Racing Museum, the pride of Hyderabad

The riding colours of leading owners, mostly from the princely states, ornament the wall of Hyderabad Race Club Museum in Malakpet. Photo: Nagara Gopal   | Photo Credit: NAGARA GOPAL

Lester Piggott's goggles could well be the pride of the Hyderabad Race Club (HRC) Racing Museum, the only one of its kind in the country. Nicknamed the ‘Long Fellow,' the Englishman, perhaps the greatest jockey ever, recorded a whopping 4493 wins in his riding career that included nine Derby triumphs.

The collection of such artefacts is the brainchild of R. Surender Reddy, the HRC's Chairman. Though small now, it has been growing largely due to his requests to racing enthusiasts to donate their memorabilia with a view to popularising the sport. Training doyen R.R. Byramji has heeded his call and donated ‘Famous horses of the British turf 1919-23,' the prized Arthur W. Coaten-edited book series.

Antique brass stirrups, bits, hanging bits, wolf tooth removers, snaffles, a euthaniser and even an enema pump adorn the wall on the left, tastefully showcased and illuminated. Photographs of the grandstand at Malakpet, dated 1892, take visitors back to days of the Nizam and British Raj. Another black and white portrait is of the Mahbub Grandstand at the Fateh Maidan.

Riding colours

The riding colours of leading owners, mostly from the princely states, ornament another wall. They include those of the Maharaja of Cooch Behar, the Raja of Bobbili, the Yuvaraja of Mysore, the Maharajas of Rajpipla, Kolhapur and Parlakimedi.

Other interesting exhibits include Suresh Mahindra's binoculars, a 1939 issue of Bloodstock Breeders Review, badges, results of races held on December 4, 6, 9 and 11, 1873, legendary Indian jockey Robin Corner's national colours worn during the International Invitational Derby at Perth, Australia and Sinclair Marshall's saddle worn on the champion horse Chaitanya Chakram.

A fine collection of books and journals is arranged neatly against another wall. Among them is an interesting tome on the adventures of sports writing's senior statesman Simon Barnes during his stay in a reputed British stable.

The exhibits seem to have gone done well with race-goers, if comments in the visitor's book are indicative. Compliments have come from Lynn Deas, Editor, Racing World magazine and D.R. Johnson of the Daily Express, who were here for the last Turf Invitation Cup.

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Printable version | Apr 12, 2021 5:58:31 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/races/Racing-Museum-the-pride-of-Hyderabad/article15925987.ece

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