Saddle up for an exciting new season
2022 Singapore racing calendar will have 48 meetings from Jan to Nov
If you are already getting fidgety and, maybe even a little impatient, you may be suffering from what is known as racing blues.
It is a condition which affects the avid racing fan whenever his favourite pastime takes a much-needed break.
Like what is happening now.
After that last meeting on Nov 27, there has been no racing at Kranji.
It is the annual break and, for some reason, it gets some of us a wee bit tetchy.
Well, take it easy. Or, as we say, hold your horses.
Relax and take this break from your favourite sport as a time to rest and rejuvenate.
Then, and before you know it, the bugle will sound, calling you back to the races.
Indeed, the Singapore Turf Club has already released the calendar for 2022.
Come Jan 2, it will be "starter's up" for the first meeting of the new year.
Like it was this year, the season will again stretch until the end of November.
If that is not enough incentive to start studying the form books, here is another tidbit.
There is a race meeting planned for the second day of Chinese New Year.
It will happen on Feb 2 and it is a Wednesday. So, mark it on your calendar because it will be the only midweek raceday for the entire season.
The rest of the time - like it was this year - the action at Kranji will take place on Saturdays and Sundays.
There will be 32 race meetings on Saturdays and 15 on Sundays. Plus the Chinese New Year Wednesday meeting, that will make it a total of 48 for the season.
The schedule for the first three months of 2023 has also been released.
There will be four race meetings each in January (three Saturdays and one Monday), February (three Saturdays and one Sunday) and March (also three Saturdays and one Sunday).
As for the feature races, the big news is that the Group 1 Merlion Trophy and the Group 1 Raffles Cup will not be held next year.
They will be ressurrected in the 2023 season with the Merlion Trophy on Feb 4 and the Raffles Cup on March 25.
The rest of the big races are still on the calendar, beginning with the ever-popular Group 1 Kranji Mile on May 21.
Expect this year's winner, Minister, to be fit as a fiddle as he defends his crown. Minister was a $92 chance when he toppled Lim's Lightning to win this year's contest in May.
Fans will not have to wait long for the next showpiece. That will be the Group 3 Singapore Three-Year-Old Sprint. The juveniles will get the "starter's up" call on June 18.
Following that, we will have the Group 1 Singapore Derby. It stays at its traditional July slot,on the 17th.
The Group 1 Lion City Cup, won by the brilliant Lim's Lightning, will be contested on Aug 14 with the million-dollar Singapore Gold Cup rounding off the big-race action on Nov 19.
So, you see, even as the pandemic continues to ravage our everyday lives, horse racing, as we know it, will continue.
It is, however, our wish that sometime in 2022, the situation will improve somewhat dramatically that you - the racing fan - will be allowed into the grandstand to enjoy watching "live" as the spectacle unfolds.
We can hope, can we not?
The 2022/2023 feature races
1 Kranji Mile Group 1 May 21, 2022
2 Singapore Three-Year-Old Sprint Group 3 June 18, 2022
3 Stewards' Cup Group 2 June 26, 2022
4 Singapore Three-Year-Old Classic Group 2 July 9, 2022
5 Singapore Derby Group 1 July 17, 2022
6 Lion City Cup Group 1 Aug 14, 2022
7 Queen Elizabeth II Cup Group 1 Oct 15, 2022
8 Singapore Gold Cup Group 1 Nov 19, 2022
9 Merlion Trophy Group 3 Feb 4, 2023
10 Raffles Cup Group 1 March 25, 2023