M was in town, so the whole crew decided that we were overdue for a trip to the Singapore Turf Club. It was a first for some of us, or first in a long time. This is my second trip – I first visited the Singapore Turf Club three years ago as part of my bye-bye Singapore project. In any case, not something you’ll do often. It also works out with our current group, as interest is pretty high for horse racing. In particular, partners of some of the guys are very interested gamers.
Getting there is fairly easy. Just take a train to Kranji MRT station. It’s beside the stadium. There is also a multi-storey carpark available if you drive. You can pay for the $3 entrance fee with your EZ-link card, and are encouraged to do so, as it is cheaper than paying by cash. This is for entrance to the lower grandstand. If you want additional comfort of being in the upper grandstand, where there is air conditioning, it is an additional $2 (or $3 if you pay by cash). The first time we were there, we went with the lower grandstand. There was certainly a higher level of intensity, as you are really pretty close to the horses, and you’re surrounded by people who have very intense, emotional interest in the outcome of races. It was, however, also really hot. This time round, the lower grandstand was under renovation. Also, this is a pro air-condition crowd, so we went with that. Props to C getting us a seat right at the finish line.
They generally have races on Friday evenings, and Sunday afternoons. They have more kid-friendly Sunday afternoons, whereby you can bring your kid to the marquee to check out the horses before they go for the races. Just check the schedule online. At the lower grandstand, they also have this pathway where they lead the horse from the marque to the race track. You can watch the horse go by, if you wish.
As a people watching exercise, horse racing in Singapore can be slightly depressing. Most of the people there are definitely avid gamers. While we were having one of those 30 min intervals between races and just chatting, around 10 min before the real time races here, we’d usually hear a mad shouting, as the gamers are also betting on the races in Macau. And while most of us bet 1-5 tickets ranging from 5-20 bucks a bet, other people actually collected their winnings by giving a stack of betting slips to the cashier.
Nevertheless, I’d say it’s a nice experience with a group of friends. There’s time for trash talking in the 30 min intervals between races, there’s some cheap food available at the food courts, and $4.50 beers available. Just try not to lose your pants betting on the horsies.
(photos from 3 years ago)
View from Lower Grandstand at Singapore Turf Club
Start of a race
Watching the last race of the night from the lower grandstand
Excitement at the lower grandstand