The second Sunday of July is when the fastest two minutes of sports' is run. Yes, we are talking of the blue riband of the Bangalore summer racing season, the Kingfisher Derby. Celebrities, party goers and fashion aficionados from all walks of life in their best dresses, suits, boots and hats grace this occasion with their presence .
From Epsom Downs to Kentucky to Mahalaxmi in Mumbai, the Derby fever has spread and continues to do so year after year. The Indian Derby in Mumbai is a social event on the first Sunday of February every year.
Similarly, the Bangalore Derby in summer matches that of Mumbai in many aspects. In fact, it is Mumbai mania that has spread to Bangalore as well. More so now with the city becoming a truly cosmopolitan city.
The pub culture and the club culture has taken deep roots and consequently, the Derby culture has also been imbibed alongside. Racing in summer is only possible in hill stations. And except for Ooty and Bangalore, which is not a hill station but is 3,000 ft. above sea level, there are no race courses anywhere else.
When it's Derby time in Bangalore, all eyes of the racing fraternity is on the Bangalore Turf Club. Many outstation horses are brought here for what is called 'summering' and campaigned at their centres after their engagements here.
This has increased the competitive flavour of the race itself and has made it more interesting to watch and enjoy, racing manipulations withstanding. The performances and reputations of the blueblooded galloping phenomenons has also forced people to make sure that they are there on Derby Day.
Most often, they have not been disappointed. Contest of skills by which the organisers hand over expensive gifts like cars, two wheelers, and other gadgets to people who have nominated the first four horses in the Derby has also been a side attraction for many people.
In any case, and for a variety of reasons, all roads are bound to lead to the Bangalore Turf Club on Sunday, July 15.
Will you come to be seen and see how others come and the horses run?