Singapore decides to end 180 years of horse racing in 2024

The Singapore Turf Club will be redeveloped for housing, with horse racing to end there next year.

The Singapore Turf Club will be redeveloped for housing, with horse racing to end there next year. Photo: EPA

More than 180 years of horse racing in Singapore is set to end in 2024 when the city-state’s only racecourse will close and be redeveloped for housing.

The Singapore Turf Club (STC) in Kranji will hold its final race meeting, the 100th Grand Singapore Gold Cup, on October 5, 2024 and cease operations in March 2027, handing over the 120-hectare site to the government.

The club was founded by Scottish merchant William Henry Macleod Read in 1842 and located at Farrer Park in central Singapore.

It moved to a larger venue, Bukit Timah in the western part of the island, as the sport grew in popularity.

In 1999, the STC relocated to Kranji in northwestern Singapore. The current racecourse has a five-storey grandstand with capacity for 30,000 spectators.

“We are saddened by the decision of the government to close the club,” STC chairman Niam Chiang Meng said in a statement on Monday.

“At the same time, we understand the land needs of Singapore, including housing and other potential uses such as leisure and recreation.

“We are aligned with the government on the need to invest in the future of Singapore.”

Attendances at the racecourse have been declining over the past decade, the STC said.

Racehorse owners and trainers will be offered support for horse maintenance and exportation.

According to the Straits Times newspaper there are about 700 racehorses at the club and 38 livery horses, which are for personal use.

The racecourse site will be used for housing, including public housing, the government said.

Other potential uses including leisure and recreation are also being considered.

“Singapore is a city-state with limited land,” the Ministry of National Development and the Ministry of Finance said in a joint statement.

“The government continually reviews its land use plans to meet today’s needs while ensuring there is sufficient land for future generations.”


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