There are five regional racing authorities in India:
Kolkota, Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad Thoroughbred Racing in India

Racing in India is a legacy of the British Raj. Though it is well documented that the British were always serious in the business of efficiently running the Empire, they invariably found time for sport and recreation, and wherever they went, they created the necessary infrastructure for its pursuit.

In India, it must be remembered, the British presence depended for a very long time on its military strength. The armies of the 18th and 19th centuries were cavalry-oriented and the overwhelming involvement with horses inevitably meant that equine sports like fox-hunting, polo, point-to-point racing and flat-racing were to the fore.

Almost every cantonment in India had a race-course and race-meetings were organised as far back as the 18th century. In fact, the Madras Race Club, which celebrated its bi-centenary in 1978, was founded before the first Derby was run at Epsom.

Calcutta was the centre of British power in the early days of the Raj and, quite naturally, became the leading turf centre. The institution of The Viceroy's Cup at the Hastings Race Course in Calcutta in 1856 gave further impetus to racing and became an event of tremendous prestige. Lord William Beresford, who served on the viceroy's staff, won it with his black gelding Camballo in 1881. Myall King gave him three further successes in the race.

Racing in the early days was conducted with cavalry horses, chargers imported from great Britain and Arabs. As in the formative years of British racing and especially on account of the kind of horses used the majority of the more prestigious events were run over long distances.

In the Victorian era, around the turn of the century, the British Raj was getting more and more Indianised. Indians began to find a place in the administrative, industrial and social environment of the country. It was only a matter of time before the local elite began to take an active interest in racing.

The maharajas were amongst the first to be bitten by the racing-bug and early princely patrons of the Turf included Cooch-Behar, Burdwan, Baroda, Idar, Morvi, Kolhapur, Rajpipla and Mysore. Many of them, as also industrialists like textile tycoon Mathradas Goculdas, extended their interest to the ownership of horses in England.

In the early part of the present century, racing in India received a further boost when two pillars of the British Turf ¡V the Aga Khan and Sir Victor Sassoon extended their patronage to this country. Thoroughbreds began to be imported on a larger scale. The Army too set up its Remount and Breeding stations, using imported stallions for stud purposes, and Thoroughbred breeding in India began to take shape.

From just 40 Thoroughbred foals of indigenous production added to the racing population in 1938, the number rose to 226 by the mid forties. The advent of the Second World War saw a substantial reduction in the broodmare strength in England, and many of the mares so culled ended up in India, leading to an even further increase in the number of foals bred here.

The racing season of 1942-43 marked a watershed in India racing and breeding and heralded the present era. In that season for the first time, the India Classics were run. To begin with, there were only three such events framed the Indian 1000 Guineas, the Indian 2000 Guineas and the India Derby and all were run at Bombay. In the inaugural year, all three were won by the Maharaja Gaekwad of Baroda's grand filly, Princess Beautiful.

The following year, the Indian Oaks and the Indian St. Leger (run initially as the Governor-General's Cup) were added. Indian racing could be said to have come of age. It needs to be mentioned that from their very inception, the India Classics were restricted to horses bred in India.

By the late forties, the involvement of the British in India was on the wane and though the cantonment race-course remained, meetings were no longer conducted on many of them and racing came to be concentrated in the metropolitan cities of newly independent India.

Unfortunately, the misguided notions of conservative politicians threatened the very existence of the Indian Turf as racing was sought to be banned at the time. Better counsels prevailed and by the mid-fifties, racing was once again on a sound footing.

The Royal Western India Turf Club is responsible for racing at Bombay, Pune and Delhi, the Royal Calcutta Turf Club which conducted racing at Calcutta and the South India Turf Club which oversaw racing at Madras, Ootacamund, Mysore, Bangalore and Hyderabad, were the independent racing authorities in India in the early fifties.

Subsequently, the South India Turf Club split into the Madras Race Club conducting racing at Madras and Ootacamund, the Bangalore Turf Club which regulated the meetings at Bangalore and Mysore and the Hyderabad Race Club, which conducted its own racing in the Deccan metropolis of Hyderabad. In the late seventies, the five independent clubs came together to form a loose federation entitled the Turf Authorities of India. The organisation exists as a joint, consultative forum while retaining the independence of jurisdiction of its constituents.

The pattern of the 5 Indian Classics was followed by other turf clubs and brought about the establishment of the Regional Classics. In 1963, the Indian Turf Invitation Cup (2400m) was instituted. Meant for the Classic crop, it was first run at Bombay and then in rotation at Calcutta and Madras. At present, it is run at Bangalore and Hyderabad as well, each centre getting its turn in a 5-year cycle. In 1980, the Sprinters’ Cup (1200m) was added and a year later the Stayer's Cup (3000m). These events, open to all ages, are conducted at the centre whose turn it is to stage the Invitation Cup.

In 1982, a committee was formed by the Turf Authorities of India to go into the pattern of racing and after four years of deliberation, the committee formulated its list of Graded Races. There are, admittedly, several aspects of the pattern which invite critical comment. However, on the positive side, its very establishment represents a welcome start and it is hoped that in due course it will be refined realistically.


Name of Racing Authority: Royal Calcutta Turf Club

Postal Address: Calcutta Race Course, Hastings, Kolkata – 700 022, India

Tel: (91)-33-2248-7170/9502/6352 Fax:(91)-33-2231-6953



Chairman: Gen. Shankar Roychowdhury, PVSM (Retd.)


Mr S Bhattacharyya, Mr S.K Bose, Mr D Khaitan, Mr P C Lall, Mr J N Sapru

Secretary: Mr Boman Parakh

Senior Racing Executive: Mr Anil K Sinha, Senior Manager - Racing & Course & Senior Stipendiary Steward

Chief Financial Officer: Ms Anurita Ghosh

Manager – Handicapping: Mr Amit Chaturvedi

Manager - Course: Mr Sanjeev Thakan

Manager - Veterinary Services: Dr I Banerjee

Senior Manager - Business: Mr. S Dasgupta


Racing Season:From 1st May To 30th April
Number of Racecourses 1
Number of Fixtures Flat 43
Number of Races Flat 304
Number of Runners Flat 2116
Number of Horses in Training 394
Number of Trainers 13
Number of Jockeys 68
Number of Owners 105

NameClassification International / DomesticDatePrize Money (RS)Racecourse
1.Calcutta 1000 Guineas, Grade III 27 Nov. 5,00,000 Kolkata
2.Calcutta 2000 Guineas, Grade II 10 Dec. 5,00,000
3.Calcutta Oaks, Grade III 24 Dec. 5,00,000
4.Calcutta Derby Stakes, Grade I 8 Jan. 15,00,000
5.Calcutta St Leger 11 Mar. 2,00,000
6.Calcutta Gold Cup, Grade II 17 Dec. 10,00,000
7.Indian Produce Stakes, Grade III 1 Jan. 5,00,000
8.Calcutta Champions’ Sprint Trophy, Grade III 28 Jan. 3,00,000
9.Indian Champion Cup, Grade II 23 Jan. 5,00,000
10.Queen Elizabeth II Cup, Grade III 4 Feb. 3,00,000
11.Calcutta Million Grade I 18 Feb. 10,00,000
12.Sprinters' Trophy 1 Jan. 2,00,000

Race Festivals

New Year's Day - 1st January
Derby Day - 8th January

Total Prizemoney (Local Currency - Indian Rupee)

Rs. 371,29,000- - Provided by Racing Authorities

Rs 55,38,550 - Provided by Owners in Entry Fees

Rs 57,44,000 - Provided by Sponsors

Average Prizemoney Per Race (Flat) Rs 1,59,249

Exchange Rate to US$: Rs. 44

Betting Totalizator Yes Off Course Yes
Bookmakers Yes Off Course Yes

Totalisator (Rs) Bookmaker (Rs)
On Course 13,50,76,520 4,13,96,920
Off Course 54,49,78,330 16,81,89,840
Principal Bet Types: Win, Place, Quinella, Tanala, Treble & Jackpot

Betting Deductions Totalisator Bookmaker
Government Tax 8% 15%
Retained by Authority 14.5% (approx.)

Name of Racing Authority: Royal Western India Turf Club Ltd

Postal Address: Race Course, Mahalakshmi, Mumbai 400 034, India

Tel: (91)22-23071401 Fax: (91)22-23090351



Chairman: Dr. Cyrus S Poonawalla

Stewards / Committee:

Subhash Awate (IPS), Shivlal Daga, Khushroo N Dhunjibhoy, SS Hussain, Vivek Jain, Sunil Jhangiani, Shyam M Ruia, Vijay B Shirke, Dr. Vijaypat Singhania, AP Sinha, Champaklal Zaveri, Masoom Master, Suresh N Talwar, Lt Gen BS Thakhar, JD Virkar (IPS).

Chief Executive: Mr. B.A Engineer (Secretary)

Senior Stipendiary Steward: Mr. Shujaat Hussain

Deputy Secretary: Mr. N H S Mani

Stipendiary Steward: Mr. Riyaz M Khan

Handicapper: Mr. Conrad Pereira

Senior Veterinary Officer: Dr D Swaminathan (B.V. Sc.)

Contact for Overseas Liaison / Information: Mr. B A Engineer

Regional Racing Authorities:

Royal Calcutta Turf Club, Mr Boman Parakh, Secretary & CEO, 11, Russel Street, Kolkota 700 071, Tel: (91)33-291103/4, Fax: (91)33-2454632/2482787;

Royal Western India Turf Club Ltd, Mr B A Engineer, Secretary, Race Course, Mahalaxmi, Mumbai 400 034, Tel: (91)22-23071397/8, Fax: (91)22-23090351;

Madras Race Club, Mr Dharmasenan Ebenezer, Secretary, PB No. 2639, Guindy, Madras 600 032, Tel: (91)44-2351171/2/3, Fax: (91)44-2351553;

Bangalore Turf Club Ltd; Mr S Nirmal Prasad, Secretary, PB No. 5038, Race Course Road, Bangalore 560 001, Tel: (91)80-2262391/2/3, Fax: (91)80-2256995;


Racing Season:From July To April
Number of Racecourses 2
Number of Fixtures Flat 70
Number of Races Flat 561
Number of Runners Flat 5830
Number of Horses in Training 1042
Number of Trainers 55 (45 'A' Licence, 10 'B' Licencse)
Number of Jockeys 114 (92 'A' Licence, 22 'B' Licence)
Number of Owners 600

NameClassification International / DomesticApprox DatePrize Money (RS) Racecourse
1.Indian 1000 Guineas Grade 1 Dec 2791620 Mumbai
2.Indian 2000 Guineas Grade 1 Dec 4153030 Mumbai
3.Indian Oaks Grade 1 Jan 3693560 Mumbai
4.Indian Derby Grade 1 Feb 8395670 Mumbai
5.Poonawalla Breeders Multi Million Grade 1 Feb 6899250 Mumbai
6.Indian St Leger Grade 1 Mar 4529900 Mumbai
7.Pune Derby Grade 1 Oct 2321000 Pune

Total Prize money (Local Currency - Indian Rupee)

Rs 1,12,276,000 - Provided by Racing Authorities

Rs 28,796,835 - Provided by Owners in Entry Fees

Rs 16,585,000 - Provided by Sponsors Contributions

Average Prize money Per Race (Total) Rs 281,030.

Average Prize money Per Race (Flat) Rs 281,030.

Betting Totalizator: Yes Off Course: Yes

Bookmakers: Yes Off Course: Yes

Total Betting Turnover / Year Tote Rs.819, 639,000. Bookmakers 309,400,000.

On Course Tote Rs. 374,583,000 Bookmakers: Rs. 158,178,000.

Off Course Tote; Rs. 445,056,000 Bookmakers: Rs. 151,222,000.

Principal Bet Types: Win, Place, Jackpot, Super Jackpot, Treble, Forecast, Quinella, Tanala and Second Horse Pool

Betting Deductions - Govt Tax (%): Totes - 10%, Bookmakers - 20%

Other Deductions - Bookmakers 6%

Retained by Authority(%): Win & Place 5% - Pools 30%

Breeding: Total number of Breeding Establishments – 87.

Total number of stallions 106.

Total number of mares 2854.

Total number of thoroughbred births / year 1450 approx


Name of Racing Authority: Madras Race Club

Postal Address: Post Box No. 2639, Guindy, Chennai 600032, India

Tel: (91)44-2351171/2350774 Fax:(91)44-2351553/2350024


Chairman: Dr M A M Ramaswamy

Dr M.A.M Ramaswamy, Mr O.M.SP.L.Al Alagappa Chellias, Mr K Balaram Das, Mr V.S Dhanasekar, Mr K Ganapathy, Dr. Gnani Laksumanan, Dr. Md. Javeed Ghatala, Dr Prathap C. Reddy, Mr R. Ramakrishnan, Mr PT Ram Kumar, Mr S. Rangarajan, Mr M. Vijayakishnan, Mr Pawan Raina I.A.S, Mr S Rajarethinam I.A.S, Mr Shaktikantadas I.A.S, Tmt Susan Mathew I.A.S.

Chief Executive: Mr. Dharmasenan Ebenezer, Secretary and Senior Stipendiary Steward

Senior Veterinary Officer: Dr S.M Karthikeyan

Handicapper: Mr B.K Amanullah Khan

Racing Manager: Mr M. Ramalingam

Deputy Secretary: Mr V R Shrinivaasan

Racing Superintendent: Mr P Badrinath

Assistant Secretary: Mr P Sivasubramanian

Stipendiary Steward: Mr Itath Aman Khan

Racing Season:From 1st April 2001 to 31
Number of Racecourses 2
Number of Fixtures Madras Races 2001/2002 - 42
Udhagamandalam - 29
Monsoon Races 2001 - 12
Number of Races Madras Races 2001/2002 - 307
Udhagamandalam - 228
Madras Monsoon Races - 72
Number of Runners Madras Races 2001/2002 - 479
Udhagamandalam - 402
Madras Monsoon Races - 134
Number of Horses in Training 593
Number of Trainers 14
Number of Jockeys 50
Number of Owners 100

NameClassification International/DomesticDatePrizeMoney(RS)Racecourse
1.The Hindu South India 1000 Guineas Grade 2 (T) December 600,000 Chennai
2.The Sans Craintes 2000 Guineas Grade 2 (T) December 600,000 Chennai
3.The India Cements South India Oaks Grade 1 (T) January 1,000,000 Chennai
4.The Chettinad Cement South India Derby Grade 1 (T) January 1,200,000 Chennai
5.The South India Corporation St. Leger Grade 2 (T) February 1,000,000 Chennai
6.The Guindy Gold Cup (T) November 468,000 Chennai
7.The Poonawalla Stud Farms Madras Gold Vase Grade 3 March 300,000 Chennai
8.The Dasmesh and Hargobind Stud Guindy Grand Prix (T) March 425,000 Chennai
9.The Usha Stud Nilgiris Fillies Trial Stakes Grade 3 (T) April 500,000 Udhagamandalam
10.The Hindu Nilgiris Colts Trial Stakes Grade 2 (T) April 500,000 Udhagamandalam
11.The South India Corporation Nilgiris Derby Stakes Grade 1 (T) April 1,000,000 Udhagamandalam
(T) - Terms Race


Total Prizemoney (Local Currency - Indian Rupee)

Rs 3,77,61,0 - Provided by Racing Authorities

Rs 21,77,000 - Provided by Owners in Entry Fees

Rs 71,49,500 - Provided by Sponsors Contributions

Average Prizemoney Per Race (Total) Rs 79,271

Betting Totalizator Yes Off Course No
Bookmakers Yes Off Course No
Total Betting Turnover / Year 2001/2002

On Course Rs 21,02,06,605 (Totalisators)
Rs 3,64,17,52

Off Course Nil

Principal Bet Types Win, Place, Quinella, Forecast, Tanala, Treble & Jackpot

Betting Deductions -

Betting Tax and Surcharge - Rs 4,44,35,267

Retained by Authority - Rs 4,25,19,662

Other Deductions (Income Tax) - Rs 1,01,46,427


No breeding activity to report.