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Friday, July 19, 2024

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Singapore To Witness Last Horse Race After 180 years

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Horse racing in Singapore will soon come to an end after more than 180 years.

The Singapore Turf Club, the sole racecourse in Singapore, a very small country in Southeast Asia, will host its final event in 2024. The 120-hectare property will be used for both public and private housing after coming under the government authority.

An event at the track is dedicated in honour of Queen Elizabeth II, a devoted racegoer and breeder of racehorses. During a visit to Singapore in 1972, the late queen presented the first Queen Elizabeth II Cup. In 2006, she witnessed the main event once more.

In a statement released late on Monday, the Singapore Turf Club said, “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.”

Scottish merchant William Henry Macleod Read along with many other sports enthusiasts introduced horseracing in Singapore in 1842 when they founded the Singapore Sporting Club.

In Farrer Park in the heart of Singapore, they converted a little area of semi-swampland into a racecourse. The Singapore Turf Club is the new name for the location as of 1924. Horse racing turned out to be popular not just with Europeans, but rich Malay and Chinese racegoers also attended meetings.

As interest in horse racing grew on the island, the course was relocated to a bigger site at Bukit Timah in western Singapore in 1933.

The Singapore Turf Club relocated to its current site at Kranji, in the north of the island, in March 2000. The five-story grandstand at the S$500 million ($370.9 million) racetrack can accommodate 30,000 spectators.

But during the previous ten years, attendance at the Singapore Turf Club has decreased.

The area would be renovated for public and private housing, according to the government, to “meet future land use needs.”

“Singapore is a city-state with limited land. The government continually reviews its land use plans to meet today’s needs while ensuring there is sufficient land for future generations,” it added.

Additionally, the Ministry of National Development stated that it would look into other potential uses for the property, such as leisure and recreation facilities.

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