Indian Horse Race – Detailed Guide to Horse Racing in India

A stroke of luck or the greatest sporting endeavour of all time, opinions are divisive on the matter of Indian horse racing. If we stick to the factual, it would be worth noting that horse racing, as it is now, came to India more than 200 years ago. Nowadays, the country has a thriving horse-breeding industry, while sports events of the type are held on nine racetracks by a total of six official authorities. It couldn't be otherwise, because only Indian-bred studs are allowed to participate in the competitions conducted on Indian soil. If all this leads you to think that the necessary preconditions for a flourishing sports betting industry are met, you would be on the right track! A mixture of pool betting and sportsbook services bring even more excitement to the table than merely spectating the horses as they race. Find out the intricate details in the lines below.
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The Biggest Indian Horse Racing Events

The way the Indian horse racing events are scheduled closely mimics the order of the big five British races. The names they hold have a familiar ring to them because they are named after the five classic races in the United Kingdom. They almost without exception are organised by The Royal Western India Turf Club – an authority with traditions and a big influence on the Indian horse racing scene. If you were to think that the structure of the events resembles closely their British counterparts just as their names were inspired by them, you would be right on both counts. Exactly like the Indian horse racing sites for betting, the events are in the process of being improved with novelty features and rules that guarantee the thrill from both betting and spectating. We’ll talk about how to get started with Indian horse racing betting a bit later, for now, let’s look at what your options are in terms of markets.

Indian 1000 Guineas

A race steeped in history, the 1000 Guineas conducted in India, follows in the footsteps of one of the five annual Classics in the United Kingdom. It’s the first horse racing event to achieve the ‘classic’ status. This is no surprise to those in the know, considering the fact the event originated in 1814 but it wasn’t until 150 years later that the Indian version of it ran for the first time. The famous Mahalaxmi Race Course is the home of 1000 Guineas in India, hosting it every year in December ever since it originated. In fact, this is the course where four out of five Indian Classics are conducted except the Indian St Ledger. The 1000 Guineas precedes the 2000 Guineas not only historically but also in the calendar. The former is something of an opener creating hype for the culmination on Sunday. 2018 saw 10 fillies start (after one withdrawing) and La Rondine romping in at the end.

Indian 2000 Guineas

Existing for over 75 years now, the Indian 2000 Guineas horse racing event, has always been one of the most important races on the calendar. Hosted in Mumbai and organised by the Royal Western India Turf Club, this mile-long race is held every year. Traditionally, it’s scheduled in December for the Mahalaxmi Race Course as a follow-up to the 1000 Guineas. What’s more, it’s arguably the more anticipated of the two because it’s not fillies-only.

Horse Racing at a Hippodrome Somewhere in India

Even so, only colts and fillies bred and raised in India can take part. Historical importance is also a thing about the Indian 2000 Guineas that can’t be denied. It takes centre stage in the Triple Crown bestowment which requires a horse to win not only that course but also The Derby and St ledger.

Indian Derby

With a name as apt as this, it’s apparent from a mile away the Indian Derby is the most contested and anticipated of the five main races. Since it is the arguably the biggest sporting event in Indian sports as a whole, The McDowell Indian Derby isn’t lacking sponsorship. This makes it not only a sponsored event but also the one with the highest cash prizes. Historically, the race can be traced back to 1943, when the winner was a filly by the name of Princess Beautiful and jockey Edgar Britt. A thoroughbred horse race, long exactly 2,400 meters, the Indian Derby has seen many nerve-shredding finishers, the last of which was won by Star Superior and Indian jockey Suraj Narredu.

Indian Oaks

Indian Oaks, also known as the Ladies Derby is another one of the five Classic Indian horse racing events. The Royal Western India Turf Club in Mumbai is organising the event each year. It was in the distant 1943 that The Indian oaks was run for the first time. There is an age and breed limitation on the fillies that take part. They must be 4 year-olds thoroughbred fillies. This year’s winner is Pesi Shroff and ward Roberta.

St Leger

One of the most dynamic horse racing India tracks of the Triple Crown series, the McDowell Indian ST Leger was held in Mumbai for a while but then returned to Pune in 2011. The last edition of the race, held on September 23, was won by the Indian Turf Invitation Cup winner Adjudicate. The grade 1 event St Leger is 2800 long and is usually scheduled for Sundays.

The Royal Western India Turf Club (RWITC)

RWITC is an official organisation governing horse racing in India. Based in Mumbai – the capital of the state Maharashtra – the establishment has been operating ever since 1800. The Royal Western India Turf Club is the biggest for the country governing body of its kind. RWITC manages Maharashtra’s Race Course and the Pune Race Course in Mumbai. The list with racetracks operated by the club far exceeds these two names, but one thing is the same – they all are located in either Mumbai or Pune.

The RWITC was started more than 200 years ago by the collective effort of British officials and a local businessman. The club continued to grow at a rapid pace and was bestowed a ‘royal’ status by the esteemed guest King George V – the Emperor of India. Up to this day, the RWITC’ races are the most well known horse racing India events. More details about the racetracks, prizes and the club itself, can be found on RWITC’s site.

The year 1996 the Supreme Court of India recognised horse race betting as mostly a skill-based activity. Defined in such a way, it was no longer illegal to practice. Having to do with one’s knowledge of the sport, horse racing isn’t numbered amongst the illegal forms of gambling described in the 1888 Police Act and the Gaming Act of 1930.

Needless to say, this led to a resurgence of interest in horse racing, making it the most popular pastime for punters in India. Another legal gambling activity you can try is lotto betting. If you are interested, you can play the best online lottery in India when you choose one of the trusted operators on our website.

Betting on Horses is Approved by the Laws in India

A number of racing events to choose from, pari-mutuel betting pools, and above all the number of legal bookmakers operating in the country, have all been helping horse race betting in India to grow. As for online gambling sites in India, you can learn everything from our article or from our separate Indian online casino guide.

How Do I Get Started with Horse Race Betting in India?

Firstly, you should open a player’s account at one of the best sports betting sites in India. From then on, you’ll know that you are in safe hands, which is the most important thing you want to assure. The next thing you want to do is deposit via one of the secure online payment methods that are available onsite. Debit and credit cards are preferred for this type of online betting, so you might want to consider using those as well, though e-wallets are widely accepted too. Shortly after or right after depositing, you’ll have the funds on your disposal and will have to ask yourself which betting lines look the most advantageous. To the already rich calendar of events, we have to add the opportunity to place different wagers: straight bets, Exacta, Perfecta, Exactor, Quinella, Trifecta, Pick 3, Pick 4, to name but a few. It turns out that everything related to Indian horses and races can be bet on, but that’s partly why this form of wagering is so popular. And since we almost reached the end of our article, we want to share other famous ways to gamble in India, like for example the how to play Andar Bahar games at real cash online casinos!

Frequently Asked Questions

Indian horse race betting takes a while to sink in, but don’t you worry we’ve got just the right thing to ensure it will dawn on you eventually. To handle this with due regard, we’ve prepared a Q&A section that will stress the important points made throughout the article and, at the same breath, will expand on some topics that we feel are essential for the complete understanding of the betting activity in question.

What is the best horse racing bet in India?

Staking a simple place bet means that if your horse finishes first or second you will turn a profit. Alternatively, you can place a show bet, which will enable you to get a return provided that your horse places amongst the first three finishers. Those bets are suitable for people who are just starting with Indian horse racing.

How do you bet on horse racing in India?

Without having any doubts about the legality of horse race betting in India, you can proceed to stake a wager as long as you have an account at an online sportsbook. Choose a market, pick between a win, place, or show wager and enter the amount you want to bet, then commit to it by selecting the confirmation button.

Which is the best Indian sportsbook?

To single out just one bookmaker wouldn't be the right thing to do. At least three horse racing sportsbooks we could cite off the top of our head. Betway, Royal Panda and LeoVegas are three distinguished names that inevitably come to mind. They offer not only the races organised by the Indian Turf Club but also a variety of other sports betting markets.

Which is the biggest Indian horse racing event?

Taking place right after Indian 1000 Guineas, the Indian 2000 Guineas is without a doubt the biggest horse racing event in India. It's invariably a part of the Triple Crown set of events and boasts the biggest prize pool of all classic races in the country. In our estimation, in terms of historical significance, the Indian 2000 Guineas is also a notch above the rest.

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