|Mahalaxmi Race Course (Royal Western India Turf Club) Mumbai. Foursquare|
|Mahalaxmi,race track. Mumbai. en.wikipedia.org|
It was under the East India company rule, the British officials took a keen initiative and started turf clubs in those power centers under their control. The aim was to spend their week ends and holidays in a relaxing mood. It was equally a social event where the members of the elite could socialize, exchange pleasantries and indulge themselves in gossiping to their heart's content. For the young Europeans, it was a good opportunity to pick up a female companion. The Europeans could attend such racing events with their families which was not possible when they went hiking, hunting in the jungles, mountain climbing, etc because such out door activities away from human settlements were risky and dangerous.
|Indian Derby race at Royal Western India Turf Club onGetty Images|
|100 years ago. The Pune Racecourse. Mid-Day|
|Byculla club 1822. Bombay Photo Images[ Mumbai]|
|Byculla Club, Bombay. Tara Deshpande|
The racing track in Mahalaxmi is oval shaped with 2,400 metres (7,900 ft) straight chute, spread over approximately 225 acres (0.91 km2; 0.352 sq mi) of open land in the prime area of Mumbai city. It was created out of a marshy land known as Mahalakshmi Flats as mentioned above. Built in 1883 and modeled on the Caulfield Racecourse in Melbourne, it is spread over land facing the sea. Today it is on lease from the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) to Royal Western India Turf Club which runs the racecourse. The Grandstand, off the course, is a designated heritage structure. The racecourse has a helipad open for civilian use in South Mumbai. British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran performed at the racecourse on 1 March 2015 as part of his X World Tour.
During this period in 1880s, the performance of club was not good enough and was well eclipsed by the Calcutta Turf club because of their experience and better organization to attract the members. The racing scenario changed only in the 20th century and RWITC overshot the Calcutta Turf club. Between 1886 - 1897, an important agreement was reached with the Calcutta Turf Club “that no course in India be allowed to race under Rules without being controlled by either of the two Turf Authorities”. The first running of the Eclipse Stakes of India in 1923 gave Bombay a race to rival the Viceroy’s Cup. New stands were commissioned in 1925. Yet another milestone was in 1935 HRH King George V, Emperor of India, granted permission to add the prefix “Royal” to the Club’s name. In 1936 Electric clock was installed for the first time followed by the opening of the Apprentice Jockeys’ School in1938 and it was under the guidance of the Stipendiary Stewards of the Club. In 1942 - 43 The Indian classics was introduced, restricting participation of horses bred in India. Princess Beautiful, a Maharaja of Baroda filly on the Indian 1000 Guineas, the Indian 2000 Guineas and the Indian Derby and 21 years later the Indian Turf Invitation Cup was introduced and the venue happened to be Mahalakshmi.
|Pune racecourse, Pune.Sakal Times|
|Race Course (Camp, Pune).en.wikipedia.org|
Pune city is just, three and half hours drive south-east of Mumbai (Bombay), where the Royal Western India Turf Club conducts its racing. It is a monsoon track with the main Club House. The track is different and has a shorter run-in, with the variable underfoot conditions making the sporting events exciting. Main events take place in the Summer. the highlight is many horses from Calcutta take part in the events. Pune Race Course located in Pune Cantonment, western India was built in 1830 and it covers 118.5 acres (48.0 ha) of land under the control of