Horse Race Betting In India – Mysore Race Club
Mysore Race Club located in the historic city of Mysuru has a unique identity among all of India’s racing venues.
How to Bet on a Mysore Race
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The Mysore Race Club is found in Mysuru, a scenic city located on the foothills of the Chamundi range. It is located around 90 miles southwest of the metropolis of Bangalore. Mysuru was the capital of the Kingdom of Mysore for over 600 years. The ruling Wadiyar royal family was responsible for establishing the Race Club in the city.
The Race Club and course is located in the heart of modern Mysuru, in the scenic locales overlooking the Chamundi hills. Founded in 1920 by the Maharaja of Mysore, the racecourse is among the youngest horse racing institutions in India. The turf club is the youngest, having attained full autonomy only in 2014. The MG Road, a major arterial road that runs through the heart of the city, connects the racecourse to the rest of the city.
The facilities of the club are located in a vast property stretching across 152 acres. The land is government property, held as part of a long lease agreement by the Mysore Race Club. Thanks to the impressive scenery around, the Mysore Race Club has a very unique atmosphere and identity among all racing venues in India.
The Mysore Race Club is a quite small and exclusive club, with a total membership of around 250 members. Despite its relatively small size, the race course boasts some very modern facilities. These include a club house with residential facilities for members, a Golf Hut with an international standard 18-hole course, excellent canteens, and expanded stable facilities that can house up to 800 horses.
The Track Details
The main track at the Mysore Race Club has a green turf surface that has withstood the test of time and the annual monsoons. There are two other sand tracks along with the main track. Namely, a longer one on the outside for fast practice and a shorter inside track used for bund school and trotting.
The lush green racing track is around 2000m long and has a distinct oval shape. The track is widest at the backstretch at around 30m, before narrowing to 19m at the post. There is a straight section that runs for nearly 500m. The overall design provides a healthy challenge to both riders and their steeds.
Race Details – Seasons, Stakes, Prize Payouts
The Mysore Race Club divides its annual racing schedule into three:
- Summer – from May to July
- Monsoon – stretching from August to October
- Winter – from November to February
Of the three, the monsoon season (also called “The Mysore Races”) from August to October was historically the only season at Mysore until the year 2000. The two mini-seasons of summer and winter were added on either side of the Monsoon session the same year. That’s when the club managed to expand its facilities to accommodate a whole-year racing calendar.
The two smaller seasons in winter and summer run for 12-14 days. Meanwhile, the main monsoon season is slightly longer at 16 days. The races are usually held on weekdays starting from Tuesday to Saturday. Each season features around 100-120 races, involving between 350-500 horses. The races at Mysore authorize around 40-50 jockeys with “A” and “B” licenses to participate. Races typically range in length from 1000m to 2400m.
The Mysore Race Club calendar has Grade I, Grade II, and Grade III races interspersed throughout the year. In 2018, the summer season had an aggregate stake of Rs 3 crores or roughly £320,000. The latest winter season has slightly higher stakes at around Rs. 3.75 crores/£400,000. Meanwhile, the main monsoon racing season claimed aggregate stakes of a whopping Rs 5.85 crores of £600,000 approximately.
– Raceday Schedule
The highlight of the racing calendar in Mysore has to be the Mysore Derby, a Grade I event that takes place in the month of October (the finale of the Monsoon season). Other important races of the season include the Governor’s Cup, and Maharaja’s Cup (Grade III). The summer and winter season also boasts some prestigious classics and cups:
- The Mysore Race Club Million (Summer)
- The Spar Million (Summer)
- The Mysore Colts/Fillies Trial Stakes (both in Summer)
- The Chamundi Million (Winter)
- The Mysore City Gold Cup (Winter)
- The Continual Trophy (Winter)
History of Mysore Race Club
In the 1890s, the ruling Maharaja of Mysore, Chamaraja Wadiyar founded the Mysore Race Course. It was originally located in another part of Mysuru city called KebbeKatte Bungalow, to the west of the present racecourse.
The KebbeKatte race course hosted the Mysore races for close to 30 years. That was until 1920 when a new race course was built in the current location at the Chamundi Hills. The Wadiyar rulers were again instrumental in effecting this change, with NalvadiKrishnaraja Wadiyar and his brother Kanteerava Narasimha Wadiyar taking the initiative. The brothers were passionate about racing and owned many race horses between themselves.
This new complex had a Grand Stand, paddocks, and the oval race track which continue to host races to this day. Racing in those days was under the aegis of the Royal Calcutta Turf Club. At the time, it was also the sole authority on horse racing in the Indian subcontinent. The racing calendar was restricted to six days, with the highlight being the Maharaja’s Cup.
– Mysore Race Club Post Independence
After Independence, the reins of the Mysore Race Club were handed over to the newly formed Bangalore Race Club in 1951. The following decades saw the facilities periodically expanded. Most notably, with the addition of the club house in 1982, and when the racing season expanded in 2000.
Although the control of race rules was in the hands of the Bangalore Turf Club, the Mysore Club continued to have a separate existence with its own chairman, committee, and stewards. In 2014, the Mysore Race Club was hived off from the control of the Bangalore Race Club and given full autonomy to function as an independent racing body. It is therefore the youngest turf authority in India. The club is a fully private registered entity, and also member of the Turf Authorities of India, the supreme body of horse racing in the country.
The club maintains extensive records of the fastest timings in all race categories held at Mysore over the decades. There are a couple of long-standing records set in the 1970s at the club. Firstly, Venetia won the 1000m with a time of 1m 02s in 1975. And secondly, Beloved Prince holds the 2400m race record with a time of 2m 40.20s set all the way back in 1978. Meanwhile, in 2018, the horse Sir Cecil set the most recent record in the 2000m category with a time of 1m 59.05s. Mysore Race Club does not list separate times set in the different seasons. Why? Because all races are held on the same track.
Legality of Betting at the Mysore Race Club
Offline betting is completely legal in Indian race clubs. A Supreme Court ruling granted horse racing an exception after defining betting on horse races as a “game of skill” as opposed to one of “luck or pure chance.” All other forms of gambling have a blanket ban in the country. However, there are the exceptions of a few legal casinos in 2-3 states.
For most Turf Clubs, revenues from betting counters form a significant portion of their total income. So, clubs have gone to great lengths to ensure that visitors have easy access to bookies and the latest computer technology. Mysore Race Club has around 200 betting counters at their Racecourse in Chamundi Hills. The club also runs off-site betting counters in different parts of the state.
So, there are no issues or problems when it comes to legally betting on horse races offline at Mysore Race Club. You can even use the betting counters at the club to place bets on live races occurring in other Turf Clubs across the country.
Betting on Mysore Race Club Online
Indian horse racing aficionados have numerous options when it comes to betting on Mysore Race Club races online. This is despite the fact that online gambling on horse racing currently lies in a legal grey area in India. All other forms of casino games and gambling are illegal in India, both online and offline.
The ban does not cover horse racing, though. It is therefore less risky betting online on races as long as you choose your sites wisely. Always make it a point to pick reputed sites like Bet365, Bodog, and Bet Rally. These sites are perfect for Indian betting enthusiasts as they accept deposits in Indian currency. You don’t have to worry about converting to USD or GBP when using these sites for your gambling needs.