Shortcomings like dry conditions on account of inadequate rains notwithstanding, the sprawling 55-acre high altitude race course in the heart of the town is getting ready for the annual racing season that is scheduled to commence on April 14.
With last minute arrangements being made and horses getting acclimatised, the course is now humming with activity. It has also heralded the busy period of the tourist season here.
Pointing out that the season will go on till June 26, the newly appointed secretary of the Madras Race Club (MRC) Khan Itath Aman told The Hindu that there will be 32 meetings. On all the days racing would be conducted in the morning.
Pointing out that about 550 horses will take part, he said that already 400 have arrived. Stating that about 20 trainers will field their horses, he said that around 40 jockeys will vie for honours.
He expressed the confidence that the season will be competitive.
Adverting to the main events, Mr.Aman said that the prestigious and traditionally most popular race for the Nilgiris Gold Cup (earlier Governor’s cup) will be run on May 25.
While the Nilgiris 1000 Guineas Grade III will be run on April 27, the Nilgiris 2000 Guineas Grade II will be held on May 4 and the Nilgiris Derby Stakes Grade I will be run on May 11.
The races for the Madras Regimental Centre Challenge Trophy and the Defence Services Staff College Cup will also be held on the same day.
Pointing out that all arrangements have been made, the additional secretary, MRC, P. Sivasubramanian said that the only source of concern was lack of water.
“We are keeping our fingers crossed and waiting for the sky to open up,” he said.