Singapore to hold final horse race after more than 180 years

 Tuesday, June 6, 2023 


Singapore is going to hold more than 180 year-long history of horse racing. It has been announced that the small Southeast Asian nation’s only race course – Singapore Turf Club – will hold its final meeting next year.

The country’s government will take back the 120-hectare site but has not specified what it will do with it. Queen Elizabeth II, who was an avid racegoer and racehorse breeder, has an event named after her at the course.

Her late Majesty presented the inaugural Queen Elizabeth II Cup during a visit to Singapore in 1972. She attended the feature race a second time in 2006.

Singapore Turf Club said that horse racing has a long and distinguished history in Singapore. With races continuing until the 100th Grand Singapore Gold Cup on 5 October 2024, the Club will continue to ensure the sportsmanship, safety and integrity of every race.

The sport was introduced to Singapore in 1842, when Scottish merchant William Henry Macleod Read and several other enthusiasts founded the Singapore Sporting Club. They transformed a patch of semi-swampy land in Farrer Park in central Singapore into a racecourse. In 1924, the site was renamed as the Singapore Turf Club.

Horse racing proved to be popular not only with Europeans, with meetings also attracting wealthy Malay and Chinese racegoers. In 1933, as horse racing’s popularity increased on the island, the course was moved to a larger location at Bukit Timah in western Singapore.

In March 2000, the Singapore Turf Club moved to its present location at Kranji, in the north of the island. The S$500m ($370.9m; £298m) racecourse has a five-storey grandstand, with capacity for 30,000 racegoers. However, the Singapore Turf Club has seen attendance decline over the past decade.

The country’s government said the land would be redeveloped to meet “future land use needs”.

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