OUR HISTORY
Singapore Turf Club was founded as the Singapore Sporting Club by Scottish merchant William Henry Macleod Read and a group of racing enthusiasts in 1842. Read about its early horse racing years and community initiatives.

BLAST FROM THE PAST

BLAST FROM THE PAST

Singapore Turf Club has a rich and illustrious history, witnessing many milestones over the past century.

 

Among our most recent and significant milestones is the opening of the 124- hectare Kranji grounds on 7 August 1999, following a five-year construction project valued at $500 million.

 

The racetracks were designed with the latest in-turf innovation and technology. The 41 light masts installed around the course enabled us to introduce night racing, making us the first club from the Malayan Racing Association to do so. The five-storey grandstand can hold 30,000 spectators and facilities include public food courts, private boxes with dining and viewing facilities as well as private dining areas. The stables feature swimming pools, exercise tracks, a veterinary hospital and over 1,000 stalls, all for the horses.

MILESTONES

  • 1842

    4 Oct 1842

    The Singapore Turf Club was founded as the Singapore Sporting Club by Scottish merchant William Henry Macleod Read and a group of horse racing enthusiasts. Located at Farrer Park, the Club’s aim then was to encourage the importation and improvement of horses in the colony by offering monetary prizes to horses who win races.

  • 1843

    23 & 25 Feb 1843

    The first race was held to mark the 24th anniversary of Singapore’s founding by Sir Stamford Raffles and was watched by over 300 spectators. This inaugural Singapore Cup race featured prize money of $150. The race day was declared a national holiday.

  • 1880

    1880

    One of the oldest feature races on local turf, the Singapore Derby, was first run in 1880 with a prize money of $150. The 2,400m race featured ponies from China.

  • 1896

    7 Jan 1896

    The Straits Racing Association, known today as the Malayan Racing Association (MRA), was formed to coordinate and regulate horse racing in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Penang, and Ipoh. 

  • 1911

    16 Mar 1911

    The old Racecourse played a big part in heralding the start of aviation in Singapore. The first flight in Singapore, piloted by Belgian aviator Joseph Christiaens, made aviation history as it took off from the Serangoon Road Racecourse.

     

    16 Mar 1911

    Singapore Sporting Club changed its name to Singapore Turf Club, to better represent the Club’s role. 

  • 1933

    1933

    To cater to growing racing interest, the Club sold its Serangoon Road Racecourse to the Singapore Improvement Trust for $1.5 million and used $850,000 to purchase 98-hectares of the Bukit Timah Rubber Estate for a new site. More than $3 million would go into building the Bukit Timah Racecourse, later regarded as “the finest in the East”.

     

    15 Apr 1933

    Sir Cecil Clementi, then Governor of Singapore declared the Bukit Timah Racecourse open at a grand ceremony attended by 5,000 members and guests. 

  • 1972

    20 Feb 1972

    Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip and Princess Anne visited the Club for The Queen Elizabeth II Cup, during her state visit to the Republic. A 26,000-strong crowd showed up to see the Royal Family. The Cup to commemorate her visit ran over 2,200m and offered $35,000 in prize money.

  • 1981

    1981

    Local turf history was made when female jockeys, Irene Pateman and Paula Wagg from Australia became the first two women granted local permits to ride. 

  • 1988

    1 Jan 1988

    The Government established the Singapore Totalisator Board. The Board appointed the Bukit Turf Club as its agent to take over racing and 4D operations from the Singapore Turf Club.

  • 1989

    Jan 1989

    Singapore was put on the world racing map when Colonial Chief won the Second Hong Kong Invitation Cup at Sha Tin, an international racing event. Colonial Chief was also the first horse to top more than $1 million in prize money.

  • 1990

    7 Oct 1990

    Then President Wee Kim Wee and the First Lady made their first official visit to the Club as Guests-of-Honour for the Singapore Gold Cup race, which coincided with the nation’s 25th anniversary. To commemorate the occasion, Singapore Pools donated $500,000 to the 25th Anniversary Charity Fund. 

  • 1991

    11 Aug 1991

    The Club introduced the $250,000 Raffles Cup, named after Sir Stamford Raffles. Tuneful Melody created turf history as the first local-bred horse to win a major feature race.

  • 1994

    1 Jun 1994

    Bukit Turf Club, appointed in 1988 to take over Singapore Turf Club’s racing and 4D operations when it was dissolved, was named Singapore Turf Club once again to give Singapore more prominence on the world racing map, as well as to pave the way for the club’s impending relocation to Kranji. 

  • 1995

    22 Aug 1995

    Legendary rock singer and songwriter Rod Stewart’s first concert in Singapore was held at the Singapore Turf Club. It was the Club’s first concert held at the racetracks and Rod Stewart played to an 8,000 strong audience.

  • 1999

    18 Jul 1999

    Singapore Turf Club held a Heartstrings Charity Cup race which raised $630,000 for the Community Chest. The Club received then Minister for Communications and Information Technology, Mr Yeo Cheow Tong and his wife Mrs Helen Yeo as Guests-of-Honour.

     

    7 Aug 1999

    After five years of construction, the state-of-the-art $500 million 124-hectare Kranji Racecourse was opened.

     

    The racetracks were designed with the latest in-turf innovation and technology. The 41 light masts installed around the course enabled the Club to introduce night racing, the first Club from the Malayan Racing Association to do so.

     

    The five-storey grandstand could hold 30,000 spectators and facilities included public food courts, private boxes with dining and viewing facilities and private dining areas for Racing Gold Card members.

     

    The stables featured air-conditioned rooms, swimming pools, exercise tracks and a veterinary hospital, as well as over 1,000 stalls.

     

    25 Sep 1999

    Highlighting the first of the live races hosted at the Kranji Racecourse was the $350,000 Singapore Cup, held in commemoration of the first race in Singapore in 1843, which took place at the Farrer Park Racecourse.

  • 2000

    4 Mar 2000

    Then President SR Nathan officiated the opening of the Kranji Racecourse and a 30,000-strong crowd witnessed the inaugural running of the $3 million Singapore Airlines International Cup. The Cup race was Singapore’s biggest horse racing event and the world’s seventh richest horse race. It drew participation from top horses and jockeys from France, Hong Kong, Italy, United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom.

  • 2001

    12 Mar 2001

    The inaugural $1 million Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Sprint race took place at the Singapore Turf Club. Together with the $3 million Singapore Airlines International Cup, they were the crown jewels on the local racing calendar. The biggest racing bash of the year was broadcasted worldwide to an estimated 1.9 billion audience.

     

    11 Jun 2001

    The $3 million Singapore Airlines International Cup was granted Group One status, the highest recognition accorded by the International Cataloguing Standards Committee in London to any thoroughbred race.

  • 2003

    9 Nov 2003

    The inaugural Singapore Turf Cub Charity Raceday raised $1.15 million for Community Chest. Together with Singapore Pools, the Club also donated another $1 million to 21 other charities. The occasion was marked by the presence of then President S R Nathan.

  • 2006

    18 Mar 2006

    Queen Elizabeth II paid a second visit to Singapore Turf Club with Prince Philip 34 years later, gracing the Queen Elizabeth II Cup named after her. To mark the grand occasion, the Club increased the Queen Elizabeth II Cup prize money from $250,000 to $350,000. 

     

    1 Apr 2006

    The Club injected $11 million to boost the local racing industry. The Patrons' Bowl and Kranji Mile were upgraded to Group 1 status, bringing the total Group 1 races held at the Club to seven. Three new feature races were added - The Singapore Three-Year-Old Sprint, Singapore Four-Year-Old Sprint and Singapore Four-Year-Old Mile.

     

    29 Oct 2006

    The Group 1 Raffles Cup was presented by Panasonic Systems Asia Pacific for the first time.

  • 2009

    Nov 2009

    The Singapore Turf Club Riding Centre opened with the aim of making horse-riding accessible to the public. It remains the only riding centre with its own equine surgical facility. The riding centre dedicated an annual race day to raise funds for the Riding for the Disabled Association Singapore, focused on facilitating interaction with horses as therapy for children and adults with disabilities.

  • 2010

    24 Jun 2010

    The Singapore Turf Club Riding Centre was officially opened by then Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence, Teo Chee Hean. 

     

    18 Aug 2010

    The Singapore Turf Club Riding Centre hosted the 2010 Youth Olympic Games’ Equestrian Show Jumping event. 

  • 2011

    26 Mar 2011

    Singapore was once again put on the world map when best-known local equine celebrity Rocket Man became the first and only local horse to win the International Group 1 race, Dubai Golden Shaheen. 

  • 2013

    27 Apr 2013

    The Club broke a record for the largest cupcake tower in the Singapore Book of Records. All 2,888 cupcakes were sold for charity and proceeds went to the Club’s adopted charity, THK EIPIC @ Woodlands.  

     

    6 Sep 2013

    Brazilian jockey, Joao Moreira made Singapore-Malaysia racing history with eight victories on eight winning racehorses at the Kranji racecourse. This epic performance was recognised by the Singapore Book of Records as the “most consecutive winning rides by a jockey at a single race meeting”. 

  • 2014

    8 Nov 2014

    The $2 million KF1 Karting Circuit, Singapore’s first international standard permanent karting facility, was officially launched at the Club. It featured a 960m-long dual directional circuit, the only one of its kind in the world, designed by world-renowned Formula One track architect, Herman Tilke. The circuit is equipped to host international karting races.

  • 2018

    4 & 5 Aug 2018

    The Club hosted the inaugural GetActive! Singapore event in collaboration with Tote Board and SG Sports. To promote a healthy lifestyle among Singaporeans, various sports try-outs and activities, including Augmented Reality and traditional games were organised for the public. The Club also hosted ActiveSG’s Singapore Cycling Challenge, the first such event on the safety track inside the racetracks.

  • 2019

    7 Jan 2019

    Singapore Pools took over all horse betting operations from Singapore Turf Club, while the Club focused on horse racing.

     

    Apr 2019

    The first-ever Taiwanese night market opened in Singapore to overwhelming response at The Grounds @ Kranji. Over two exciting weekends (19-21 and 26-28 April), Shilin Ye Shi Singapore presented a feast of Taiwanese street delicacies, entertainment and games galore to a 500,000 strong crowd thronging the Club.  

     

    25 & 26 Jul 2019

    The Club organised an inaugural Books & Toys Donation Drive for children and youth, receiving around 2,000 items. Together with the books and toys, the Club donated a sum of $30,000 to beneficiary Beyond Social Services.

     

    3 Aug 2019

    The Club once again hosted the annual GetActive! Singapore. Featuring sports activities and traditional games, the event was graced by Ms Indranee Rajah, then Minister, Prime Minister’s Office, Second Minister for Finance and Second Minister for Education. More than 200 beneficiaries from Beyond Social Services, CARE Singapore, Deaf Sports Association, Down Syndrome Association, NTUC Health Active Aging and Thye Hua Kwan Moral Charities participated. It was also an occasion to celebrate Singapore’s 54th birthday.

     

    Nov 2019

    The third and largest edition of Artbox Singapore opened at The Grounds @ Kranji and over two weekends (15-17 and 22-24 November), welcomed over 450,000 visitors. The Club organised a ‘Lucky Hydro Dip Horseshoe’ booth at Artbox Singapore to raise funds for charity. A total of $15,000 raised from the sales of customised souvenir horseshoes was donated to the Singapore Children’s Society. 

     

    21 Dec 2019

    More than 60 children with special needs had the rare opportunity to cycle around the service road of Singapore Turf Club's racetracks. Organised with Ageless Bicyclists, the activity enabled the children and their families to experience cycling in a safe and conducive environment.

  • 2020

    Jan 2020

    In response to COVID-19, Singapore Turf Club restricted the number of visitors on race days and ensured safe distancing practices were put in place.

     

    27 Mar 2020

    The Singapore Turf Club held its races behind closed doors for the first time due to the escalating COVID-19 situation. Screening of simulcast races were also stopped.

     

    4 Apr 2020

    The Club suspended all races due to COVID-19.

     

    11 May 2020

    The Club announced that part of the Singapore Racecourse and Singapore Turf Club Riding Centre (STCRC) grounds would be temporarily converted into Community Recovery Facilities for foreign workers recovering from COVID-19. The multi-storey carpark, a portion of carpark B and the sheltered arena at STCRC would house some 3,600 recovering foreign workers. This was a show of unity from the Club in the fight against COVID-19.

     

    11 Jul 2020

    The Club received approval from the Government to resume racing behind closed doors. Strict protocols and Safe Management Measures were put in place to ensure closed door races resumed safely and efficiently.

  • 2021

    24 Apr 2021

    The only female apprentice jockey at the Club at present, Jerlyn Seow won her first race just four months after her debut. She rode Axel, her 71st ride to victory in a Class 3 Polytrack race over 1,600m. 

     

    Jun 2021

    Singapore Turf Club (STC) proudly received the Ministry of Finance Family Award (One Public Service Award category) for its efforts to support the nation’s COVID-19 response. Working closely with Tote Board, the Ministry of National Development and other government agencies, the multi-storey carpark in STC and the riding arena at STC Riding Centre were converted into temporary dormitories for migrant workers.

     

    9 Oct 2021

    The Club hosted its first wedding since closing to the public due to COVID-19. The happy couple celebrated their union surrounded by lush greenery with an exclusive view of the world-class racetracks. 

     

    14 Nov 2021

    Daniel Meagher-trained Lim’s Lightning emerged tops as Kranji’s highest-rated galloper after winning the $1 million Singapore Gold Cup, as well as the Lion City Cup and the Raffles Cup in the year.

     

    23 Nov 2021

    In support of CAForGood’s initiative for Singaporeans to donate their unused SingapoRediscovers Vouchers, Singapore Turf Club Riding Centre hosted beneficiaries from North Mosque Cluster and The Boy’s Brigade. Dr Koh Poh Koon, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Health and Ministry of Manpower was Guest-of-Honour. 

     

    Dec 2021

    In support of community engagement through art, the Club collaborated with Yew Tee Arts & Culture Club to upcycle and breathe new, artistic life into its used horseshoes. The farriers team cleaned some 200 used horseshoes for a series of thematic art workshops from 10-19 December.

     

    16 Dec 2021

    Singapore Turf Club (STC) launched its new corporate website, integrating the STC and STC Riding Centre websites and providing a gateway to its racing portal. Visitors can enjoy a user friendly, functional and mobile optimised experience. 

  • 2022

    12 Feb 2022

    The Club held its first community event since closing to the public due to COVID-19. Some 200 participants enjoyed exciting performances by local celebrities at the Limbang Chinese New Year Celebration 2022.