The world knows Singapore for organization, convenience and excellence in catering to the needs of tourists. Horse racing meets these exacting standards in the City State as well. Singapore is perhaps the only major horse racing center in the world where punters and enthusiasts can expect to be picked up from and dropped back to their hotels, should they wish to drop in on the ultra-modern Kranji Race Track! A group of no more than two people can have a tour all of their own! However, the Singapore Turf Club is rather starchy when it comes to dress: jeans, t-shirts, shorts and slippers are not allowed, and even corduroys are not appreciated!
Technical horse racing excellence accompanies convenience for tourists in Singapore. The race course design is truly unique and has won an international award for its soul-stirring architecture. Spectator benefits have been kept uppermost in mind when designing the grand stand, and the private betting and bar facilities are simply top of the class. Horse Racing Events are held under flood lights on weekday evenings, and during afternoons on week ends. The Emirates Singapore Derby, a leading event every July, now carries prize money of a million Singapore dollars.
The Kranji race track, which sprawls over almost 100 acres, has state-of-the-art training facilities for race horses. The amenities include a swimming pool, a tread mill and practice tracks of both turf and firm sand. Events are held on three tracks of varying lengths. The drainage takes Singapore’s wet weather in to account, and the tracks are ready for use soon after the heaviest of downpours! Veterans from horse racing sites around the world have been full of admiration for Kranji’s modern features, which makes the sport all the more enjoyable in Singapore.
The glitter of flood lights and the awesome spectacle of the Kranji race track do not reveal the diligence with which horses are cared for at the site. A tour of the stables shows some extraordinary features, including air-conditioning for visiting race horses which may not take kindly to Singapore’s sub-tropical temperatures and humidity! Lasers are used for sore muscles, and vulnerable joints are bandaged with preventive care. Beddings are made from pine shavings to keep dust away, and the living areas are large, with plenty of room. The best farriers are always on hand. No effort is spared to make horse racing as safe as possible, and to look after the welfare of the animals. Authorities encourage visitors to tour the stables, and this certainly adds to the value of the horse racing experience in Singapore!
Kranji was built in 1999 for almost half a billion Singapore dollars. However, the horse racing traditions of Singapore date back to the 19th century. The sport has always had a loyal following amongst the multi-cultural population of this area, and modern technology has blended in seamlessly with the best traditions of equestrian sports. The climate allows for a relatively long horse racing season, and race track administration meets the most stringent international standards.