Kolkata, West Bengal, India

The Royal Calcutta Turf Club stands today as an oasis of greenery and sporting excellence in the heart of Calcutta, India, just as it did more than 150 years ago when it was founded in 1847. Set on 150 acres, the site is home to more than 350 horses who are stabled and trained there and it employs around 550 people. In its heyday, Calcutta was the capital of the British Raj and the racecourse was the hub of society attracting Kings, Queens and the Indian elite. Nowadays, around 5,000 punters come to the racecourse each day paying just 10 rupees (approx 15 US Cents) per head either to bet on and watch live racing, or watch races beamed in live from some of India’s other tracks. Big fixtures like Derby Day can attract up to 30,000 punters, all jostling for the best view from one of the magnificent stands that dominate the racecourse which were built in 1905 and 1907. And whilst Calcutta is subject to heavy monsoon rains, the monsoon weather race track, specially constructed in 1910, continues to defy logic as it rapidly drains the rains which might otherwise make the ground unsafe.