Meanwhile in … Mauritius

Horse Racing Mauritius Turf Club
Under starter’s orders: racing resumed last weekend at Mauritius Turf Club. Photo: MTC

Historic Champ de Mars the latest racetrack to recommence

After the coronavirus shutdown, the sport is now back in most corners of the racing world. Hell, there’s even the semblance of a crowd in some places – paying customers, that is, not just owners.

Even Singapore, among the stricter followers of health-and-safety protocols across the globe, has now named the date for their resumption. July 11, if you’re interested.

Last weekend was marked by the first cards for months in both Korea and New Zealand – plus one of the more exotic ports of call on the racing road in the shape of the Mauritius Turf Club in the island’s capital Port Louis.

The 2020 season finally began with a nine-race card at historic Champs de Mars, where they first raced in 1812. The trainer/jockey team of Gilbert Rousset and Nooresh Juglall landed three races but the feature sprint (a G3 in local terms) went to 27-1 outsider Al Mariachi trained by Simon Jones and ridden by Vijay-Anand Bundhoo.

Horse Racing Mauritius Turf Club
Racing at Champ de Mars during Saturday’s opening card. Photo: Mauritius Turf Club

Racing at Champ de Mars is hugely popular on Mauritius, regularly attracting crowds of up to 5,000 from a tiny population.

Not this time, however, with strict COVID-19 protocols in place. Sadly, we can’t abandon the phrase ‘behind closed doors’ just yet.

• Find out more about racing on Mauritius at the Mauritius Turf Club website

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