The Singapore Turf Club, the oldest Club in Singapore, was formed in 1842. The Club was then known as the Singapore Sporting Club and had its facilities on a piece of swampy land in what is today the Farrer Park Sports Complex. The first race meeting was held in early 1843 and the inaugural race was called the Singapore Cup and was worth $150.
At first, ponies from Java and China dominated the racing scene. In the late 1880s, horses from Australia were introduced.
Racing continued through World War I, during which the Club raised money for war funds. In 1924, the Singapore Sporting Club changed its name to the Singapore Turf Club to clearly define its function.
Three years later, it was clear that the facilities at Farrer Park was fast becoming inadequate to cater to the growing interest in the sport. Construction on Bukit Timah racecourse began. The Bukit Timah racecourse was completed in 1933 and was regarded as the finest in the East.
World War II brought racing to a halt, and it resumed only in 1947. The facilities at Bukit Timah were improved and gradually expanded and the racing industry grew in strength.
In 1961, cross-betting between the Club and the three turf clubs in Malaysia was started and a new grandstand at Bukit Timah was opened in 1981 bringing the capacity to about 50,000 people.
In 1982 the Club became one of the first racecourses in the world to install the Diamond Vision, a giant outdoor television screen which provided racegoers with a close-up view of the races.
In 1988, the Government set up the Singapore Totalisator Board to oversee totalisator operations and control income from horse racing and the Club was appointed as an agent of the Board to conduct horse racing and totalisator betting in Singapore. Since then, the racing industry in Singapore had taken significant steps forward. Prizemoney for the races were increased substantially, more Feature races were introduced and the totalisator turnover soared. Over the past 10 years, surplus funds from horse racing were channeled to charity, the arts, culture and community service.
As the racing industry and Singapore’s economy continued to grow rapidly, problems with the racecourse at Bukit Timah began to emerge. These included traffic jams and noise pollution. As Bukit Timah is now a prime residential area, these problems have become increasingly serious.
As a result, the Government under the master plan for land usage in Singapore, directed the Singapore Turf Club to relocate. In return for the 140 hectares of land at Bukit Timah, the Government offered land at Kranji which is located about 20 kilometres north of the city centre, and to construct the new racecourse.
Work on the new Singapore Racecourse at Kranji began in 1995. The new racecourse was designed for champions and is ranked among the premier racecourse in the world. Equipped with state-of-the-art lighting, races can be held in the evenings and into the night. It was completed in July 1999.
The racecourse is linked by excellent expressways and mass rapid transit trains to all parts of Singapore. Frequent and punctual trains bring racegoers right up to the doorsteps of the new Grandstand Building. The new facility is less than 30 minutes away from Changi International Airport.
The Grandstand, the architectural centrepiece of the new racecourse with a unique roof structure inspired by the graceful and powerful image of a horse in motion, is built amidst a beautifully landscaped garden which is designed to blend into the tropical environment of Singapore. It has a capacity for 30,000 racegoers. Full height glass panels and the column free design of the Grandstand together with numerous large display screens will offer racegoers an unobstructed view of the races.
Horses are stabled either in air-conditioned or naturally ventilated stalls in spacious double storey stable blocks. Large courtyards between stable blocks provide ample space for rolling boxes and training equipment such as treadmills and horse walkers. About 1,200 horses can be accommodated at the stabling complex at the Singapore racecourse.
The security of the stables is first rate. The main stabling complex is fenced with controlled entry only through a main entrance which is manned around the clock. The stables are further guarded by numerous security cameras with night vision both outside and inside the stables and augmented by regular security patrols.
Visiting horses participating in international races will be stabled in separate modern air-conditioned facilities which are complete with their own walking areas. The stabling facilities for visiting horses are guarded around the clock and are located well away from the stabling facilities for local horses but within walking distance of the racing and training tracks.
Turf racing is conducted around a StrathAyr sand-based left-handed oval-shaped track; turf surface comprises of a blend of El-Toro zoysia and local Bermuda couch.
The Track’s circumference and width measures 2000 meter’s x 31 meter’s. (One and a quarter mile).
Given the high rainfall in Singapore, the track’s sand base will prevent water logging and will provide a safe racing surface throughout the year.
An ideal camber on the home turns and a slight incline on the 400 metres home straight will make exciting finishes a regular feature at the Singapore racecourse.
Mixed racing is also conducted using an inside Fibresand track. The Fibresand surface comprises of a 1500-meter circumference with a 25-meter width.
Training can be conducted on either one of the seven excellent tracks :-
- The StrathAyr turf track, sparingly used due to racing commitments.
- The Fibresand track, with a circumference of 1500 meter’s and width of 25 meters.
- A Sand track used for right-handed slow work designed with a 1330-meter circumference and 20 meter width.
- A Sand track used for slow work, displays a 500 meter by 6 meter wide straight track allowing all horses to return via a similar track situated along side, both tracks providing for a 1000 meter work out.
- An inside sand warm up (trotting) track designed with a 500-meter circumference and 8 meter track width.
- A slow sand track situated around the outside perimeter of the Fibresand track, this track has been constructed with a 1500-meter circumference and an 8-meter width.
- A sand track with a 1600 meter length and a 6 meter width used for both slow and fast work is available, this track is located around the outer perimeter of the StrathAyr turf track.
Singapore Turf Club
Mr Yu Pang Fey
President & Chief Executive
1 Turf Club Avenue
Tel: (65) 6879 1000
Fax: (65) 6879 1010