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Monday, Dec 06, 2021
Outlook.com
mumbai: land

Bolt The Stable Doors

The Mahalaxmi race course, a Mumbai icon, becomes a political game

Bolt The Stable Doors
Dinodia (From Outlook 12 August 2013)
Bolt The Stable Doors
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

Pedigreed Course

  • The Mahalaxmi Race Course stands on 225 sea-facing acres donated to the city by Sir Cusrow N. Wadia in 1883
  • It’s now on perpetual lease to the Royal Western India Turf Club. In 1935, King George V granted the club permission to use the ‘Royal’ in its title.
  • The course is home to the 5 Indian Classics, among them the Indian Derby
  • In 1949, Kheem Singh became the first Indian jockey to win the Indian Derby
  • In 1971, lyricist Rajendra Krishan won an all-time record jackpot—Rs 48 lakh

***

Every year, the first Sunday of February sees excitement visiting Mumbai’s Mahalaxmi Race Course. It’s not about just the horses and the races. The rich, the famous and the fashion-conscious are anxious about who’s sporting the best suit, betting the best bet, wearing the best—or even funniest—hat. Bollywood makes its presence felt, loudly sometimes, sometimes subtly. The not-so-rich-and-famous are there too, looking, or trying to look, dishy, placing the odd bet, forever craning their necks to take in all the electricity, all the fashion splashing and sprawling about. It has been so for more than a hundred years. But what if it were wiped off Mumbai’s calendar for a theme park?

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