The Champ de Mars is an integral part of the landscape of Port Louis, the capital of Mauritius. The oldest racecourse in the southern hemisphere will certainly welcome thousands of turf fans on Sunday, September 1, during the classic race: The Maiden Cup. Also known as the Blue Ribbon, this race is one of the most important one in horse racing in Mauritius.
Originally, this race was reserved for “maiden” horses, that is, horses that had never won a race in Mauritius. But this criterion changed in 1983 to make this race the stayers’ race. The first edition of the Maiden Cup was held on August 7, 1843, and saw the victory of Creeper 1st. If, at its creation, this race was held on two towers of the Champ de Mars (12 furlongs and 190 yards), in 1951, because of the installation of the “photo-finish”, it is run on 13 furlongs until 1961. It was not until 1962 that the Maiden Cup regained its initial distance and then increased to 2,400 m in 1983. It was Noble Salute who won the first race over this distance.
Horse racing occupies an essential place in Mauritius. First, they tell us about the history… About that time when dashing officers, first French, then British, were challenging each other on the wet sand of the coast. There, for honor or against a few piasters, they threw their horses into breathless races. Until a small group of English personalities decided to bring a little organization to all this. This was in 1812, and it was the birth of the Mauritius Turf Club (MTC)! Today, the MTC remains the organizer, administrator, and referee of the local equestrian world.
Considered as a cultural and sporting event by many islanders, this race is worth a visit for a unique experience in Mauritius. This year, the Maiden Cup will be held on September 1st. If you would like to experience the Maiden Cup during your stay in Mauritius in our luxury resort, do not hesitate to contact the concierge service!