Sundown racing could be the city's dark horse

The Royal Western India Turf Club (RWITC) announced a new initiative of night racing or sundown racing in Mumbai. Western India’s apex racing body has stated that it intends to run trials on April 18 and 19, which is the upcoming weekend at the Mahalaxmi race course in Mumbai.

The club claims that its priority is safety, and adequate precautions will be ensured, taking this factor into account. The course is going to be floodlit with a number of light towers all around. The initiative is going to have music, food and racing all in all, a total entertainment package. While betting will be on at Mumbai, there are efforts to promote inter-venue betting too. The inaugural sundown is what it says it is: a trial based on the success or failure of which, will rest the RWITC committee’s decision to start sundown racing from the next Mumbai season in November 2015.

Sundown racing maybe the shot in the arm racing needs. For a while now, the apex club has tried its best to attract more punters to the racecourse. Falling numbers as a result of more entertainment options and high betting tax have proved to be a big drawback for the sport. The club has changed the profile of racing from one for punters to an entertainment hub for the entire family.

Night racing will also be an interesting addition to Mumbai’s nightlife. The city is trying to put more zip into its nightlife with all-night restaurants and go-to zones, and although sundowners are not all-nighters, will add another dimension to the city’s changing landscape.

The RWITC has taken a brave decision to try out night racing at its stunning venue. In keeping with the trend, it is an amalgamation of sport and entertainment, but care must be taken not to compromise on the quality of the racing. Here is to seeing hooves thunder on the track as the sun goes down; Mumbai should not say neigh to this party.

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