EVERYTHING WAS perfect on Sunday to make the races at the Lucknow Racecourse a thrilling, entertaining and social event. A few of these things were—the weather, the arrangements, the ambience, the music, the refreshments and of course the horses on the course.
The first Blue Ribbon race of the current racing season in Lucknow also had an aura of grandeur and regality about it. The final two races were simply the most breathtaking experience for racing enthusiasts as well as animal lovers (including children) ever since the races have been revived here.
The horses had not even stopped when people saw Kumail Hasan running towards the racetrack. After all, it was his ‘Stride of Success’ that strode first to the finishing line. Kumail Hasan looked quite confused no sooner than he reached the horse.
He did not know to what to do first—kiss the Stride of Success, or hug him or pat him. Kumail Hasan is one of the first people, who took the initiative to buy thoroughbreds to run races when Lucknow Race Fund (LRF) and Genesis Club launched the project to revive the races. Lt Gen OP Nandrajog, General Officer Commanding in Chief, Central Command gave away the trophy to the winners.
The last two races, in a way, gave a loud hint about the quality of races in the times to come when the LRF gets more people to buy more thoroughbred to run in the races. This was for the first time that the last two races had only thoroughbreds, as the racecourse now has 14 thoroughbreds. Royal Prose, Kintyre, Stride of Success, Royal Challenge, Star Choice, Magical Stride, Super Sword, Esteem, Juggernaut, Raazdar, Golden Finisher, Mad Minute and Rudhawa ran the two races.
Earlier, Lt Gen Nandrajog and his wife appeared on the racecourse on a regal horse carriage while the Military Band played a ceremonial tune .
Live music, this time, had three sources—a military band, a military orchestra and the local boy Harimohan, the ‘know-all, sing-all’ musician.
The entire edifice and the landscape of the racecourse have been improved upon without compromising on its old-world charm. But people with their dresses and mood added more colours to it.
This is one place in the city which people throng in dresses one does not find them wearing anywhere else. Floral shirts, unusual hats and caps, fancy goggles etc are increasingly become common here.