Racing Towards Global Excellence
“The Committee is dedicated to the advancement of horse racing in Malaysia and will do its best to further the interests of our stakeholders which include the government, ordinary members, employees, owners, trainers, riders and followers of our racing globally.”
– YBhg Tan Sri Datuk Richard Cham Hak Lim, Chairman of Lembaga Totalisator Malaysia & Selangor Turf Club.
Selangor Turf Club (SLTC) has worked relentlessly since the pre-pandemic years in order to improve the prospects of the thoroughbred racing industry. However, the Covid-19 outbreak dealt a devastating blow to the industry and the world at large. There is no better moment than now to evaluate and adjust our strategy in response to the rapidly changing industry landscape. SLTC intends to implement a number of new measures which it hopes will boost the country’s racing industry and propel the Club forward as a significant player in the region.
The ’life blood’ of horse racing is the prize money offered to its winning owners. It is simply the reward for investing in a thoroughbred.
SLTC will soon embark on managing and operating its own wagering system. This is expected to provide SLTC with the opportunity of increasing its racing turnover. With greater turnover, the Club will enjoy an increase in income which may be channeled back in terms of higher prize money in the future.
By improving the prize money structure, owners will be encouraged to invest in the sport. It will also make it more viable for owners to import better quality horses and to race them in SLTC. There is also a positive feedback loop as quality racehorses attract greater following among racing enthusiasts. This in turn translates to higher betting turnover. In addition, an increase in the number of horses in training will be a boost to our trainers.
The Committee is cognizant that a Racing jurisdiction is judged on many levels. One significant criteria is the classic races which are held in that jurisdiction. The SLTC Committee is striving to ensure that Selangor’s best races are admitted into the International Cataloguing Standards and International Statistics (Blue Book) through attaining an accepted Group, Listed or Black Type accreditation. In order to achieve this long-term goal, the prize money on offer needs to reach a certain level or at the very least, be on an upward trajectory.
Consistent with this aim, SLTC is pleased to announce that effective from 1st January 2024, the prize money for its races will be increased as follows :
|RM (current)||RM (Year 2024)|
|Tunku Gold Cup||150,000||200,000|
|Selangor Gold Cup||150,000||200,000|
|Piala Emas Sultan Selangor||150,000||200,000|
|Sports Toto Supreme Challenge Cup||100,000||120,000|
|Class 1 (80 & Above)||39,000||60,000|
|Class 2 (71 – 89)||37,000||50,000|
|Class 3 (57 – 74)||34,500||40,000|
|Class 4A (44 – 61)||30,500||35,000|
|Class 4B (44 – 55)||26,000||30,000|
|Class 5A (43 & Below)||18,500||25,000|
|Class 5B (35 & Below)||14,500||20,000|
|Restricted Maiden / 3YO Race||39,000||50,000|
|Maiden / Open Maiden||24,500||25,000|
In order to promote a series of races for younger horses, the Club is working with various international bloodstock companies such as New Zealand Bloodstock and Magic Millions to re-establish the Juvenile 3YO and 4YO Series. From 2024 and onwards, more black type races will be added to the current list of Black type races. There will be an average of one Black type race per month in the 2024 MRA racing calendar. It is hoped that this will enhance the line-up of events for the 3 Malaysia Turf Clubs.
Towards this objective, SLTC is pleased to announce the following additional Black type races*:
|Race name||Prize money in RM (Year 24/25)|
|(1) 3Year-Old series 1100m||100,000|
|(2) 3Year-Old series 1400m||100,000|
|(3) 3Year-Old series 1600m||100,000|
|(4) 4Year-Old series 1200m||100,000|
|(5) 4Year-Old series 1400m||100,000|
|(6) 4Year-Old series 1700m||100,000|
|(7) Chairman Trophy ( 5YO >), 1400m||100,000|
|(8) Novelty Excellence Trophy, Track 2, 1175m||80,000|
|(9) Novelty Excellence Trophy, Track 2, 1775m||80,000|
* SLTC reserves the right to name and change the prize money for the above races.
In 2020, the Committee founded the Selangor Turf Club Apprentice School. The aim was to develop young Malaysian riders and to provide a pipeline of jockeys for the future. Some apprentice riders have come from as far as the East Coast of Malaysia. With the resounding success of the SLTC Apprentice School, the Club will re-introduce the Apprentice Challenge Series which was discontinued in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Apart from our horses, jockeys are the icons and celebrities of the racing industry. Whilst their part is race riding, they are expected to conduct themselves professionally and with integrity. This is a core pillar of a successful racing industry. The Committee will remain steadfast in its efforts to maintain racing integrity and to ensure that the sport will continue to command the confidence of the racing public.
To recognise the vital role that jockeys play in the industry, the Club will introduce a new scheme whereby an additional RM100 incentive fee will be given to jockeys based on performance. SLTC also plans to introduce a merit-based riding fee structure for all jockeys. The riding fee is expected to be further increased beyond 2024. Details of the incentive system will be announced in due course.
Finally, SLTC will move towards a system whereby riding licenses will be issued to jockeys based on performance and their riding record. As the number of licenses will be capped, jockeys who have approved riding permits should be able to secure a healthy book of rides on race days. The Club intends to limit the number of riding licenses to approximately 25. Also, SLTC has plans to invite the top foreign jockeys to ride as visitors or on long-term contracts.
Totalisator turnover from wagering activities constitutes the principal source of income for SLTC. More than 90% of the Club’s revenue is derived from wagering related commissions and staging fees from overseas partners. From the totalisator turnover, taxes and duties are subtracted and paid to the government. The income derived by SLTC from wagering activities is used to fund prize-money, infrastructure expenses and other expenditure needed to develop the sport.
SLTC is looking at ways to improve the turnover of its totalisator operations. The options include introducing more overseas races to our local customers. We are also aware of the positive impact of bigger pools and liquidity on stimulating wagering turnover. Accordingly, we are exploring the possibility of commingling with other racing centers in order to create bigger and more liquid wagering pools.
In order to capitalize on these opportunities, SLTC will embark on a major exercise to upgrade its wagering and totalisator system. This is a significant step forward for SLTC and is expected to increase the size of our betting pools and level of totalizator turnover in the future.
In addition, SLTC will continue to identify new export markets for Selangor’s races. Presently, our races are beamed live via simulcasts to Australia, UK, Ireland, North America, India, Turkey as well as neighbouring countries such as Singapore and Macau. There are opportunities to expand our simulcast further. It is hoped that this will bolster our profile and income. It goes without saying that ongoing efforts to recapture our domestic market remain an important priority. SLTC intends to look at ways to disseminate timely and relevant information to its racing fans in order to enhance customer engagement and satisfaction.
In order to assist owners and trainers procure new horses, SLTC will continue to provide incentives for owners who buy horses in major auctions overseas including Magic Millions Gold Coast 2YO Sales, New Zealand Bloodstock Ready to Run 2YO Sales, Aintree Park Thoroughbreds and Yulong Melbourne bespoke 2YO Sales. Additionally, SLTC is planning to import young horses and conduct auctions locally either through public sales or close bidding.
The National Stud Farm in Perak originated from the vision of Malaysia first Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman. It ceased its operations approximately 10 years ago. However, there is rekindled interest to operate a breeding facility in Malaysia. This presents an opportunity to rebuild a bona fide breeding industry in the country. The Club is currently discussing with several parties to revive the local breeding industry. If successful, it will give owners of well-bred and/or good performing mares a chance to breed their horses after their retirement from racing. This will revive the MAL (Malaysia) breeding suffix and secure Malaysia’s place in the internationally recognised Asian Stud Book Committee & Oceania.
SLTC’s representatives met with several investors and breeders recently. We believe with the support of Lembaga Totalisator Malaysia, a revival of the historic National Stud Farm will expand and deepen our thoroughbred racing industry, generate employment and create a more holistic eco-system for the equine industry.
With the healthy increase in horse population, SLTC plans to schedule its races on a weekly basis. If demand justifies it, the Club will assess the feasibility of night racing.
PLATINUM HORSE CLUB
Horse racing is a wonderful spectacle and is a social pastime which anyone can enjoy. It provides enthusiasts with a unique setting for recreation and entertainment. It is a venue for visitors to socialize, network and meet with friends. Towards this end, SLTC has developed The Platinum Horse Entrepreneurs Club (PHEC). The Club aims to attract and introduce young and successful professionals/entrepreneurs to the world of horse racing. The PHEC activities such as the Horse Entrepreneur Award at Berjaya Times Square Hotel in May 2023, are in-line with SLTC Chairman Tan Sri Richard Cham’s vision and goal of bringing equine sports closer to the people of Malaysia.
This year, PHEC organised the PHEC Entrepreneur Cup, Ladies Day in May and Horse Racing Carnival with Celebrities in September.
Currently, renovation is undergoing to build a members’ ‘club house’ situated within the SLTC grandstand. The 8,000 square feet space will offer an ideal environment for business networking and members to enjoy an exciting afternoon of races.
To ensure that our trackwork and gallops are conducted safely, SLTC will refurbish its training track in stages. As for its race days, the Club will make use of its Main and Track 2 (inner track).
The Club has embarked on a pilot project to test a revolutionary underlying drainage matrix which was installed on a portion of the main grass track. The trial has proved successful. We believe that by utilizing the drainage system across the entire track’s racing surface, it will negate any track bias and ensure that the racing surface is safe even after a substantial downpour. The drainage system will be installed for the entire outer track in 2024.
Lembaga Totalisator Malaysia has played an instrumental role in upgrading the SLTC Veterinary hospital and providing it with the latest facilities and equipment. The hospital was renamed as National Equine Hospital this year. The welfare of our equine athletes continues to be a priority for our Club. The Veterinary Department will implement a package for common veterinary services and treatments in the interest of animal welfare and to safeguard horse owners’ investments. More information on this will be released soon.
The Committee is dedicated towards ensuring that all horses stabled at SLTC receive excellent care. Furthermore, with a growing population of horses comes the responsibility of caring for the animals after their racing days are over. Options for re-homing, re-training and after-care issues are being studied.
The thoroughbred racing industry contributes to the Malaysian economy in many different ways including in the following areas:
- Employment. Skilled professionals, jockeys, track riders, blacksmiths, office staff, trades people and other workers are employed directly or indirectly by the thoroughbred racing industry.
- Taxation. Totalisator activities including the hosting of local and overseas races generate consistent tax revenues for the Government.
- Support for other businesses and services. The industry creates demand for supporting businesses such as veterinary services, production of horse feed, equine supplies, engineering services, food and beverage etc.
- Hotel and tourism. Horse racing has international appeal. It attracts overseas visitors and raises the profile of a city as an attractive destination for travellers.
- Foreign income. Racing can create new income streams for the country. The export of our races via simulcasts to overseas centres have created a source of foreign exchange income for the industry.
SLTC looks forward to working closely with the Perak Turf Club, Penang Turf Club, Lembaga Totalisator Malaysia, Government of Malaysia and other stakeholders as we implement our initiatives which we believe will lead to a more dynamic and competitive thoroughbred racing industry in Malaysia.
Horse racing has existed in Malaysia for over 130 years. SLTC believes with the implementation of its plans, the industry will be in a position to sustain itself and thrive in the years to come.