Dato’ Sir Clough Thuraisingham (1953 till 1969)
The first post war chairman of the Selangor Turf Club and he held the office from August 1953 to September 1969. He took over from Mr D T Waring where he oversaw the transition of the Selangor Turf Club from a European concern to a local one. In 1958, he replaced the old attap shed with a $1 million grandstand.
Dato’ Sir Clough Thuraisingham was instrumental in paving the way for the local riding boys to be accepted as professionals. It was during the Great Floods in 1957 when the Ampang track was in poor state and the grandstand was in less than three inches of water. Dato’ Sir Clough roped in the entire track riders and riding boys when the foreign riders refused to cooperate.
In 1966, a Royal Stand was incorporated into the grandstand and the patron of the Club, Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj, the first Prime Minister of Malaysia opened the venue. During his tenure, the betting at all three turf clubs were formalized and regulated under the 1961 Totalisator Board Act.
Dato’ Lee Kok Chee (1972 till 1987)
The era of Chairman Dato’ Lee Kok Chee was one that witnessed expansion beyond this region. During his time, the Selangor Turf Club sought to affiliate itself with overseas racing clubs and began fostering active participation in the Asian Racing Conference. Great jockeys like Lester Piggott, Pat Eddery and Yves St. Martin were seen in action at the Ampang Racecourse. It was during the same time that the Selangor Turf Club jointly played host with the other turf clubs in Penang and Perak to the 19th Asian Racing Conference.
He also transformed the administration and management of horse racing to more sophisticated methods, especially with the computerization of betting and the telecast of races within the MRA circuit.
It was also during his time when the issue of moving the site emerged as a concern in 1982 when the Government had expressed an interest to turn Jalan Ampang into the Green Lung of Kuala Lumpur thus helping to ease traffic congestion.
Dato’ Ronald Khoo Teng Swee (1987 till 1998)
Elected as the third local Chairman of the Selangor Turf Club and he held the position from June 1987 till his demise on March 1998. He played a pivotal role in the relocation of the Selangor Turf Club from its premises in Jalan Ampang to Jalan Sungei Besi in 1993.
The Selangor Turf Club at Sungei Besi is equipped with state-of-the-art racing facilities amidst 256 acres of lush greenery with the finest stabling and training facilities comprising 720 stables, an equine hospital, an equine swimming pool, a 2000-metre turf racing track with two elevated bends and a grandstand that can accommodate 25,000 people.
Dato’ Ronald Khoo was also instrumental in bringing about recognition of the local breeding industry at the international level culminating with the approval of the Malaysian Stud Book by the International Stud Book Authority in 1996. He also served as Keeper of the Asian Stud Book.
He served as Chairman of the Totalisator Board of Malaysia from April 1991 till March 1993 and was a Board Member for 14 years. During his tenure on the Totalisator Board of Malaysia, he also played a vital role in enhancing the growth of the local horse breeding industry and the breeding of horses at the National Stud Farm.
YAM Tunku Dato’ Seri Shahabuddin bin Tunku Besar Burhanuddin (1998 till 2009).
From the beginning of his tenure as Chairman of the Selangor Turf Club, Tunku Shahabuddin is the central force behind the promotion of Malaysian horse racing amongst the members of the Asian Racing Federation. Affiliations with Gold Circle Kenilworth from South Africa, the Melbourne Racing Club and the Western Australian Turf Club from Australia, the Korea Racing Association, International Racing Week and locally.
Under his leadership, the Selangor Turf Club has prospered through the introduction of many innovative programmes. Among these are the introduction of many high profile races, including the Triple Crown Series in 2003 carrying total prize money of 2.5 million ringgit, making it the richest sporting event in the country. In 2005, the Juvenile Million Challenge made its debut with prize money and bonuses totaling one million ringgit. These highly satisfactory debuts raised the profile and interest of horse racing and from 2001 till 2005, betting turnover and racing attendance experienced an unprecedented growth of up to 95% within this 5-year period.
A well-known figure among the business community, Tunku was bestowed the highest international trade award in the Australian Export Awards in 2000, being awarded ‘International Businessman of the Year’. In 2002, Tunku was appointed an Honorary Officer (AO) in the General Division of the Order of Australia awards for his service towards Australia-Malaysia relations.