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The Singapore Derby is one of the top horse races that is held annually at the Kranji Racecourse in Singapore every mid-July. This race is staged left-handed on turf and is contested over 2400 metres of 1.24 miles or 10 furlongs. The race is open to four-year-old race hoses only.
It carries a prize pool of $1.15 million and in hopes of boosting Singapore’s credentials as a major international hub for sports, the Singapore Derby will be held by the Singapore Turf Club in partnership with the Dubai-based Emirates Airlines.
It was first staged in 1880 at the Serangoon Road Race Course in Farrer Park and it was regularly conducted there until 1910 when it was cancelled. It wasn’t until 1959 that the Singapore Derby was resurrected by the Singapore Turf Club. However, it was staged at the Bukit Timah Racecourse until 1999 when it was closed to be replaced by the Kranji Racecourse.
Just like its changing venue, the race distance of the Singapore Derby has changed from time to time since it resurfaced in 1959. From 1959-1965, the race was held at a distance of 2413.5 metres. This distance was also used in 1968 and from 1970-1975. In 1966, the race was staged for 2425.38 metres and that distanced was adjusted to 2011.25 meters in 1967 and 1969.
In 1976, the distance of the Singapore Derby was fixed to about 2400 metres. Then, that distanced was brought down to exactly 2400 metres from 1977 to 1997. In 1998, the race’s distance was about 2000 metres while its current distance of exactly 2000 metres was first used in 1999.
When the race distance was changed to about 2000 metres in 1998, the race conditions were also changed. From then on, the race was open to four-year-old horses only and conditions for eligibility and residency can be found on the website of the Singapore Turf Club.
As for the Singapore Derby’s records, the 2000-metre speed record for completing the Singapore Derby was recorded by Par Excellence in 1999 with 2:01.1. Meanwhile, race horses November Sun, Feu Vert and Courtline Jester share the distinction of winning the most number of Singapore Derby races with two apiece.
November Sun won back-to-back races in 1968 and 1969 while Feu Vert also got the double in consecutive years of 1985 and 1986. On the other hand, Courtline Jester won the two Singapore Derby races under his name in 1995 and 1996.
The most successful owner in the Singapore Derby is the Auric Stable which has produced five Singapore Derby winners.
They have won in 1970, 1975, 1990, 1995 and 1996. Meanwhile, no jockey is as successful as Johnny L. Wilson when it comes to the Singapore Derby for he has won three of which. His victories came in 1963, 1972 and 1975.
As for trainers, Ivan W. Allan is at the top of the list with nine victories. He was triumphant during the Singapore Derby editions of 1972, 1974, 1976, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1983, 1985 and 1986.