Guide: Horse racing in Singapore

Guide: Horse racing in Singapore
June 27 06:02 2016

Perhaps it is the location of the Kranji Racecourse, also known as Singapore Turf Club, in the very far north of the island that prevents it from being a popular attraction in Singapore. Whenever I talk to someone about the Turf Club, people tend to have a wrong perception of the event.

Horse racing in Singapore isn’t posh, but neither is it boring. It’s more than mere tradition too. It’s the excitement at the start, it’s the shouts before the finish line – it’s a harmonious theatre that demands your interaction. Although horse racing is not attracting the younger crowd,  the trip up to Kranji is well worth the time in my opinion. 

Singapore and the Horses

The Turf Club was only opened in 1990, replacing the Bukit Timah Racecourse that had existed since 1933. The modern facilities of the Turf Club don’t remind of an old forgotten sport, like it is treated, but rather like a serious undertaking for those who turn up for the weekly bets.

The races are usually held on Friday nights and Sunday afternoons with up to 12 races on one day. Arriving at the Kranji MRT station, one can’t miss the giant grandstand.

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Grandstand at Kranji Racecourse

I actually don’t think there are many people coming to Kranji except for the races. The entry fee comes at a mere S$5, which can be paid with your EZ-Link card.

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Horses warming up at Kranji Racecourse

Walking up to the grandstand, one passes a smaller arena, where the horses of the upcoming race are warming up. Although sheltered from the sun, many men prefer to follow the races out here in the afternoon heat, as they can inspect the horses more closely and perhaps gain some valuable insights.

Take a weekend to visit the Singapore Turf Club and another to find out more about our country at the National Museum!

The Betting at Singapore Turf Club

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Betting at Kranji Racecourse

Walking into the hall connected to the air-conditioned grandstand, one immediately picks up on the bustle in the air. Groups of men (and a few women too) are staring at the overhead screens, while others are queuing up to place their bets.

"kranji racecourse betting singapore turf club guide horse racing singapore"

Betting at Kranji Racecourse

Coming for the first time, it might take a few races until you understand the system, as half the time will be spent trying to make sense of the numbers and names. However, once you have found an ideal combination, the excitement and anticipation for the race rises infinitely.

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Careful bets placed at the Kranji Racecourse

While simply betting on the winning horse may be a straightforward option, it actually isn’t such a good idea, as it is pricier (S$5 per unit) and your chances are lower, as there is only one possibility to win. Making a ‘Place Forecast’ bet (S$2 per unit) allows you to choose two horses that you think will be among the first three finishers. As you have several possibilities of winning, your chances are also elevated.

If betting is not your cup of tea, why not explore one of our favourite neighbourhoods, Balestier? Here’s how!

The Race at Kranji Racecourse

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Crowd awaiting the race at the Singapore Turf Club

Each race differs slightly in length, but none lasts much longer than one minute so the excitement builds up quickly in the second part of the race, culminating with the horses racing head to head over the finishing line right in front of the grandstand.For a space of ten seconds the grandstand peaks in volume and is only followed by a few winning shouts of joy.

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Horse race at the Kranji racecourse

Spending an afternoon on the grandstand, betting a few dollars on horses is a rather pleasant experience. Calm, calculated, and relaxed most of the time while everyone awaits the few seconds that really matter.

"kranji racecourse betting singapore turf club guide horse racing singapore"

Horse race at the Kranji Racecourse

Once the storm has blown over, the analytic peace returns to the grandstand.

Getting to Kranji Racecourse

The Kranji Racecourse is directly connected to the North South MRT Line (red line), having its own stop. Getting off the train and walking to your seat won’t take longer than three minutes. While the MRT station offers a few shops and eateries, the Turf Club itself has two indoor food courts.

share your experience by using #singaporenbeyond on social media!

Featured photo by Donnie Ray Jones

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Singapore n Beyond
Singapore n Beyond

Sharing getaway and itinerary ideas in Asia and insider knowledge of Singapore

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