Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Playground of the Bold and the Beautiful

Third day into the India-SA test and I haven't got a whiff of the Nagpur clash. Call it withdrawal symptoms...naaa.. its the Signature Indian Derby thats kept me and few other RCB fanatics on saddles and toes, literally wink

Day 1
Gung ho about the covering India's richest racing event, Community Manager Nidhi, Fanatics Mahesh, Niyati and I, were in for some incredible experience at the Mahalaxmi Race Course, Mumbai. Tribute performances to Micheal Jackson and Tina Turner, Europe's leading illusionist- Jay Witlox, The Force India Car, Luxury cars up for grabs, flea market and of course the nail biting horse races, this event had it all. The grandeur and glitz of horse races had never quite beckoned me to follow the sport but after this two day stint at the Derby I add another sport to my existing list of cricket,tennis and F1.

The four of us being first timers for a racing event, finally got the hang of what was happening by the end of the sixth race. Till then we were too amazed by the octagenarians geared up with binoculars,yelling at their betting prospects,(their zeal could put even the youth to shame raspberry ) ,the who's who of Mumbai's elite posing for the shutterbugs. The horses and mares bearing weird names like Doi Moi, Romantic Impact, Super Kings, Rajastahn Royals, Any time Money to name a few became the hot topic of our discussion. There was entertainment galore throughout the Race Course with performances by international artists and the uber-cool and stylish hub – a state-of-the art air-conditioned hanger was abuzz with activity and a special carnival atmosphere with a tarot card reader, designer stalls- a complete flea market feel.

Day 2
Niyati and I, were joined by her brother, Nishit and Chief Fan Sidharth, on the second day at the race course. The finest thoroughbreds, country's creme de la creme flaunting their haute couture, celebs from the Bollywood brigade this day had it all. And yes..how could I forget the flamboyant owner of RCB Dr. Vijay Mallya and his son Sidhartha Mallya, accompanied by a South actress (pardon my kannada actors know how)


The 10 races saw the crowd go through the highs and lows as champions and contenders competed for the super prizes and trophies.
'Jacqueline' the record breaking filly was the crowd puller on Day 2 of the derby. The most electrifying event of the day, the Jackpot Race was scheduled at 5:15 pm and the four of us were right there in the front at the gates to capture the biggest race of the season.


The pundit’s predictions and the masses most wanted, Jacqueline, took the winners accolades in 'a come from behind' victory. The filly, owned by Mr & Mrs Vijay B. Shirke, K N Dhunjibhoy and Mr Berjis Desai and trained by Pesi Shroff, powered forward with a last minute burst that took it through the finish line. Bangalore bred Becket the closest competitor to Jacqueline gave way to a startling photo finish. Ah... reminded me of the IPL dark horses, RR,DC and RCB.

Two fun filled days at the racecourse, couldn't have asked for a better weekend.

P.S. With too many pics to upload and space constraints here's a better option to have a look at all the action the we managed to capture.

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