Singapore racing resumes on July 11
It's behind closed doors, with strict health and safe management measures
Singapore racing will resume behind closed doors on July 11, three months after it was disrupted in early April due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The break will be just over a month longer than the two-month shutdown, from mid-September in 1977, because of an equine influenza outbreak on the Singapore-Malaysia racing circuit.
The Singapore Turf Club (STC) said in a statement yesterday that, with Singapore moving into Phase 2 of the post-circuit breaker period on June 19, it has received approval from the Government to resume racing behind closed doors on July 11.
There will be strict health and safe management measures in place, it added.
However, the STC did not release the racing schedule due to "the current situation".
It will announce the racing fixtures for July to September on its racing portal.
It is understood that there will be only two race meetings for a start next month, probably with more races.
The STC said the welfare and health of everyone involved with racing at the Singapore Racecourse remains a top priority.
"The club will put in place strict protocols and Safe Management Measures to ensure the conduct of race meetings held behind closed doors resumes safely and efficiently, when race operations restart," added its statement.
"To minimise the risks of Covid-19 transmission, the Singapore Racecourse will not re-open to the public for the time being.
"We thank our customers for their continued support and seek their understanding that these arrangements are necessary to ensure their safety and well-being, in alignment with the Government's regulations and guidelines."
News on the resumption of racing at Kranji was given the thumbs-up by the racing fraternity, which has been starved of local racing for so long.
Online wagering on overseas horse races was allowed from last Wednesday.
Avid racegoer Danny Pillai, 72, was exhilarated on hearing that Singapore racing will restart on July 11.
"I'm zealously looking forward to the sound of thundering hooves from our horses come July 11," said the health screener, who has been following racing since 1974.
Said Michael Clements, president of the Association of Racehorse Trainers (Singapore): "Well, it's great news that we are resuming racing. We are all happy, albeit with limited race days.
"We're pleased to make a start and get going again and, hopefully, normal racing operations will resume in time."
Three-time Singapore champion jockey Vlad Duric did cartwheels, after having to sit out for over three months without any income with no racing.
"It's fantastic. At least, we've got the race meetings to look forward to. It has been trying times for a lot of the industry participants," said the Australian.
"From a jockey's point of view, we have no income for more than three months, so it's very difficult. It's good that we can get back to work and, hopefully, with the race meetings coming up, we can at least earn some riding fees and some prize money. It's positive."
"The Singapore Turf Club has such a wonderful history, well over 150 years, so it will be wonderful to keep the club going and successful into the future. That's what we hope, going forward."