Though off to a delayed start from July 25, the Hyderabad Race Club’s monsoon season, which runs till October 22, will usher in some innovations.
Senior Steward K. Bhupal Reddy, at a press conference on Friday night, said the stake money this time would be Rs. 8,44,98,000 registering a rise of just about Rs. 5 lakhs over last year’s offer.
From trophies valued at Rs. 26,20,000, this year’s prizes would be worth Rs. 29,55,000. Besides, owners will get performance incentives when their horses finish in the top three places in category races too.
Added money for the Deccan Derby (Grade I) slated for October 2 will be Rs. 3 million, half of which will be contributed by M/s. Vijay Textiles. Rs. 2 million is added for the President of India Gold Cup (Grade I).
There will be 22 ‘A’ licensed trainers with 763 horses in their charge including 211 two-year-olds, 43 jockeys, eight apprentices among them, with professionals from other centres expected to add sheen to the competition.
Victory of Hyderabad’s horses in the Bangalore Turf Club’s Fillies Championship Stakes and Colts Championship Stakes, both Grade I races, displayed a marked rise in their quality. Government permission was awaited for a conversion of the HRC’s plot in Vijayawada from industrial to commercial purpose to enable construction of an off-course tote centre (OCTC) b) to conduct inter-venue betting on Delhi races.
On the lines of the Khairatabad OCTC, now housed in a more spacious and air-conditioned building, the club is looking out for better accommodation at its Vizag, Secunderabad, Musheerabad and A.S. Rao Nagar locations. Box type versions in all OCTCs have been replaced by LCD TV sets.
The computerised betting system introduced in 1988 will be completely overhauled by M/s. CMC Ltd at a cost of Rs. 7 crores and will become functional in September. The new system will see a quantum jump in improved facilities such as bar code scanner, faster servers, betting kiosks, hand held betting terminals, cash card betting, reduced ticket issue response time and capacity to install 2048 betting terminals against the existing 750. New betting pools will be added, subject to government approval.
A switch from MPEG 2 to the advanced MPEG 4 format will enable high definition (HD) transmission of live telecasts, during which owners’ colours of the three front runners will be shown. A new electronic scale will show accurate weight of horses. A Lynx photo finish camera will do away with manual timing besides giving accurate decisions on dead heat, nose, short head, head, neck, 1/4, 1/2, 3/4 and one length finishes.
Two horse walkers, another first for the HRC, will help the animals exercise at variable, pre-determined speed levels. The equine hospital now boasts of the latest blood biochemistry analyser, a digital computerised radiography unit and an air-conditioned pharmacy. The club’s upgraded website, besides enabling registration of owners, trainers and jockeys access their racing account statements welcomes guests to enrol for email alerts.
Racing dates: July 25, 26, Aug. 5, 6, 12 (Nizam’s Gold Cup), 15, 19 (A.P. Governor’s Cup), 20, 26 (D.B. Fillies Championship Stakes), 27, Sept. 2 (D.B. Colts Championship Stakes), 3, 9 (President of India Gold Cup), 10, 16 (A.P. Chief Minister’s Cup), 17, 23, 24, 30, Oct. 2 (Vijay Textiles Deccan Derby), 7 (Melbourne Racing Club Trophy), 8, 13, 15 (Golconda St. Leger), 19 and 22. — Special Correspondent
Keywords: Hyderabad racing