CHENNAI: The Madras winter racing season begins on October 29 and will go on till March 24. Apart from the regular classics and sponsored races, this year a new race has been included in the name of the late S. Rangarajan, former Chairman, The Hindu. He was also a Steward and Committee Member of the Club. The S. Rangarajan Memorial Gold Cup race is to be run on February 27, 2008.
About 650 horses, including 150 two-year-olds, are in station to take part in the season’s races. Around 45 jockeys and 14 trainers will be on duty.
The committee has decided to have nine races per day and also to display the results (of first five places) on the odds-board opposite the Grand Stand, according to Mr. B. K. Amanullah Khan, Secretary, Madras Race Club, who briefed the press on Wednesday.
Nine-year-old horses will be permitted to race till the end of this season. There will be morning sales of tote tickets on the day of the races.
As for the key races, the South India 1000 Guineas is to be run on December 11 and the South India 2000 Guineas on December 17. The Poonawalla Stud Farms will this time be sponsoring the South India Oaks to be run on January 2, 2008. Last year they had sponsored the St. Leger. The Capricorn Stud Farm is a new sponsor which will back the Christmas Cup race (two-year-olds only) to be held on December 24. The other major event of the season is the South India Corporation South India Derby Stakes to be run on January 15. The Madras Gold Vase will be sponsored by The Northern India Breeders for the second year running.
The racing dates: Oct. 29; Nov. 2, 5, 8, 12, 14, 19, 21, 27 and 28; Dec. 3, 5, 11, 12, 17, 19, 24, 26 and 31; Jan. 2, 7, 9, 11, 15, 16, 28, 30, 31; Feb. 12, 13, 18, 20, 25 and 27; March 4, 10, 11, 14, 17, 18, 23 and 24.