The Guindy Race Course, which is also popularly known as the Madras racecourse, is located in the Guindy area of Chennai. This is the capital city of the Tamil Nadu state.
Even though the Guindy Race Course has been developed and modified over the years, this race track was originally built in 1777. It neighbors one of the few national parks in the Guindy area. And it sits on a 150 acre piece of land. As of today, this racecourse, and its facilities are owned and operated by the Madras Race Club.
There is a spectacular stand overlooking the racecourse. This is where members and spectators watch the races from. The Guindy Race Course surface is covered by a well-groomed green turf. It doesn’t have a different monsoon track.
The racecourse is further endowed with three sand tracks that are mainly used for practice. In terms of size, the Guindy Race Course is 2355 m long and 30-35 m wide. The racecourse is flat, but it has 3 challenging bends which pose a challenge to both jockeys and horses.
History of the Guindy Race Course
The city of Chennai came to life during the colonial era. At that time, the East India Company was in charge of the Guindy area. This was in 1640 when the company had a settlement known as the Fort St George. A century later, the British authorities in the Guindy area of Chennai decided to set aside 100 acres of land for the British horse racing enthusiasts. And the Guindy Race Course was born.
Back then, it was a tumultuous time for the British in India. The colonial powers were constantly clashing, and the local Indian kingdoms were fighting back. This meant that the British colonialists didn’t have as much control as they’d have wanted.
Due to the chaos, races could not be organized frequently. In between the wars, the racecourse acquired an additional 50 acres of land. This land allowed the club to construct another race track at the Guindy Race Course.
In 1837, the Madras Race Club was officially launched. The club collapsed in a few decades due to financial constraints, but it would be revived in 1887. In 1914, World War I began. Consequently, all horse racing activities at the Guindy Race Course came into a halt. In 1919, the Governors of Madras got the club up and running once again.
The Guindy Lodge was built in the 1950s. And soon after, the racecourse ownership would change hands. The Guindy Race Courses have since hosted lots of remarkable horse racing events.
The races held at the Guindy Race Course
There are two racing seasons held at the Guindy Race Course. That’s the monsoon and the winter season.
The winter season is the longest. It starts in March and ends in November. The races that take place during this season are not hampered by heavy rains as witnessed in the monsoon season. The season comprises 32 race days and about 200 races. The highlight of this season is the Madras Races. Some of the other notable races held at the Guindy Race Course include;
- The Guindy Gold CupThe Guindy Grand Prix
- Indian Turf Invitation Cup
- South India Derby Stakes
- South India St Leger
- Madras Gold Vase
Betting at the Guindy Race Course
There are plenty of races held at the Guindy Race Course. Part of the reason why these races attract a lot of fans is that people can also bet on them both on-site and off-site.
The Madras Race Club is the body that organizes and oversees all the races at the Guindy Race Course. This club has set up betting counters at the racecourse premises, where fans can bet as well as cheer their favourite horses from the stands.
Since most forms of gambling are forbidden in India, you might wonder if betting on horse races will get you in trouble with the authorities. Horse race betting at the Guindy Race Course is legal. This is because horse racing is categorized as a game of skill, and hence fit for betting. Punters can place bets on the on-site and off-site kiosks.
Betting at the Guindy Race Course hasn’t always been smooth though. In 1996, the government had banned all gambling activities. Luckily, this was reversed when the Madras Race Club filed a lawsuit in the Supreme Court challenging the government’s stand. After a fiercely fought court battle, spearheaded by Mr. MAM Ramaswamy, a popular horse racing titan, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Madras Race Club. Since then, betting at the Guindy Race Course has been ongoing without any legal hiccups.
Betting at the Guindy Race Course online
Now that we have established that offline horse race betting at the Guindy Race Course is legal, how about online betting?
Indian law restricts all forms of online gambling activities. Recently, however, the rules are changing as every state is now allowed to make its own decision on whether to allow or forbid online gambling within their borders. So far, online gambling is still largely illegal in India. And the states that seem to be moving towards legalizing aren’t there yet.
The good news is that Indian punters can bet on various horse racing fixtures online without getting into trouble. All that’s required of you is to choose a renowned online gambling site.
If your goals are betting on both local and international horse racing events, then you have to choose a site that covers races from the Guindy Race Course races, and those from other local clubs.
Several reputable offshore gambling sites accept Indian punters. Some of the best horse race betting sites in India are the likes of Bet365, Betway and Royal Panda. These are well-established betting sites licensed in various European countries. They are also reliable and allow bettors from India to fund their accounts in INR.
The BII Key Takeaway
When you first register and deposit money in any of these sites, you stand a chance to qualify for various bonuses. Additionally, these sites have ongoing betting promotions that you can take advantage of. And in case you win, you can always withdraw your money safely in INR.
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