Have You Heard? The Calcutta Monsoon Derby Is On & Here's Why You Should Go
Flamboyant hats, designer shoes and lots of betting: the Race Course is holding the Monsoon Derby and here’s what you need to know.
Horse Racing, Derby.
What Makes It Awesome
The Kolkata Derby Day in winter is famous, but the Monsoon Derby is quite big as well and not many know about it. Racing in the rains, really? But it's the season when those in the know head to the Race Course to watch some thrilling horse racing. An age-old tradition in the city (dating as far back as 1820), the races have always been a much celebrated event in the city. It's nail-biting action but the standout thing about them are the elaborate outfits that the crowd in the upper stands wear. Women in broad-brimmed hats, chic dresses and sunglasses, men in well-tailored suits and smart casuals - it will remind you of ye olde England and the Ascot.
The race itself doesn’t last more than a few seconds or minutes (depending on the event). Even if you’re not a big gambling person, you can still go for the experience. Between races, there’s usually a substantial gap which allows you to place bets and mingle with the others at the event (while envying their outfits, of course!).
The Monsoon Derby is on till October 13, so you have enough time to make a few trips. The season will see 126 races, 25 of which will be Cup Races. No matter how much it rains, racing isn't disrupted. Look out for trainers of champion horses - Mumbai-based Pesi Shroff and Bangalore's Neil Darasha.
You can win gift vouchers if you participate in the Free Contest Of Skill and predict the winners of the 4th, 5th and 6th races every race day. Passes are available for INR 100 at the hospitality gate.
You can't carry your phone in with you unless you buy a 'phone badge' for INR 150. And look up the dress code for the event - smart casuals are good.