After getting delayed by a fortnight for various reasons, including water shortage, the annual racing season had a galloping start at the high-altitude racecourse here on Wednesday heralding the tourist-season related activities in this holiday destination.
Nine races were held on the opening day of the 127th edition of the racing. A mixed gathering including punters, and tourists (both domestic and foreign) witnessed the races.
The first day of the racing season has for long been considered as an indicator of the tourist season entering a hectic phase, though over the years the number of persons patronising the races has come down.
Since the course is visible from different directions, many tourists occupy vantage spots on the roads and atop the surrounding hills to enjoy the sight of horses galloping.
Madras Race Club secretary B.K. Amanullah Khan said that the racing season has begun on an encouraging note.
Being May Day there was a spurt in the inflow of tourists. As a result popular tourist spots like the Government Botanical Garden, the Ooty Lake, and Doddabetta peak were teeming with tourists.
The Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation, which has been plying circuit buses since Tamil New Year’s Day, pressed into service more vehicles to meet the growing demand.
A TNSTC source said that five buses were covering various places including the botanical garden, the Children’s Park, Boat House, and the Government Rose Garden.
The facility has become an integral part of the season in this hill station since 2008.