Under-fancied camel wins race against trotter in Berlin
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.