chamundi hills, the Mysore racecourse is one of the racecourses with most beautiful backdrop. It is located next to the Mysore zoo on the highway connecting Kozhikode and Kollegal. Built up in 1920 the length of the track is just 200 meters.
After the recent construction work this racecourse features racing season throughout the year. It is the venue for Poonawalla Mysore Derby which is a grade one race and thus attracts a lot of local and neighbourly states attention. It is currently under the chairmanship of Mr. K. A. Muddappa and offers all of the facilities like bars and restaurants at the course itself.
Delhi Race Course
Located very near to the Prime Minister of India’s residence in the capital of the country this racecourse attracts decent attendance on race days. Built in 1940 the race track is not a complete circuit. Under the chairmanship of Mr. P. S. Bedi who is also the head steward of the racecourse the race happens only on Tuesdays. However on big events like Delhi Derby one will hardly find a seat vacant in the spectator's arena.
Kolkata Race Course
This racecourse enjoys the credit of being the oldest racecourse on Indian soil and its establishment dates back to 1820. A lot of makeover has happened in the past and now it has emerged as a racecourse featuring many high class events which take place over two seasons that are between July to September and November to March.
Located in the district named Hastings, it is easily accessible through National Highway No 1. Under the chairmanship of Mr. Deepak Khaitan, the races happen usually on Saturdays which see a massive crowd gathering. The event that a Horse race lover can’t afford to miss at this racecourse is the grade 1 Calcutta Derby which happens on second weekend of January.
Hyderabad Race Course
Located in Malakpet, Hyderabad District, the Hyderabad racecourse was established way back in 1868. The races like in Kolkata racecourse are divided in two seasons occurring between the months of July to October and from November to February.
The venue is home to some of the major events of the country such as Deccan derby which is at the end of first season, President of India Gold Cup and the Nizam’z Gold Cup after the nizam of Hyderabad. The re-constructed arena for spectators has strength of 10000 while the member’s enclosure can hold a massive 2000 people. Number of bars and restaurants are there to serve the delicacies to the people on the race day. Chairman ship is under the strong supervision of the senior steward Mr. R Surrender Reddy.
Chennai (Madras) Race Course
The location of this racecourse on the Guindy road gives it its name. Located in Chennai it is more than 220 years old and features race days generally on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
There are races only in one season i.e. winters and the main event featured is the Classic Indian Turf Invitational Cup. The racecourse enjoys service from some of the exceptional bars and restaurants available both to the people of grandstand and members enclosure.
MahaLaxmi (or) Mumbai Race Course
Located in Mahalaxmi district of Mumbai due to which it got its name. It is within walking distance from Mahalaxmi railway station. The standard of everything is very high and well maintained at this racecourse. The prices though generally low may fluctuate according to the level of event being hosted.
The main enclosure is the busiest place on race days with bar nearly overflowing with the crowd. The member's enclosure in contrast is calmer and even requires a dress code. Generally the dress code is generally not paid any heed to in all the hustle and bustle. The racing season happens between the months of November and April on the 2.4 Km long race track. It hosts many fabulous events like The Indian Derby, The Oaks, The 1000 and 2000 Guineas etc.
Ooty Race Course
It has been rewarded with the crown of most beautiful racecourse of India. Located in Coimbatose in between the hills of Tamil Nadu the racetrack is worth the visit. It is under the supervision of management of Madras racecourse.
It is home to the events like The Nilgiris 1000 Guineas and 2000 Guineas as well and the Nilgiri Derby stakes. Away from the hustle and bustle of the city, the racecourse features events in completely scenic atmosphere.
Pune Race Course
Being the sister racecourse of the Mumbai racecourse it falls under the supervision of Mumbai racecourse management team. Located in the cantonment area of Pune on Turf club road it features events like The Independence Cup, The Southern Command Cup, and The Pune Derby. The races occur in single season i.e. between July and October.
With the aid and help of the Government of India and the sponsors showing their interest in the horse racing events more racecourses are bound to come up in the near future.