Hyderabad: The stage is set for the 28-day Hyderabad monsoon races scheduled to commence at the Malakpet race course here from Thursday.
The season was originally slated to begin from July 18 but the first day`s programme was cancelled as the monsoon track was not fit for racing due to delay in the onset of southwest monsoon. However, the race track now is lush green thanks to the recent rains and showers.
A total stake money of Rs 9.92 crores (Rs 8.28 crores as stake money for race horse owners and Rs 1.64 crores as professional fees for trainers and jockeys), besides trophies worth Rs 30.75 lakhs are on offer during the season as against Rs 9.45 crores as stakes and Rs 30.75 lakhs towards trophies offered during the last season.
Besides, the race horse owners will also be getting performance incentives, special incentives apart from other subsidies, Hyderabad race club (HRC) chairman R Surender Reddy said addressing the season-eve press conference last night.
He said during the monsoon racing season last year though the advertised stake money was Rs 9.45 crores, the total actual stakes and professional fee paid was Rs 12.18 crores, mainly because of division of races due to more number of horses in a race.
The stakes-horse ratio (Rs 2.58 lakhs per horse) offered at HRC was the highest in the country, Reddy claimed.
More than 730 horses including 201 two-year olds were ready in station. Of them about 560 horses would be participating during the monsoon season.
Reddy said 21 "A" licensed trainers at HRC would be racing their wards during the season. Around 55 jockeys including 19 "B" licensed jockeys and 16 apprentice jockeys will be seen in action. Besides, leading outstation trainers and jockeys will also participate in the classic and graded races during the season.
The monsoon racing season`s Blueriband-The Vijay Textiles Deccan Derby will be run on October two. The President of India gold cup race will be held on September 7.
The total minimum guaranteed stakes and professional fee for the President of India gold cup and the Deccan Derby races was Rs five million, Reddy said.
The other prestigious races to be run during the season are The Governors cup (August 17), The Nizam`s gold cup (August 18), the Deccan bookmakers fillies championship stakes (August 25), the Deccan bookmakers colts championship stakes (September one), the Chief minister`s cup (September 21), the Melbourne racing club trophy (October 6) and the Golconda St Leger (October 20).
On the developmental works undertaken by the HRC, Reddy said the club has started constructing its own off course Tote centre at Enikepadu in Vijayawada with all modern amenities which will start functioning soon.
The facilities at all existing off course betting centres were being upgraded in a phased manner by providing air-conditioning and replacing old TVs with LCD/LED TV sets.
The new computerised betting system has been installed and commissioned and was working satisfactorily.
All the old terminals have been replaced with the new terminals at a cost of Rs 8.50 crores.
The HRC recently acquired a state-of-the art horse simulator from the UK at a cost of Rs 60 lakhs for training the students of the HRC jockey school.
Construction of a modern members stand and jockeys room, renovation of the equine hospital and surgery unit and well ventilated stables were the other works which had been completed.
It was proposed to construct one more Bund school similar to the existing one near the swimming pool for exercising the horses, he added.