Introduction – Mauritius horse racing tips
If you are looking to bet online and interested in betting on horse racing in Mauritius, RaceBets is the best betting site for you. Our site includes tips, fixtures, live racing, racecards, plus excellent prices.
We take a look here at why horse racing in Mauritius is vastly interesting. Mauritians are fanatical fans of the track, although we are finding that punters from all over the world have now been and will be bitten by the horse racing Mauritius bug!
Races are widely followed, both in terms of attendance at the Champ de Mars and television audiences. Mauritians of all ages like to discuss races, share tips and place bets.
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History of horse racing
Horse racing is arguably the most popular sport on the island of Mauritius with the origin of the sport in Mauritius dating back to 1812. Champ de Mars racecourse is the main racecourse on the island of Mauritius.
The main road leading to the Mauritian racecourse is a landmark known to racing enthusiasts as “Rue Government” and Champ de Mars racecourse is nestled at the foot of lovely hills. The venue of the racecourse is in Port Louis.
Champ de Mars is, in fact, the second oldest racecourse in the world and is the oldest race track in the Southern Hemisphere. Horse racing is extremely popular in Mauritius and experiencing the charged atmosphere at Champ de Mars on race days is a must for betting enthusiasts.
The Mauritius Turf Club is the organisation behind the racing industry of Mauritius and does an excellent job of manning the sport on the island.
Upon the founding of the Mauritius Turf Club (MTC), the aim of the founders of the Mauritius Turf Club was to reconcile with the French settlers with the English administration who had conquered the island in December 1810. They were convinced that the convivial atmosphere of horse racing would foster unity between the two communities and ensure social peace and harmony after years of fighting in the Indian Ocean.
The new Governor, Sir Robert Farquhar and his wife of French origin, Maria Lautour, actively supported the organization of horse racing, the latter offering the first gold cup after the Club’s history to mark the occasion. Sir Robert Townsend Farquhar was the man responsible for launching the club. He was also the first British Governor of the country.
When Mauritius gained independence in 1968, the racecourse was used to hold the event including an official flag hoisting ceremony.
In the 19th century, the only permanent boxes at the Champ de Mars were those reserved for the Governor, the Mayor of Port Louis and MTC officials. Temporary boxes were built and hired on the spot on race days, and over the years, new boxes were erected. In 1906 the MTC purchased a wooden house at 26, Pope Hennessy Street, Port Louis and it served as MTC offices for about forty years. Permanent stands were built in 1909 and they were improved in 1927, 1939 and 1954. During the past decades, new facilities were added while retaining the colonial aspects of the racecourse.
On the June 25th of 1812, the first races were held at the racecourse on the island, Champ de Mars, heralding 200 years of competition between owners and stables almost non-stop even during the world wars of the 20th century to the still charged atmosphere one can find at the Champ de Mars racecourse today.
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The Racecourse and Track
The only racecourse in Mauritius is the picturesque Champ de Mars racecourse which is a relatively small track. The track follows a very selective right-hand oval path. It is 1298 metres in circumference and 11 metres to 13 metres wide. Races are run on distances from 990 metres to 2400 metres. A maximum capacity field of eleven horses is allowed to race on the track which is meticulously maintained to avoid any trauma to the horses racing. On the South African track, water retention is minimal even in periods of heavy summer rainfall.
The Champ de Mars track has been constantly improved since 1812 to offer horses a better galloping surface. To provide racegoers with adequate information about the track, a probe metering unit (penetrometer) gives the exact state of the track at all times.
New distances have been introduced to the South African track in the last few years and the track has been modified accordingly. In 2008 the winning post was moved some 25 metres so as to extend the home straight, it has also been widened. Like many tracks, the Mauritian track at Champs de Mars is no different and has an inclined finishing straight.
Races are run on usual distances from 990 metres to 2400 metres, including distances to mark historic events or key figures like the 1365 metres, situated in front of the mast where the flag is raised in commemoration of the Independence Day, and the Draper’s Mile (1500 metres), which was named after the “father” of the club who actively promoted horse-racing on the island.
Racing Season and Attendance
The Mauritius racing season takes place between the months of March and December each year with a race meeting being held every Saturday.
One can expect tens of thousands of spectators to turn up on the classic racing days. The crowd will not just be made up of local people, as the Champ de Mars Racecourse attracts visitors from all over the world. The locals of the island are racing fanatics and it is the most popular sport in the whole country but it is also a great tourist attraction.
An interesting fact about the MTC is that it was one of the first racing clubs in the world to install a photo-finish system, back in 1949. The camera was locally built and was not replaced by a modern camera system until 2004.
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The dress code for attending racing at Champ De Mars is smart casual alongside formal dress for attending the paddock. ‘Smart Casual’ includes no T-shirt’s, polo shirts, shorts /tennis shoes). While the member’s lounge one is required to dress in formal attire.
Classic races draw large crowds to the Champ de Mars.
Four “classic” and four “semi-classic” races are run each year during the racing season. Recently a few Group Races have been added to the list. The Classic listed races include The Duchess of York Cup, The Barbe Cup – the second classic race on the calendar, the feature which is The Maiden Cup and lastly The Duke of York Cup.
The most popular event remains The Maiden Cup, which is traditionally run over 2400 metres. Also known as the Blue Ribbon, this race is one of the most important ones in the Mauritius horse racing season. Taking place on Sunday, September 1st, this event welcomes thousands of turf fans during the classic race.
The first “classic” race of the season is the Duchess of York Cup. This race is held at the start of the racing season and is reserved for newly imported horses. “Classic” races draw large crowds to the Mauritian track, however, over the past decade, the attendance has slightly declined. Only about 7,000 persons are now present at the Champ de Mars for the weekly Saturday meetings. But like other racing countries the classic races are always well supported and attended.
The attendance record at the Champ de Mars was set in 1984 when more than 100,000 people turned up at the Maiden Cup, the most prestigious race in the Mauritian racing calendar. Nippy Regen, owned by the Gujadhur stable, won the race and was ridden by Adrian Walkinshaw.
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Top Trainers to follow 2020
There are a total of 15 registered trainers on the island of Mauritius. There are also approximately 400 racehorses on the island. Horses are imported from all parts of the world to race on the South African island. There are also 300 plus owners involved in the sport on the island.
The quality of both the horses and the jockeys, in Mauritius, is very high. The horses are all thoroughbreds and the riders are pros. The industry attracts overseas jockeys too and Australian based Dean Holland is amongst those to have ridden winners in Mauritius.
1. Rameshwar Gujadhur
Rameshwar Gujadhur is one of the top trainers of the South African island part of the old guard that remains in action today. Since starting out in 1991, he has had a successful horse racing career.
After training several classic winners with the ex-Fok stable, he had to wait until Polar Bound’s win in 2014, when he won the famous Barbe Cup to register a first classic victory for his own stable, which was founded in 2005.
His know-how and experience continue to serve him well and he is given the affectionate nickname ‘‘The King Of Long Shots’’.
After excellent campaigns in 2016, 2017 and 2018 seasons, 2019 saw him become Champion Trainer. Along the way, he trained the excellent White River to victory in all four classic races, matching a record set by Winking in 1934.
2. Gilbert Rousset
Gilbert Rousset holds the record for most wins of any trainer at Champ de Mars. Added to the fact that he has won plenty of classic races and Championships, it is safe to say that this veteran trainer has been very successful.
Under his tutelage, Great Gusto (1987), Mr Brock (2008) and Disa Leader (2010) have all been crowned Horse Of The Year, while Intercontinental won the 2013 Maiden Cup, after debuting his career in the lower categories.
Runner-up in the Trainers’ Championship in 2019, it will not be a surprise if he regains his crown this season.
3. Ramapatee (Soun) Gujadhur
Ramapatee (Soun) Gujadhur took control of Mauritius’ oldest stable in 2002, after spending time helping his brothers and his late uncle – Gunness (Mica) Gujadhur. Along the way, he has been champion trainer twice, scored 21 classic wins, and has saddled four champion horses – Hinterland (2004), Acuppa (2011), Kremlin Captain (2015) and Ready To Attack (2017).
The 2017 campaign witnessed Gujadhur make history, as he became the first trainer in over 80 years to win all four classic races in a single season. Ready To Attack won both the Duchess Of York Cup and The Duke Of York Cup, while Enaad and Tandragee won the Maiden Cup and Barbe Cup respectively.
Fifth in the Trainers’ Championship in 2019, he will look to achieve greater things in the future.
4. Vincent Allet
Vincent Allet started his career under the guidance of the late Vivian l’Eveillé after returning from Australia.
He arrived in Mauritius in 2000, showing a lot of promise in his first season as a trainer. 2007 was his annus mirabilis though, as he became Champion Trainer, trained Ubusuku to Maiden Cup victory, as well as saddling Tabascorez in becoming the champion horse.
Last season was also very successful for Vincent Allet. He finished 4th in the Trainers’ Championship, saddling 33 winners, with Cool At Heart and Wall Tag his top performers.
5. Shyam Hurchund
Shyam Hurchund became a trainer in 2016. Previously, he lived in South Africa, where he was studying engineering and which also led him to work in horse racing.
An owner of horses, he then studied the workings of training horses in South Africa. Following on from this, Hurchund became assistant-trainer to Tony Rivalland – who is also of Mauritian origin – in 2008.
The year of 2016 was Hurchund first season as a fully-fledged trainer. Shyam Hurchund considered it as a year of adaptation, rather than a year with high expectations.
If 2017 and 2018 were somewhat tricky campaigns, it was a complete contrast in 2019 for this young trainer. He finished third in the Trainers’ Championship, training 40 winners – the most out of any trainer – and leading Opera Royal to two Group 3 wins and the Stayers’ Championship.
6. Ricky Maingard
Ricky Maingard has also made his name as a trainer in South Africa although formerly an engineer in the automobile industry, he has been met with plenty of success in his horse racing career to date, including success in prestigious races such as the July Handicap. After 40 years, he decided to return to Mauritius to continue his career.
Since debuting in 2007, he has not been slow to show what he is capable of and has managed to taste victory in all four classic races.
Horses such as Ice Axe – winner of the very first edition of the Group 1 MTC Bicentenary Trophy and 2012 Maiden Cup – Tales Of Bravery, Casey’s War, One Cool Dude, Alitalia and Parachute Man have all won very important races for him.
After a challenging 2019, this veteran trainer will hope for better things for 2020.
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Top Horses to follow 2020
The season of 2020 has witnessed six-year-old White River come out on top to date (September 2020) and is currently in training with Rameshwar Gujadhur. During this season’s campaign the son of Trippi has run three times, winning twice and finishing second once. White River was named the hot favourite in the Group 1 Indian Oil Barbe Cup 2020, and he certainly rose to the occasion. Ridden by the top jockey (Derreck David) he never put a foot wrong, as he not only repeated his win in last year’s race but scored his fifth classic win on Mauritian turf. White River has been victorious in all four classic races under the training guidance of Gujadhur, matching a record set by Winking in 1934.
Black Cat Back is the stable star of Ramapatee (Soun) Gujadhur training yard. The seven-year-old gelding is rated 78. The son of Black Minnaloushe is another horse to keep an eye on during the latter half of the 2020 campaign.
Opera Royal is the current top horse for trainer Shyam Hurchund. Rated at 73, the six-year-old son of Oratorio is another promising horse to watch.
Top Jockeys to follow 2020
Dereck David holds the title of champion jockey for the 2019 season. He won a total of 30 races during the season’s campaign.
Rye Joorawon is another top jockey on the Mauritian circuit. He is the 2020 champion of the classic race The Duchess of York Cup onboard Undercover Agent who is currently in training with veteran trainer Henri Maingard.
N Juglall is ranked the third-best jockey on the Mauritian circuit in 2020 to date. He has had 14 wins to date in 2020 and would be hopeful to add more success under his belt. N Juglall’s first major winner was Perfect P in 2016.
Champ de Mars Mauritius Horse Racing Odds
To view the latest available live Champ de Mars betting odds and bet online, first use the menu on the left-hand side of our homepage and select any available Mauritius meeting for the day. You will be taken to the race-card, from where you can select any individual race.
When you have chosen a race, you can see details of every horse and you will find the latest available fixed-odds betting prices or starting prices (SP) in the right-hand column. Simply click on a price and you will be taken to the betting-slip, where you can select your stake and confirm your online bet.
There are a variety of online betting options to have an interest in Mauritius horse racing. The wide-ranging online bets available on RaceBets include win, place, exacta, swinger and Ita bets, all of which are simply explained here. The most unique Mauritius horse racing bet offered by RaceBets is head to heads, where our expert traders select two leading contenders and you can back one horse to beat the other. This online-only bet offers an added dimension to the already fascinating Mauritius horse racing scene.
Why RaceBets Is Number 1, For Racing in Mauritius
Huge crowds are drawn to Champ de Mars Racecourse and many thousands more bet on the races from overseas. There are very few betting companies that offer markets for horse racing that takes place in Mauritius. We at Racebets are one of them! You can bet and watch live stream from Champ de Mars racetrack on our website.
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