Selangor Turf Club


Selangor Turf Club

The Selangor Turf Club is the major horse racing course in Klang Valley, Selangor, Malaysia. The main race cource is located at Sungai Besi, 17 km from Kuala Lumpur city centre.

The Selangor Turf Club traces its humble beginning in 1800s to the efforts of a group of amateur racing enthusiasts with the founding of the Selangor Gymkhana Club. In 1896 under the patronage of British Resident Sir Frank Swettenham, the Selangor Turf Club was founded as a result of the re-organisation of the Selangor Gymkhana Club. The first race meeting took place in March 1896.

For over a century, horse racing was primarily a lavish pastime of the rich and famous in Kuala Lumpur and the Selangor Turf Club was the place to meet and to be seen. In 1992, the Selangor Turf Club relocated from Jalan Ampang (now the famous KLCC Twin Towers) to a brand new state-of art race course in Sungai Besi.

The grandstand was designed as two parallel buildings with a light and air well between them to provide interconnection between the indoor areas and the natural environment. The roof is shaped as a collection of wings that hover the building, overlapping each other like feathers on a bird. On the west side, the roof cascades down to form a giant louver to keep the sun out while catching the breeze and can accommodate up to 25,000 racing fans.

The racetrack is 2,000-metre long and 30-metre wide. Left-handed and is turfed with patented grass-El-Toro Zoysia. The double home bends cambered at gradients of 1 to 11 remain the greatest asset of the whole development. Although it reduces the tension of the horses foot, every race comes alive when the horses come through from the home bend till the finishing line.

A racing season begins from January till December with 30 on-course race days scheduled every year. An average of 9 to 10 races are conducted on each race day and races are broadcast live to other racing centres in Malaysia and Singapore. The Selangor Turf Club also operates off-course betting on races from other racing centres in Penang, Perak, Singapore and the Hong Kong Jockey Club.

History

Chronology

*Early 1890s - British Resident, Sir William Maxwell, formed the Selangor Gymkhana Club.

*1896 - A land was secured at the right-hand side of the Ampang Road and Selangor Gymkhana Club changes its name to Selangor Turf Club. On January 1, 1896, the Selangor Turf Club became a member of the Straits Racing Association.Captain Talbot was the 1st President.

*March 1896 - The Selangor Turf Club hosted its first race meeting. There were seven races per day over two consecutive days for each meeting. The most prestigious race at that time was the Miner’s Purse with stakes money of $1,000. The Selangor Turf Club inaugurated the thoroughbred griffin scheme with three lots being first imported from Australia.
*1906 - Membership of the Club had grown to 300 with each member paying a subscription of 15 dollar a year with an entrance fee of 10 dollars.
*1914 to 1918 - Club’s racing activities were curtailed during the Great War. Races were more often run to raise funds for the War.
*1939 - The Selangor Turf Club introduced the Selangor Gold Cup, forerunner to the Tunku Gold Cup. The Chairman reported a profit of $30,400
*1941 to 1943 - Racing comes to a halt during the Second World War.
*1952 - Race day attendance exceeded an average of 14,000. Turnover exceeded $70 million
*1953 - The first local-based Chairman of the Club was Dato’ Sir Clough Thuraisingham (who retired from the Chairmanship in 1974).
*1954 - Radio broadcasts of race proceedings started.
*1956 - By 1956, horse racing had gained such a large following so much so that the old attap shed was deemed insufficient to house all the racing fans and was replaced by a modern grandstand, built at the cost of $1 million.
*1957 - The “Great Floods” prevented outstation horses from reaching the Club by land.Ferries were used to bring them in.
*1959 - Selangor Turf Club inaugurated the prestigious Yang Di-Pertuan Agong Gold Cup. Races were changed to Sunday instead of Wednesday.
*1961 - Betting at the Selangor Turf Club and other turf clubs in the MRA circuit was regulated under the Racing (Totalisator Board) Act 1961.
*1962 - A fire broke out at the Griffin Inn and some horses broke loose. They were rounded up the following day.
*1968 - The Selangor Gold Cup was renamed Tunku Gold Cup in honour of Tunku Abdul Rahman, the country’s first Prime Minister.
*1976 - The totalisator was computerised. Three years later a new computerised sell-pay system was introduced.
*1980 - The Piala Emas Sultan Selangor was introduced to commemorate the birthday of His Royal Highness Sultan of Selangor.
*1982 - Computerised telephone betting was launched, replacing the manual system.
*1983 - Closed-circuit television coverage began, linking all clubs on the MRA circuit.
*1985 - The first Off-Course Centre was opened in Sungei Besi.
*1987 - The installation of a central computerized betting system linking Selangor, Penang and Perak turf clubs.
*1988 - The Club bought convert|255|acre|km2 of mining land in Sungei Besi for its relocation.
*October 1989 - STC hosted the Queen Elizabeth II Commonwealth Cup to commemorate the visit of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II to Malaysia and the Club.A Class 1 handicap race was run over 1,600 metres with prize money of $250,000. Entertainment XI won the race.
*June 1990 - Works began on the new Sungei Besi Racecourse.
*23 February 1992 - The last race was run at Jalan Ampang.
*1993 - The Chairman reported a record profit of RM8.67 million for 1992. In the same year, the first race was run at the Sungei Besi Racecourse.
*1994 - On April 3, 1994, the Yang DiPertuan Agong Sultan Azlan Shah officially opened the state-of-the-art Sungei Besi Racecourse. The STC Official Opening Commemorative Stakes, which carried RM350,000 in prize money, was won by The Mailman, owned by Auric Stable.
*June 1996 - The Selangor Turf Club celebrates its 100 Years Anniversary and a RM500,000 Centenary Cup was run.
*2003 - The Selangor Turf Club launched the Triple Crown Series carrying total prize money of RM3.5 million, making it the richest sporting event in the country. The Triple Crown Series comprise of Tunku Gold Cup, Selangor Gold Cup and Piala Emas Sultan Selangor.
*2005 - Introduction of the Juvenile Million Challenge with prize money and bonus totaling RM1 million. The challenge is opened to horses in the three and four years old categories and is run over three legs.

External links

* [http://www.selangorturfclub.com/ Selangor Turf Club website]


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