The Derby Season Is On In Mumbai, Here Is All You Need To Know About Horse Racing

Derby is played at the Mahalaxmi Racecourse in Mumbai, starting from November to April month every year. How much do you know about horse racing?

The racing track was created out of a muddy land known as the Mahalaxmi Flats, donated by Sir Cusrow N Wadia. As of today the racecourse is on the lease from the Municipal Corporation of the Greater Mumbai to Royal Western India Turf Club (RWITC).

As of now, there are 5000 people employed here and the Government of state collects a tax amount of approximately ₹50 crore a year from 43 race days. The club has also kept a jogging and walking track and the racecourse is also given on rent for various functions.

This racetrack is considered as one of the finest in the world, being a 2400 metre turf track, in oval shape. Mumbai racecourse is the topmost racetrack due to its perfect slopes which is very comfortable for the jockey and the horse.

Mahalaxmi Racecourse is now reckoned as a heritage property and it is the only place in South Mumbai which has a helipad for civilian use!

Photo: TripAdvisor

Now a let’s talk a little about derby. The minimum bet one can place on a horse in ₹10. It is perfectly legal, by the way.

For visiting the club there is an entry fee of ₹350 per person with an appropriate dress code. For gentlemen the apt dress code is suit, safari, full sleeve shirt with a tie or else a jacket, blazer and shoes are compulsory. For women it is relaxing as except what they wear on beaches anything is allowed. The entry fee is ₹30 if you are planning out to visit the public enclosure.

About how to place your bet, there are books which will be available 2 days before the race, which will be a Friday as the race happens only on Sundays. They are called the ‘Race Books’ – there are 3, Cole, BOL and Lucky Spinner for ₹20 each. These books consist of every information of the race, runners, performance of the horse (past), statistics and also selections.

Photo : Hindustan Times

When the race is about to start, horses along with their jockeys are brought into the paddock stand and the owners plan their strategy, giving instructions to the jockeys. You can place a bet a the Tote windows or call the roving operator with a hand-held computer. There are different kinds of bets as well. As per the website of RWITC, these are the bets you can place:

Win (Minimum bet: Rs.10/- only): Pick a horse to finish 1st.

Place (Minimum bet: Rs.10/- only): Pick a horse to finish 1st, 2nd or 3rd (in races with 8 or more runners). With 7 or fewer runners, your choice must finish 1st or 2nd.Accumulator Win (Minimum bet: Rs.10/- only): This is a multi-race bet in which the winnings are subsequently wagered on each succeeding nominated race.

Accumulator Place (Minimum bet: Rs.10/- only): As above for place.

Kenchi: A permutation of the Accumulator Win or Place wager accepted for a chosen group of 3, 4 or 5 races. The good news with Kenchi is that the chances of your getting back some money are better than with a straight Accumulator. For the minimum unit of Rs.10/-, a 3-race Kenchi requires you to invest Rs.40/-; a 4-race Kenchi, Rs.110/-; and a 5-race Kenchi, Rs.260/-.

Forecast Pool (Minimum bet: Rs.10/- only): Pick two horses to finish 1st and 2nd.

Quinella Pool (Minimum bet: Rs.10/- only): Just like the Forecast Pool except you win if your choices finish 1st and 2nd or 2nd and 1st. In other words, so long both your chosen horses figure in the first two, the order of finish does not matter.


Second Horse Pool (Minimum bet: Rs.10/- only): Pick a horse to come 2nd only.

Tanala Pool (Minimum bet: Rs.10/- only): Pick 3 horses to finish 1st, 2nd or 3rd in the exact order or buy a combination ticket where your first three choices finish in the exact 1-2-3 order to earn the 70% dividend. The consolation 30% dividend is paid on the ticket where the order for the second and third place gets interchanged; in other words, 1-3-2 instead of 1-2-3.

Jackpot (Minimum bet: Rs.10/- only): Select the winners of the five races designated by the Club for the Jackpot Pool at the declaration stage. You can either buy a single-digit ticket (e.g., 1-8-5-2-12) or a combination ticket (e.g., 1/6-7/8-5-2-6/12). If you get the first four winners correct, you share in the consolation dividend of 30%. If you get all 5 legs right, you share in the 70% dividend amount.

Super Jackpot (Minimum bet: Rs.5/- only): RWITC has a Super Jackpot pool with six legs or six races designated for the Super Jackpot Pool at the declaration stage. You can buy either a combination or a single ticket. If you nominate the winners of the first five legs, you share in the 30% dividend amount. If you get all 6 legs right, you share in the 70% dividend amount.

If you win the bet there are many windows marked with ‘Pay’, to collect the profit.

Some safe betting tips:

1. Always at the time of betting keep the betting amount less.

2. Never bet more to recover your loss, it can lead to unfortunate events like you know what.

3. Uncertainty is the only certain thing about horse racing.

4. Bet in races but not in all races.

5. Keep patience even after loosing wait till the end for the ‘All Clear Sign’ so there are chances if you winning.

Happy Derby!

Preview Photo:

Samyak Sheth
Samyak Sheth

A traveller and journalist who views the world wearing multi-coloured goggles. He believes that life is to live not to survive.

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