PUNE: The opening of the 2018 Pune Racing season has been slightly tweaked for a Friday start instead of traditional Thursday beginning to accommodate one extra Saturday.
The season will comprise 26 race days with racing on most of the weekends of August, September and October barring certain Sundays to ensure that there are minimum overlaps with other racing centers.
The prize money has been enhanced to ₹8.16 crore as against ₹7.83 crore in 2017.
The highlights of the season would be the Pune Derby (Grade 1) scheduled to be run on October 14 and the Indian St. Leger, the last leg of the Indian classics this year, on September 23. Another attraction would be the SA Poonawalla Million on September 16.
The longest race of the country, run over 3200m, the Suresh Mahindra Trophy, will be held at the Pune Race Course on October 13.
Club’s own, the Southern Command Gold Trophy race day is scheduled for September 1 which will be complete with Army regalia and participation that as always be one of the highlights.
The “Race Ka Raja” contest, which was an instant success during the Mumbai season, will be held on most of the race days and have variety of prizes for the patrons to take home.
Pune Bookmakers’ Association Turf Club Trophy (August 5), Eve Champion Trophy (August 11), FD Wadia Trophy (August 25), Idar Gold Trophy (August 31), Southern Command Gold Trophy (September 1), Akkasaheb Mahraj Trophy (September 8), Villoo C Poonawalla Million (September 16), SA Poonawalla Million (September 16), Pune City Gold Cup (September 22), Indian St Leger Grade 1 (September 23), Threptin Fillies & Mares Stakes (October 6), Suresh Mahindra Trophy (October 13), Pune Derby Grade 1 (October 14), Noshir & Dolly Dhunjibhoy Sprint Million (October 14), General Rajendrasinhji Million (October 27) and Aquaguard Championship RWITC Gold Cup (October 28).
Racing dates: July 20, 26 and 27; August 4, 5, 11, 15, 19, 24, 25 and 31; September 1, 7, 8, 15, 16, 22, 23, 28 and 29; October 5, 6, 13, 14, 27 and 28.