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While horses have been used for racing for generations, the modern-day sport has originated from Britain. Even today, some of the best horse races are held in the U.K. like the Epsom Derby, Cheltenham festival and the Royal Ascot. Horse racing in India goes back to nearly 200 years ago when the first ever racecourse of the country was established in Chennai (then, Madras) in 1777. In the present day, Horse racing is one of the most prestigious games in the country where the sport takes place on nine race tracks with six different racing authorities.
When it comes to horse racing, India has established an eminent breeding and racing industry with stallions that are imported from different parts of the world. Most of the racing is restricted to Indian-bred horses and all the breeding is recorded in an Indian Stud book.
Horse racing is one of the very first sports in the country that started the whole trend of sport and money betting. While offline betting is considered a crime that could amount to fine or imprisonment, horse racing found the loophole. In the year 1996, the Supreme Court of India held that horse racing betting is a skilled game and not just a matter of luck. Needless to say, this encouraged a very large number of people to bet on horse racing, making horse racing betting a legal and legitimate industry that also allows licensed bookmakers.
Although Horse race betting in India is legal, the recent GST regime heavily taxed all betting transactions. This is why more and more people are opting for horse racing online betting. It’s simple, so much safer and equally entertaining when compared to the traditional way of betting.
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You might be surprised to know that our Indian horses have made history on International waters as well. A horse named “Saddle up” won the Tunku Gold cup, and also came in second in the Singapore International Cup. In 2008, another horse named “Beat It Dude” was ranked the highest rated horse in South Korea. “Southern Regent” won races conducted in England twice, at the age of 9, which is considered past prime years. Currently, Elusive Pimpernel and Squanderer are considered to be the two of the greatest horses that have ever raced on Indian Turf.
Since Horse racing started so many years before our independence, India has formed five classic races that are parallel or similar to the British Classic races. These are as follows:
The Indian 1,000 and 2000 Guineas are both conducted in December. The Indian Oaks takes place at the end of January, while the Indian Derby takes place on the first Sunday of the month of February. And lastly, the Indian St. Leger takes place in September. All the races are held in Mumbai, except for the Indian St. Leger, which takes place in Pune.
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