The Singapore Turf Club
The Singapore Turf Club (STC) was founded in Y 1842 as the Singapore Sporting Club to operate the Serangoon Road Race Course at Farrer Park.
Today the only horse-racing club in Singapore and is part of the Malayan Racing Association (MRA), which also regulates the 3 Turf Clubs in Malaysia, the Selangor Turf Club, Penang Turf Club and Perak Turf Club.
The Singapore Turf Club is the only authorized operator of horse racing, and horse betting services in Singapore.
It is the agent and proprietary club of the Tote Board, Singapore, who manages and directs its donation of surplus funds for charitable purposes.
The 1st race was held on 23 February 1843 when prize money on offer was just S$150.
In Y 1924, the Club changed its name to the Singapore Turf Club.
This was done to reflect its role as a horse racing club more accurately. The Club moved to Bukit Timah in Y 1933 before relocating to its present location at the Singapore Racecourse at Kranji in Y 1999.
Racing is staged all year round on almost every Friday and Sunday. Most of the 100-odd race meetings are restricted to locally trained horses, except for the two International races in May, the Singapore Airlines International Cup and the KrisFlyer International Sprint, and certain cross-border races open to Malaysian-based horses.
Since there is no breeding industry in Singapore, all its thoroughbred bloodstock is imported from overseas, primarily from Australia and New Zealand, while a minority comes from other countries like Japan, England, Ireland, France, South Africa, America and Germany.
Horse owners, made up of both Singaporeans and foreigners, purchase horses and send them to any of the 26 trainers currently licensed at Kranji. Currently, there are 14 expatriates and 12 local trainers.
The pool of jockeys available consists mainly of locally trained jockeys and apprentices all licensed by the MRA and around 10 expatriate jockeys, whose licences are granted by the Singapore Turf Club over a specific period of time, as short as 1-day for short-term licences and from 3 months to 1-year for longer.
The Big Races
The Dester Singapore Gold Cup is considered as the most prestigious race on the Singapore racing calendar and is traditionally held at the end of November. Contested on turf, the domestic Group 1 handicap race is run over a distance of 2200 metres and is open to horses aged 3 and older.
The Singapore Gold Cup is the 3rd leg of the Singapore Triple Crown, after the Kranji Mile and the Raffles Cup
To mark its move from Bukit Timah to Kranji in Y 1999, the Singapore Turf Club raised the prize money to S$1-M and opened the race to international contenders, but the race returned to domestic status 3 years later. The prize money for the Group 1 event has since been raised to S$1.35-M.
Emirates Singapore Derby
The Emirates Singapore Derby is one of the most prestigious races on the Singapore racing calendar and is held every mid-July. This race is staged on turf and is contested over 2000 metres. The race is open to 4-year-old racehorses only and carries a prize pool of S$1-M.
This popular classic was formerly known as the Singapore Derby until 1995, when Dubai-based Emirates Airlines embarked with a partnership with Singapore Turf Club, cementing Singapore’s credentials as a leading international sporting hub.
Since its inception the race has been contested over various distances close to 2400 metres until Y 1998 when the distance was set at 2000 metres.
The Singapore Derby is now the 3rd Leg of the Singapore Four-Year Challenge after the Stewards’ Cup and the Patron’s Bowl. Japanese mare Jolie’s Shinju is the last horse to have won all 3 Legs (2009), though the 1st 2 Legs were then slated as the Patron’s Bowl and the Singapore Derby Trial.
Lion City Cup
The Lion City Cup is widely considered as Singapore’s premier domestic sprint race and is held in April. The domestic Group 1 race is run over a distance of 1200 metres and is open to horses aged 3 and older.
Launched in Y 1974, it quickly became the most prestigious of the sprint classics on the local circuit. War Plan’s Cup win in 1990 was beamed “live” to Hong Kong and in turn local racegoers were treated to a telecast of the Hong Kong Derby.
The Raffles Cup is the 2nd Leg of the Singapore Triple Crown Challenge and is normally held in October at Kranji.
Run on turf over 1800m, the domestic Group 1 race is open to horses aged 3 years old and older. Named after Sir Stamford Raffles, the founder of Singapore, the Raffles Cup was 1st run in Y 1991.
Though it has only a relatively short history, many top gallopers have inscribed their names to the Raffles Cup Roll of Honor with the most notable ones including Ouzo (1999), Smart Bet (2002), Zirna (2003) and most recently Better Than Ever (2010). Trainer Teh Choon Beng boasts the highest rate of success in the Raffles Cup having won the race 4X in Y’s 1991, 1993, 1994 and 1995.
Races from Australia, Hong Kong, South Africa, Malaysia, UK, France, Macau, Korea and occasionally Japan, Dubai, New Zealand and USA are also shown live at the Turf Club, nine off-course betting centres and 4 betting outlets.
One of the latest novelties in the ever-changing betting landscape in Singapore is the introduction of Tricast, which is the telecast of 3 race meetings during the same racing hours on a raceday.
The Riding Center at STC
The Singapore Turf Club also runs a subsidiary equestrian riding center, which was opened on 24 June 2010 and was used as the exclusive site for the equestrian event of the 2010 Youth Olympic Games. With the opening of the centre, the public can now take up horse riding as a sport that is affordable and accessible.
Have a terrific week.
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