Pune: Rains have already been spectacular so far helping the Pune Race Course spread its green velvet ahead of the 24-day Pune Monsoon Racing Season that gets underway on July 28.
The familiar sound of hooves will be heard on the lush green track as the season offers prize money of Rs 8.31 crore against Rs 9.31 crore in 2016. Though the money is less this year as compared to the last year, on a per day average the stakes are on par with last season.
The Royal Western India Turf Club (RWITC) has done well in attracting a host of sponsors to support its programme. Total contribution is Rs. 94.5 lakhs, which is higher than last year’s Rs. 89.5 lakhs.
The highlight of the season will be the SA Poonawalla Multi-Million and Villoo C Poonawalla Gold Trophy followed by the Pune Derby. The Derby weekend will also feature the most popular Oktoberfest, in association with the Indo-German Chamber.
The last and longest of the Indian Classics, Indian St. Leger, has a new sponsor in Gourmet Renaissance and a huge festival is being planned along with this mega race.
Bangalore has now made its St Leger open to older horses, as in the UK. The RWITC Stewards will deliberate whether Pune should follow suit, or keep the Indian Triple Crown format unchanged.
Races in Pune season 2017
- Turf Club Trophy (Aug 7), PRA Independence Million (Aug 15), Panchshil Million (Aug 21), FD Wadia Trophy (Aug 27), Southern Command Gold Trophy (Aug 28), Mayor Baburao Sanas Million (Sept 4), Akkasaheb Maharaj Trophy (Sept 10), Idar Gold Trophy (Sept 11), (Sept 18), Gourmet Renaissance Indian St. Leger (Sept 25), Threptin Fillies’ & Mares’ Stakes (Oct 9), Suresh Mahindra Trophy (Oct 15), IGCC Trophy, Pune Derby and Noshir & Dolly Dhunjibhoy Sprint Million (Oct 16), General Rajendrasinhji Million (Oct 21), Aquaguard Championship RWITC Ltd Gold Cup and Tattersalls Million (Oct 22).
Racing dates: July 28 and 29. August: 6, 7, 14, 15, 20, 21, 27 and 28. September: 3, 4, 10, 11, 17, 18, 24 and 25. October: 8, 9, 15, 16, 21 and 22