The Mahalaxmi Racecourse is a horse racing track in Mahalaxmi neighbourhood, of Mumbai. The track is oval shaped with 2400 m straight chute, spread over approx. 225 acres (0.91 km2) of open land in the heart of Mumbai city. It was created out of a marshy land known as Mahalakshmi Flats. Built in 1883 and modelled on the Caulfield Racecourse in Melbourne, it is spread over on 225 acres of land facing the sea. It was originally donated by Sir Cusrow N Wadia and today it is on lease from the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) to Royal Western India Turf Club which runs the racecourse. The Grandstand, off the course, is a designated heritage structure.
The horse racing season starts in mid-November and ends in the last week of April. On the first Sunday in February, the Derby is conducted annually and is attended by many of the city's glitterati. Since the year 1986 till date McDowell's Indian Derby has been sponsored by liquor baron Vijay Mallya's UB Group under the name of flagship company McDowells Co. Ltd. as The McDowell's Indian Derby.
The common Mumbaikar has access to the racecourse in the mornings and evenings during specified timings for exercising, walking or jogging in the inner lane of the main horse race track. Yoga sessions akin to Tai-chi are conducted in the garden situated within the race-track during the common permissible timings, akin to "Happy Valley Racecourse" in Hongkong. Lessons for horse-riding are also provided. The ground is also used as a heli-pad many a times.