The Bangalore Race Club is a revered horse race club in India. There are only 5 other clubs of its stature in the entire country. The club is located in Bangalore, which is the capital of the Indian southern state of Karnataka. Commonly referred to as Bengaluru, this city is one of the most vibrant metropolis in India.
The Bangalore race club sits near Lakshmanpuri and Chickpet. It is linked to the city through the distinct Racecourse Road.
The club isn’t as big as many racecourses in India. This can be attributed to the fact that it is located deep in the city.
It occupies an 85- acre space. However, although it lacks in size, it makes up for it with being well equipped. Its stabling can accommodate thousands of horses.
Moreover, this prestigious facility comes with an equine swimming pool, numerous racing tracks, training schools, a riding school for beginners, and even a hospital.
Unlike most of its counterparts, the Bangalore Race Club has a rich heritage. It is the epitome of the Indian horse racing culture.
History of the Bangalore Race Club
Horse racing in India can be traced back to the 17th and 18th centuries. This is when the British arrived in India. Unfortunately, the struggles and conflicts between Indian kingdoms and colonial powers hampered the development of horse racing.
Eventually, the British emerged as the most dominant colonial power in the subcontinent. And this turned around the fortunes of horse racing. It became a pastime for both the British elites as well as the Maharajas.
The birth of the club
The formation of Turf Clubs began in cities such as Calcutta and Madras. Nonetheless, Bangalore Race Club wasn’t born until 1921. Several officers of the British Indian army in conjunction with some distinguished native Indians came together with the intent of forming a race club. The known founding fathers were Sir Leslie Miller, R.H.O.D Paterson, C.N Suryanarain Row, and R.H.O.D Patterson.
The Maharaja of Mysore was generous enough to grant them a piece of land. This land was transformed into the club’s racecourse. Initially, the club was to comprise 30 members. The stewards would have the power to elect an unlimited number of members. Men who joined would pay RS.20 but the women would not be charged a dime.
This wasn’t the first time that horses would set foot in Bangalore. Horse racing was already in practice from centuries ago. Since this was known for its cool and conducive climate, it is said that the breeding of horses began in the 16th and 17th centuries. By then, the natives preferred horses from Persia, as the indigenous horses were not deemed well-suited for racing.
As the years went by, Indian breeders focused on pure breeds of Persian and Arabian horses. They also kept a few thoroughbred horses that came during the colonial era. For any horse to compete in the Bangalore Race Club and other clubs, they are required to have been born and bred on the Indian soil.
The Indian Stud Board Authority is tasked with issuing documents that resemble passports for horses that have met the requirements of racing in India.
After independence, this Turf Club retained its original structures and its autonomy. As of today, it is classified as a private, membership-based organization.
The Bangalore Race Club is steered by an elected committee. Moreover, it is an esteemed member of the body that governs the 6 major Turf Clubs in India. This respected body is known as the Turf Authorities of India.
The contribution of BTC to POLO
A 1937 BTC rule book illustrates how this organization backed hunting and Polo in the city of Bangalore. It states that part of the proceeds collected by the gymkhana were to be given to the hunt and Polo committee. This book also hints that part of the proceeds would go towards the transport fees of Polo ponies brought from other regions to Bangalore.
The Bangalore Race Club track
The Bangalore race track is one of a kind. It ranks among the most challenging race tracks in India. The race track is oval and has about four sharp bends that push both jockeys and their horses to the limit. Its difficult nature brings more excitement to the sport.
Furthermore, the track is not entirely flat. The horses are forced to climb and race downhill in various parts of the track. The endurance and speed of a racing horse are tremendously tested during every race. Jockeys have to adapt to the terrain. That said, winning races in this club is highly coveted because it is the ultimate challenge for most competitors.
Even though the club has seen different administrators, they have all successfully done an incredible job in making the track challenging. An 85-acre piece of land may seem to be limiting in terms of space, but it is one of the most complete race tracks in the country.
Bangalore Racing seasons
Initially, there was only one horse racing season at the Bangalore Race Club. That has since changed. Now they run two seasons. One takes place during the summer while the other one winter.
The summer season begins in May and stretches all the way to August (it lasts for about 3 months). The winter season begins in November and ends in March. The races take place between Thursday and Saturday. Combined, both seasons have a total of 26 race days.
An estimated 750 to 800 horses are involved in this competition. Both seasons have about a hundred jockeys who hold either the A or B license. The race distance is usually between 1200 to 2400 meters. And there are about 50-60 active trainers throughout both seasons.
Most common high stake events at the Bangalore Race club
Grade I, II and III races are held at the Bangalore Race Club. 6 to 7 races are scheduled for each race day.
A club of this stature has several high stake races. During the 2018-19 summer season, the total prizes of the competition amounted to a staggering £ 2 million. That is about INR 18.5 crores. The number of prizes won during the winter seasons amounted to over £1.5 million.
The most acclaimed races held at the Bangalore Race Club are popularly known as the Bangalore Derbies. There are two races of this nature, one for the winter and the other one for the summer season. The Blue Riband Summer Derby has a top prize that is slightly more than £250,000.
The Bangalore Derbies are classified as Grade I races. These races are sponsored by renowned Indian Brands such as the Kingfisher Breweries and Crystal Properties.
Here or some of the other popular high stake races at the Bangalore Race Club;
- Colt Championship Stakes (Grade I)
- Fillies Championship Race( Grade I)
- Karnataka Juvenile Million (Grade II)
- Bangalore 1000 Guineas (Grade II)
- Maharaja’s Gold Club ( Grade II)
- Governor’s Cup (Grade III)
- Wadiyar Cup (Grade III)
- Bangalore Winter Million (III)
Is it legal to bet at the Bangalore Turf Race Club?
Indian Law prohibits most forms of gambling across the country. However, horse racing betting in India is legal. Even though it’s been ferociously challenged by the government in the past, stakeholders have victoriously defended its legality.
In a verdict of the Supreme Court of India in 1996, it was decided that horse racing wasn’t a sport of chance. There was a reasonable degree of skill required both for the jockeys and horses involved. Besides that, a high level of training had to be carried out. The court factored all these together and upheld the legality of horse race betting in India.
With this, you can bet at the Bangalore Turf Race Club without looking over your shoulder. You can either bet on-site before the races start, or purchase your betting ticket from off-site betting shops.
Betting on the Turf Club online
If you want to bet on the Turf Club online, you should know that online betting is illegal. And this rule is an almost uniform rule across the country. Even if that is rumoured to change in the coming years, currently, betting online is forbidden. Does that mean that you can’t bet in races held at the Bangalore Turf Club? Not at all. You can bet on these fixtures online without getting yourself in trouble.
Provided that you choose a well-respected betting site, you should enjoy horse racing betting online. The best sites are those that accept INR. This helps you to avoid the hassle as well as the cost that comes with currency conversion.
When looking for best horse racing betting sites in India, you can consider various sites such as Bet365, Betway, and LeoVegas. These are some of the top betting sites for horse punters in India. They guarantee an exceptional betting experience as well as various promotions, offers, and bonuses.
The BII Final Verdict
When the Bangalore Race Club was launched, there was a cloud of doubt hanging around. Some critics thought that it was bound to fail. The club has, however, thrived since the 1920s. The people who have been at the helm of its leadership and the members have always worked hard to ensure that it flourishes. And for this reason, it remains to be one of the most successful racecourses in India. Horse racing fans can always look forward to exciting derbies every year.
Related Horse Race Clubs
- Bangalore Race Club
- Delhi Race Club
- Hyderabad Race Club
- Madras Race Club
- Mysore Race Club
- Royal Calcutta Turf Club
- Guindy Race Course