The Royal Calcutta Turf Club (RCTC) is the oldest and most prestigious of all the horse racing clubs in the Indian subcontinent. The Royal Calcutta Turf Club is located in the city of Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) in the state of West Bengal.

The Royal Calcutta Turf Club (RCTC) operates the 153-acre Maidan racecourse under a long-standing lease agreement with the government. The Defense Ministry of India, therefore, owns the grounds. The club facilities are located in the magnificent Apcar House, a Palladian-style mansion from the early 19th century.

The historic Maidan region of Kolkata has been the home of horse racing in the city for well over 200 years. Located on the banks of the River Hooghly, the Maidan, and RCTC are in the center of Kolkata.

Landmarks like the Eden Gardens cricket stadium and the Victoria Memorial are close to the Royal Calcutta Turf Club.

Royal Calcutta Turf Club Info

One of the main attractions of the RCTC is its ease of access: the main stand is open to all members of the public.

RCTC has also upgraded its facilities in recent years. The number of stables has almost doubled from 370 to 770. Other facilities include a veterinary hospital, training tracks, and other racing-related infrastructure.

The club is unique due to its historic British Raj ambiance, with the Victoria Memorial visible right from the stands.


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Calcutta Live Race Online Betting

If you want to take part in online horse race betting, you should consider established online betting platforms.

Since it is not explicitly illegal, many Indians do freely indulge in online gambling on Indian horse races. They usually pick trustworthy sites that offer bets in Indian currency.

These include sites like Bet365 and Betway. Pay a visit to any one of them to earn attractive promotional offers and free bets. You can create an account and head to ‘horse racing’ in the list of sports available. You can then head to Calcutta race and have a look at the odds.

The betting odds are also available on Royal Calcutta Turf club online betting apps.

RCTC Race Streaming

If you want to stream live Calcutta races, you can head to RCTC’s official website. You can watch all the high-stakes events on the site there.

RCTC Track Details

At 2800 meters, the race track at Royal Calcutta is among the longest in India. It has one of the oldest monsoon tracks laid in the country, dating back more than 100 years.

The track allows races to be held even after the heaviest rains. Green turf is the surface used on the tracks in Calcutta.

The race track is usually used for shorter 1000m to 1 mile-long races. Even longer classics are also held, but only specially trained thoroughbreds are allowed in those races.

RCTC Race Details – Seasons, Stakes, Prize Payouts

Like most turf clubs in India, the RCTC runs two racing seasons in a calendar year. Due to the propensity for heavy monsoon rains in the summer, the track has a specially designed monsoon track with drainage facilities that can handle up to 7 inches of rainfall.

The two seasons for racing in Calcutta are:

● Monsoon Season – It typically begins in July and ends sometime in the last week of October.
● Winter Season – The winter edition of the races runs from November to March.

The monsoon season at Royal Calcutta Turf Club is noticeably shorter. It has 18 race days spread over four months. In contrast, the winter session is longer with 25 race days possible due to the addition of an extra month.

Between 400 and 500 horses take part in the Calcutta races each season, accompanied by 40-odd licensed jockeys (half with “A” licenses and another half with “B” licenses)

Though most clubs hold races close to the weekend, the RCTC has a slightly different take on the matter. Here, along with the usual selection of race days on Thursdays and weekends, you can also catch many races on Tuesdays, especially during the monsoon season.

On each race day, there are usually 6-8 races on the cards. These include famous Grade I events, as well as the lesser-ranked Grade II and III cup races. For instance, the 2018 Monsoon Season features around 125 races of which 25 were graded cup events.

RCTC Schedule

The RCTC was home to some of the most famous high-stakes races in the world in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Though its stature has somewhat diminished in recent decades, the horse racing club is still home to several famous cups and trophies like the legendary Queens Cup held in winter.

The trophy for that race comes from the office of the British Monarch herself. Other notable races include the Calcutta Derby, the Independence Cup, and the Monsoon Derby.

Other notable Cups/races at the RCTC include:

● Calcutta Oaks (Winter)
● Calcutta Juvenile Sprint (Monsoon)
● Colts Trial Stakes (Monsoon)
● Stewards Cup (Monsoon)
● Calcutta 2000 Guineas (Winter)
● Calcutta 1000 Guineas (Winter)

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How To Bet On Kolkata Race?

The gambling laws in India are a little hard to understand in general. However, the same is not true for horse racing.

In fact, it is one of the few activities in the country where placing bets are completely legal. Though this has been challenged several times in courts, the matter was laid to rest by the Supreme Court in a landmark 1996 ruling. As a result, India allows gambling activities on all racecourses.

The RCTC too has betting counters on its premise but it lags behind the other Turf Clubs when it comes to the technology used.

The laws and attitude toward gambling in Calcutta are unfavorable as well, which has so far prevented the Club from opening off-course betting kiosks and centers in other parts of the city.

But if you want to place bets offline on races occurring all over India, the RCTC is still your only option in the region.

Royal Calcutta Turf Club (RCTC) Record Timings

1100m 1 m. 04. 300s 1998 Char Bahar 56.5 A.Sandesh
1200m 1 m. 09. 650s 2006 Romantic Fire 57 David Allan
1400m 1 m. 23. 465s 2013 Klipspringer 52.5 A.Sandesh
1600m 1 m. 35. 239s 2007 Secret Memory 56 V.Shinde
2000m 2 m. 02. 072s 2017 Colombiana 57 M Narredu
2200m 2 m. 16. 160s 2016 Falcon 54.5 Suraj Narredu
2400m 2 m. 28. 089s 2007 Southern Empire 57 Neeraj Rawal
2800m 2 m. 55. 909s 2009 Diabolical 61 P. Shoff

History of the Royal Calcutta Turf Club

In the early days of the British Raj, Bengal was the main center of power in India. Colonial army officers held the first horse races in this part of the country as early as the late 1700s in the city suburbs of Akra.

At the turn of the century, Viceroy Wellesley imposed a short-lived ban on the sport in India.

But by 1809, the sport was back in full swing, with the formation of the famous Bengal Jockeys Club and the shifting of the race track to Maidan in Calcutta proper.

Founded in 1847, the two-mile Calcutta Derby Stakes was the biggest race at that time. It eventually evolved into the Queen Elizabeth II Cup.

By the end of the 1800s, the Calcutta Turf Club had become so prestigious that it was considered the pre-eminent institution for horse racing in the entire Indian subcontinent.

This is barring the western region, which came under the Bombay Turf Club. The club was officially given the “Royal” tag when King George visited it for the second time in 1912.

In the 1920s and 30s, the Calcutta Derby was one of the biggest in the world, with its total sweepstakes pool worth almost £1 million (in 1929 and 1930).

Around that same time, the club vacated the Maidan grounds and moved to a new facility in Barrackpore. But that move proved to be a financial failure in the following decades and the RCTC finally moved back to its Maidan home in 1954.

Royal Calcutta Turf Club Post Independence

In its prime, the RCTC has nearly the same authority and prestige as the Jockey Club in England. It was the authority of the sole rules for over 52 racecourses in British India and Burma. After Indian independence, the club continues to function as an autonomous private club, affiliated with the Turf Authorities of India.

During its 150-year history, the club has witnessed many unique records in Indian racing. Great Scott and Mayfowl were two legendary horses in the late 1800s, owned by the Indian merchant and racing enthusiast Sir Apcar Alexander Apcar.

Both horses won the Viceroy’s cup three times. In 1858, an Indian mare won the Viceroy cup for the first time. This feat would remain unmatched for 105 years, until 1964 when another Indian filly by the name of Hovercraft lifted the title.

Char Bahar holds the oldest standing record at the racecourse in the modern era, with a time of 1m 0.04s set in the 1100m race in 1998.

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