The Business Times

What next for the Singapore Turf Club?

With Covid dealing a body blow to the business of horse racing, has the sport of kings been stopped in its tracks in Singapore?

Published Sat, Mar 27, 2021 · 05:50 AM
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ON this auspicious day in the annual horse racing calendar, all roads and MRT tracks lead to Kranji. Crowds, by the thousands, throng to the Singapore Turf Club (STC), many invited guests dressed up to the nines. Elegant hats, frills and heels jockey for position with crisp shirts, smart suits and wingtips, as a princely prize awaits the best-dressed race-goers and the Tatler photographer snaps away busily.

At the ground-level public gallery fronting the racetrack, thousands of punters appear under-dressed, some even in shorts. Yet, they are the heartbeat of racing with their imposing presence and intimate racing knowledge.

Sadly, today, that is history. Despite its 179-year history here, horse racing is now a sport on the decline. Then came the pandemic, which has all but eradicated the viability of racing for many of its stakeholders here - horse trainers, jockeys and horse owners. Those in the racing fraternity report an exodus from Singapore, with several leaving in recent months for the greener grass of the Hong Kong Jockey Club.

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