The Delhi Race Club stands out as one of the most distinguished race clubs in India. It is located in the great city of Delhi, which is not only the national capital of India, but also serves as home to the Indian president’s residence, Supreme Court, and parliament.
The Delhi Race Club is situated near the famous Gymkhana Club, Safdajarng’s Tomb (historic landmark), and Chanakyapuri. This is in the Tin Murti Marg area of Delhi. A majority of the foreign embassies in India are also located here. The Delhi Club is connected to the city through the Safdarjung Road and the Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.
When it comes to size and heritage, other clubs in India seem to have it all. However, the Delhi supersedes them by the virtue of being strategically placed at the heart of the Delhi region. Besides that, this club attracts influential people such as high ranking government officials, diplomats, among others. Mind you, the residence of the Indian prime minister is in the same locality as the Delhi Race Club.
India is one of the most populous countries in the world. For this, you’d expect that this horse racing club is positioned in a crowded section of the Delhi city. That is far from the truth. The Delhi Race Club sits on a beautiful and serene location, away from the hustle and bustle of the town.
History of the Delhi Race Club
India was colonized by the British. The colonial masters first based their operations in Calcutta. However, they decided to move their capital to a more strategic location in 1911. This led them to Delhi.
In a bid to build a new capital, the British took enormous pieces of land from the Indian farmers.
One of the most revered English architects at the time, Edward Lutyens, led the construction of the new capital. He set aside a piece of land that was to be used for horse racing. By then, horse racing was considered to be an appropriate royal pastime by the British. And in 1926, a racecourse was opened.
The new racecourse wasn’t registered until 1940. First, it was registered as a private club. And after India gained its independence, the club was registered afresh, but still as a private club. The Delhi Race Club has now been operating officially since 1959.
As of today, the infrastructure of the Delhi Race Club has been improved tremendously. The club has a well-equipped training track, Bund School, Trotting Ring, Stables, Green Paddock, and a state of the art viewing stand.
Just adjacent to the club is a modern veterinary hospital that plays an integral role in taking care of the over 400 horses.
Becoming a member of the Delhi Race Club
The Delhi Racing Club has 800 members. Those interested in watching the races are only allowed in during the designated race days and they have to buy tickets so that they can enjoy the horse races. The club hosts around 4000 members of the public during each race day. Even though the club has world-class features, it lacks a huge grandstand for horse race fans. Its stable can accommodate a staggering 500 horses.
The club is led by a president and 13 elected members. There are an additional 3 government nominees in the leadership team.
The role of the Royal Western India Turf club
The Royal Western India Turf Club (RWITC) is an organization that sets horse racing rules for other clubs such as the Delhi Race Club, Pune Race Club, and the Mahalaxmi Race Club in Mumbai.
Even though the Delhi Race Club is under the RWITC, it is an autonomous club with its members, a president as well as a committee. It is considered to be a somewhat secondary horse racing club.
The Delhi Race Club track
The Delhi Race Club track is oval and its turf is green in color. The venue doesn’t have any alternative tracks. The track also doesn’t have bends or difficult twists and turns. It is predominantly flat with no steep gradient whatsoever.
Delhi Race Club seasons
The Delhi horse racing is marked by two seasons, which are categorized into winter and monsoon. The summer is extremely hot. And for this reason, there are no horse races scheduled for summer at the Delhi Race Club.
Considered as the main horse race season at the Delhi Race Club, the winter season has a whopping 30 to 35 days. This season runs from April to October.
The monsoon season runs from August to October. It comprises an estimated 10 race days. Each of these days has 6 – 7 races. Therefore, the total number of races likely to take place during this season range from 70-80. This is marked by 30 odd license jockeys and about 400 horses.
Most common high stake events at the Delhi Race Club
The largest racing event at the Delhi Race Club is known as the North Indian Derby. It is categorized as a Grade III racing event and is held during the winter season.
The North Indian Derby is an outstanding Blue Ribbon race. It stretches slightly over a mile. Even with this high-stake event, the Delhi Race Club doesn’t host any Grade I event. There are only 6 clubs in the entire country that host Grade I race events.
Other significant horse race events held at the Delhi Race Club include;
- Hisar Plate
- Constitution of India plate
- North India 1000 Guineas
- Panipat plate
- Winter plate
Is it legal to bet at the Delhi Race Club?
Offline horse race betting is legal in India. The government had attempted to forbid it, but the Indian Supreme court ruled in its favour. This happened during one of the famed legal battles in India, where a private establishment challenged and won the case against the government.
Indian Law is against most forms of betting that involve games of chance. It, however, recognizes that horse racing is a game of skill.
Horse racing is part of the Indian culture. It draws out thousands of fans every season. Punters can buy betting tickets at the Delhi Race Club and cheer the winning horses. Apart from the counters at the Delhi Race Club, they also have several off-site outlets spread out in different parts of the country.
Betting at the Delhi Race Club Online
As an Indian punter, it is possible to bet on horse races that take place at the Delhi Race Club online. This doesn’t mean it is legal, but no one has gotten in trouble with the Indian authorities for online horse race betting.
What makes these sites stand out is that Indian players can bet in INR. This is a desirable feature for betting enthusiasts who are looking to participate in horse race betting. Besides that, you are likely to get incredible offers and bonuses from these sites.
The BII Final Verdict
Horse racing is among the most popular sports in India. What’s more, is that the Delhi Race Club is open to the public. People can go to watch and support their favourite horses at the tracks. Those who like to bet can do so on-site, off-site or online.
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