The temperature is rising and so is the excitement surrounding one of the biggest horse races to ever gallop into the city. The 51st Indian Turf Invitation Cup is back after five years, via Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad.
The Royal turf is abuzz with activities gearing up for an exciting weekend ahead. The 51st Indian Turf Invitation Weekend will be held at the Royal Calcutta Turf Club on March 2 and 3, packed with four graded races and international jockeys like Richard Hughes, Paul Mulrennan, Martin Dwyer and many more.
so figuring on the list of attractions will be star stud farm owners like Vijay Mallya (Kunigal Stud Farm), Shapoor Mistry (Manjri Stud Farms), M.A.M. Ramaswamy (Chettinad Stud & Agricultural Farm and The Sholavaram Stud Farm) and Cyrus Poonawalla (Poonawalla Stud Farms).
The first day will witness the declaration of the sprinter and stayer of the country with the Oasis Star Sprinters’ Cup, Grade-I, the shortest and fastest race lasting over 1,200 metres, and The Stayers’ Cup, Grade-I, the longest race at 3,000 metres. The Oasis Star Sprinters’, sponsored by Shapoorji Pallonji & Co. Ltd, will have a winning stake of Rs 42 lakh, given away jointly with the Turf Authorities of India.
The real action, however, is reserved for Sunday, as The Indian Turf Invitation Cup Grade-I will take place at the Turf Club with total stakes of Rs 1.55 crore.
“It is a tradition that has been maintained for five decades now and it is a great weekend for RCTC. However, the Sunday races would be a first of its kind, as the format for Invitation Cup has undergone a slight change. If earlier the rule said only four-year-old Indian horses could participate, the race is now open to horses who are four years and above. This means, the very best from across the country will be competing on the tracks on Sunday,” said Anit Casyab, the assistant general manager of club and media relations, RCTC.
The day will also host the Maj. PK Mehra Memorial Super Mile Cup, Grade-I, sponsored by the Usha Stud Farm. The winning stake? Rs 40 lakh.
RCTC will have lip-smacking food counters to tackle tummy growls in between all the racing. On the cards will be Tamarind, Stun the Sun, Biryani Express and many more.
So, bring out the tie and blazer, florals and skirt, shine your shoes, don your hat and head over to the Turf Club.
You still don’t have your passes? Entry to the members’ enclosure is chargeable at Rs 200 and the badges are easily available at the hospitality desk near the entrance to the members’ enclosure.
Accessorise. Put on a linen jacket and match your shirt with it. If you are worried about the heat, just slip on a nice waistcoat. Stripes and small checks are in. Stick to the classic when it comes to shoes. Think brogues or buckled shoes — Ratul Sood
Go for a fitted knee-length dress. With colours, you can go crazy. Who wants to blend in, when you can stand out? Instead of a hat, experiment with an elaborate headpiece — Pinky Kenworthy