Mysore Race Club
Race Details and High Stakes Events
The Mysore Race Club is quite small, with its membership running into 250. Despite this, the facilities are magnanimous – the stables allow for 800 horses at one time. There are three seasons which you can join the membership during – Summer (May-July), Monsoon (August-October), and Winter (November-February).
The Monsoon is the main season, and is also known as “The Mysore Races”.
Some of the prestigious races include:
- The Mysore Race Club Million
- The Chamundi Million
- Governor’s Cup
- Maharaja’s Cup
- The Mysore City Gold Cup
All categories of races Grade I, Grade II, and Grade III run here during the seasons. 2019 during the winter saw stakes at Rs. 3.75 crore, with the main monsoon season putting up Rs. 5.85 in purses.
Gambling in India
Gambling in India has always been a grey area, restricted to certain activities and locations. For instance, government regulated lotteries, and off shore casinos exist in everyday life. It is sports betting which is frowned upon specifically. This has further been overshadowed with claims of illegal betting that make the rounds on the daily news.
Horse Race Gambling in India – Landmark Supreme Court Case
However, in the case of horse race betting, it is completely legal. A landmark Supreme Court judgement in 1996, ruled that betting on horses is not chance, but instead skill. In other words the bench ruled that it takes keen intellect to bet on a horse. To make a decision, and pick a winner is not simply a question of chance.
While Mysore Race Course along with other race courses in the country have registered “betting kiosks” which are live at the track itself, what happens if you can’t be there in person?
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If there was a prize for most picturesque race track in India, Mysore Race Club would be in the running, probably win the award outright.
Set a mere 150 km from the metropolitan city of Bengaluru, the Mysore Race Club owes much of its pristine beauty to its location at the foot of the imposing Chamundi Hills.
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History of Course
The club has a 130-year history dating back to 1891, when the then ruler of Mysore HH Sri Chamaraja Wadiyar introduced the sport of horse racing to the city.
The ruler loved horse riding, often bringing horses to add to his stables. On his birthday, there used to be birthday celebration races.
At the time, the club was affiliated to the Royal Calcutta Turf Club in Calcutta, which in turn was under the jurisdiction of the Jockey Club of England.
Later rulers understood and appreciated HH Sri Chamaraja Wadiyar’s sportive ways, and this led to the track being shifted to its current location. It was built during HH Sri Nalvadi Krishnaraja’s reign.
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Description of Track
Spread across 152 acres, the Mysore Race Course includes a polo ground, and an oval shaped track around the polo ground. Later, a golf course was also added to the property. It is known for its drainage features given the local climate, and was specially designed by an Australian Engineer.
The main track is a green track turf, a surface that has managed to survive the rigors of the annual monsoons. 2000 m in length, the oval shape makes it stand out. It narrows down towards the post, with a straight section which runs for 500 m.
The other two sand tracks are for practice. A short one for trotting, and a long one for fast practice.
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