Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Horse Race in Pune


The picture above was clicked about two years ago but was never used in any blog.  I keep passing through this way (the race course) on a regular basis and have seen this guy peering out most of the time. I wonder if he is thinking about the free world outside. 


I like the area around the race course. It has still maintained its old world charm with bamboo trees, bungalows and picket fence 


While enjoying the Oktoberfest, I got to see the horse race. In fact this is the first live race that I have witnessed. Frankly speaking I have no idea of how to bet, nor to calculate the probabilities of a winning horse. 



But I was mighty impressed by the way the race was conducted with everything well planned and executed. There was no time lapse between races, but at the same time there was enough time provided for people to place their bets. 



Huge screens and small TV screen were provided at strategic places to follow the race. 


After every race there were some cleaners who went through the complete track, probably making sure that it was race worthy for the next race.



It was interesting to note that everyone had a Cole race card, commonly known as the ‘Cole Book’. It is the Bible for the race goers. The blue and white cover of this book has never changed for the last 94 years and is supplied to race courses at Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad, Bangaluru, Mysore and Kolkata.  


I noticed some frantic last minute betting at these kiosks 



In the foyer there was a top view of the layout of the race course with some detailed information of the gradient of the starting point and the ending point.




It seems these gradients are also taken into consideration when preparing the Cole book to assess the performance of a horse. 

I liked the way the ambiance of the enclosure is maintained. The woodwork, the latches, and the balustrades are just the same as they were during the British era.




The famous Deccan Queen was started in 1930 as a weekend train for the British people in India to ferry race fans from Bombay (Mumbai) to Poona (Pune)
Somehow I missed those fancy hats which is synonymous with races, but still there were some interesting ones 




The Indo German Chamber of Commerce and the DieSulmtaler band was in attendance during the last race of the day. 




Observed that people from all walks of life converge on this point when it comes to betting. You can see the anxiety and the suspense written on these faces as they keenly observe the giant screen to see if “their horse” is in the lead. 


I was observing this old man, with the small chit in his hand where he had jotted down all the probabilities, but the final result did not match, as can be seen from his face. Probably an old timer, who thinks of making it big one day.


Made a small video of my experience of the day. 


28 comments:

Sharmila said...

Oh .. that last photograph is priceless.
I live so close to the race course and maybe have taken it for granted ... so never clicked pictures of it. Your posts always makes me see Pune with different eyes. Lovely snaps Joe.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
Fascinating onlooker's account! Love the chestnut face peering back... YAM xx

Andrew said...

Perhaps the Pune races could be precourser to the Melbourne Cup. But ladies of Pune, you simply must wear hats.

Gail said...

I have never seen a horse race. We have a track about four hours away and they race in the spring.

I do love horses.

Debbie Nolan said...

Thank you for sharing this horse race with me. Looks like it was a lovely day for it and like you I have no clue how to bet on the horses. You certainly captured the anxiety and suspense of those placing the bets. Thank you. Have a great day.

Daisy said...

Great photos, Joe! That horse is a pretty one. The race track looks like an exciting place to be.

Henny Penny said...

Back home in Southern Pines North Carolina there were horse races every April at "Stoneybrook". People from everywhere came to party, drink, and show off extravagant hats. Some of the wealthy folks brought their butlers and maids to serve their food and drinks.

Anilkumar Kurup said...

Fascinating account and pics. Haven't been to a race yet.

Locomente said...

Thanks for sharing.
This looks like another world...

Stephanie said...

Wow, what a fabulous place and experience. Your pictures made me feel like I was right there.

Thanks for sharing and have a great day!

Wendy said...

Looks like a fun day! I haven't been to the races for years. Must work on that :)

Cut-N-Jump said...

It looks like a beautiful place. We have a race track here in Arizona. Their season started this month and runs thru April or May. It can be quite fun

Stephanie said...

Looks like a fun day at the races.

Indrani said...

I have never been to a race. What a wonderful photo opportunity for you!

Anonymous said...

Ivan November 01,2014. Enjoyed the video and the realities of the races as well as the scenes and the impressions of the faces of those who attended. I has a similar experience many years ago at the Calcutta Races.

orvokki said...

Looks a nice happening.
The first photo of the horse is fantastic.
Hugs

Lakshmi Nair said...

Thank you for this lovely post.
Radha

prakriti said...

Can feel the buzz, the panache and the headrush through your photographs..love the detailing and the story behind each .. Makes me want to attend one now :)....

George said...

I've never been to a horse race, so I very much enjoyed your photos and commentary. Your photos are very good.

Betsy Adams said...

I enjoyed reading this post... Very interesting... My small community sponsored horse races on occasion --and I always enjoyed them. BUT--I haven't been to a race in many, many years... AND--I've only been on a horse one time in my entire life... Thanks for sharing. Great photos and words.
Hugs,
Betsy

Rama Ananth said...

I really loved all the pictures, especially the horse one,that horse is looking so cute

Pratishtha Khan said...

Great post. It's almost like being there! I grew up with a horse as a friend's pet, and have much love for these gentle giants.

awadhut said...

As usual your blog gives interesting information on all together different subject to me :)

Chirasree Banerjee said...

Glad to read such an informative post!

Peaches Ledwidge said...

Seems as though you captured the essence of the sport/game/event.

Janie Junebug said...

I've been to a horse show, but I've never seen a race in person.

Love,
Janie

Preeti said...

I've never been in a horse race before. Loved the last photograph - dint know older generation people are still so much into it :)

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