In Singapore, the more than 180-year-long history of horse racing is set to close.
It has been declared that the tiny Southeast Asian Nations-only racecourse, the Singapore Turf Club, will hold its final meeting next year.
The government will take back the 120-hectare site, which will be used for public and private housing.
Queen Elizabeth ||, an avid racegoer and racehorse breeder, have an event name after her at the course.
During a visit to Singapore in 1972, her late Majesty presented the inaugural Queen Elizabeth || Cup and attended the feature race a second time in 2006.
The Singapore Turf Club said, ” Horse racing has a long and distinguished history in Singapore”. And ” With the races continuing till the 100th Grand Singapore Gold Cup on 5th October 2024, the Club; will continue to ensure the sportsmanship, safety, and integrity of every race”.
The sport was introduced to Singapore In 1842 when Scottish merchant William Henry Macleod Read and many other fans founded the Singapore Sporting Club.
They altered a patch of semi-swampland in Farrer Park in central Singapore into a racecourse. Later, in 1924, the site was renamed the Singapore Turf Club.
Afterward, horse racing proved famous not only with Europeans but also with Malay and Chinese racegoers.
In 1933, as the popularity of horse racing increased on the Island, the course was shifted to a more prominent location at Bukit Timah in Western Singapore.
Later, n March 2000, the Singapore Turf Club shifted its current location to Kranji, north of the Island. The S$ 500m ($370.9m ; £298m)racecourse has a five-story grandstand with a capacity for 300,000 viewers.
However, the Singapore Turf Club has seen attendance reduce over the past decade.
Moreover, the government said the land would be redeveloped for public and private housing to meet” future land use needs.”
It further added that” Singapore is a city-state with limited land. The government continually reviews the needs while ensuring the use of the óplans to meet the present day needs while providing sufficient ground for future generations “.
Besides, the Ministry of National Development also said it would explore other uses for the land, including leisure and recreation facilities.