Under-fancied camel wins race against trotter in Berlin

26th May 2008, Comments 0 comments

Oh no! We all bet on the horse," said a race commentator.

Berlin -- A 6-year-old camel, which had been expected to lose miserably against a spry horse, emerged as the surprise winner at a camel race meeting on Sunday in the German capital Berlin.

Manou, a dromedary mare jockeyed by German rider Nadine Podlich, won by three lengths in the contest on the city's Karlshorst trotting track with a crowd of 6,000 watching. Left behind was an 11-year-old trotter, Money King.

"Oh no! We all bet on the horse," said a race commentator.

Camel breeder Stefan Rosenberger, 42, had earlier described the race as just a gag, predicting the trotter, even with a sulky, would easily hit 60 kilometers per hour and outpace a standard camel.

Sustained camel cruising speed at the gallop is normally reckoned to be about 40 kilometers an hour.

Camel racing first entered German public consciousness with a 1997 meeting at the Hoppegarten track, in a Berlin suburb just outside the city limits. The Sunday event was the first inside the city.

The 30 camels entered for the various races were ordinary one-humped dromedaries and two-humped Bactrian camels. A camel race meeting takes place somewhere in Germany most years.

Camel racing is a major sport in the Arabian peninsula.


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