Spatial issue shadow on Singapore racecourse


Horse racing will end in Singapore Image: Singapore Turf Club building, dave ho, CC BY 2.0

The space-starved island State of Singapore is bringing the curtain down on more than 180 years of horse racing with its sole racecourse set to be handed back to the Government to make way for public housing.

‘CNN’ stated that the final race at the Singapore Turf Club will be the 100th Grand Singapore Gold Cup on October 5th, 2024.

The Singapore Turf Club was founded in 1842 as the Singapore Sporting Club to operate the Serangoon Road Race Course at the Farrer Park Field (athletic field in Singapore). It is the only horse racing club in Singapore and is part of the Malayan Racing Association. The first race was held on February 23rd, 1843 with prize money of $150.

The 30,000-capacity Singapore Racecourse/Singapore Turf Club is a venue for thoroughbred horse racing situated in Kranji, next to the Kranji MRT Station. Built and operated by the Singapore Turf Club, it opened on March 4th, 2000, replacing the Bukit Timah Race Course.

The Singapore Gold Cup is a thoroughbred horse race held annually in November at the Singapore Turf Club. Contested on turf over a left-handed course, the domestic Group 1 race is run over a distance of 2,000 meters and is open to local horses age three and older.

‘CNN’ further stated that located in the Northwestern suburb of Kranji, the Southeast Asian nation’s racecourse sits on 300 acres of land – roughly more than 200 football fields.

It will be returned to the Government by 2027, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of National Development said in a joint statement recently.

The site will be redeveloped to meet the country’s future needs for housing and potentially include venues for leisure and recreation, it added.

The Ministries said, “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 the future generations.”

Singapore is densely packed with just under six million people living in a space slightly smaller than New York City (US). Over 80 percent of the residents live in public housing and undeveloped land is scarce.

Niam Chiang Meng, the club’s Chairman, said in a statement that they were “saddened by the decision of the Government to close the club. The Singapore Turf Club recognizes that the Kranji site is a valuable resource that can help meet the evolving needs and aspirations of Singaporeans, and this transition will serve to optimize land use for the greater good of the local community and future generations.”

Despite its long history, horse racing in the City-State has seen a decline in viewership over the past decade, the club added.

The Late Queen Elizabeth II, who had an enduring passion for horse racing, visited the former British colony of Singapore in 1972 to present an inaugural Cup in her name, and attended a race there for a second time in 2006, according to its official national archives.

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