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Night racing returns to thrill racegoers after Covid-break -By Shailendra Awasthi

Posted on - 05 Jan 2023

MUMBAI: There are certain things that put the Mahalaxmi Racecourse head and shoulders above all the other racing centres in India. The majestic stands, the cool breeze from the Arabian Sea, the presence of Indian racing’s poster boy Pesi Shroff and the racing under lights!

While all other things were back, night racing was missing due to Covid-19. But on Friday, that void will be filled again as the evening racing makes a return with a nine-race programme.

“Night racing was a great new path-breaking feature for Indian racing and RWITC is very proud to have started it,” said Dr Ram Shroff, chairman of stewards who had played a key role in getting this historic feature added to the Indian racing calendar in 2015.

“It is a product all rolled into one and offers the best entertainment option in Mumbai which has horse racing as a primary focus and also food, music and entertainment, something which targets and is attractive to the new and young generation,” added Shroff.

About 42 floodlight towers will illuminate the racing tracks and there will be plenty of action off the track too with entertainment, food, and drinks. The first race will start at 3.30pm while the last race will be run at 7.30pm so the last four races are likely to be held under the lights.

According to veteran trainer Narendra Lagad, who has been training horses at the Royal Western India Turf Club for nearly five decades, horses will have no problem under the lights. “Our horses regularly train in the early hours of the day every morning, so running under the lights will pose no problem for them. Some of the younger horses may face some issues but that will have no impact on them,” said Lagad.

“Hopefully it will help in catching more eyeballs and will result in increased footfalls at the races,” he added.

Racegoers too are thrilled with the prospect of experiencing racing under lights again. “It was a fascinating experience for us in the past. I am planning to bring my entire family to enjoy what should be a great outing for them under the lights at the picturesque Mahalaxmi Racecourse,” said Manav Yadav, a regular punter from Tardeo.

Credits : TOI