KARACHI History was made at the Karachi races yesterday [Feb 7] when the 19th Day of the Winter Meeting was abandoned due to riots which paralysed all venues that could lead to the resumption of the day’s events. The Karachi Race Club has been the scene of innumerable violent demonstrations in the recent past but none had assumed such proportions as the one seen yesterday which reduced some of the bookmakers’ stalls into embers and a part of even the race-track into ashes. None like it had been witnessed by the lovers of this sport before at this venue.

The riots could be stopped by a timely-action from the authorities of the Race Club — as done in the past — which, however, did not come and as a result there was complete lawlessness all over except in the “members’ grand stand”. ...

All went well yesterday till the third race but no sooner did 100 to 50 on ragging favourite Evermine get beaten in the February Cup in a photo-finish by rank-outsider The Gambler, it sparked off a demonstration against English jockey Tony Shrive who rode the hot favourite. A section of the crowd accused Tony Shrive of ‘foul play’ in getting Evermine beaten which could go either way the manner in which this particular race was run. ...

Published in Dawn, February 8th, 2020