The Perak Turf Club is a renowned thoroughbred horse racing facility located in Ipoh, in the state of Perak in Malaysia. The club is associated with the Malayan Racing Association and is one of the three main turf clubs in the country, the other two being Penang Turf Club and Selangor Turf Club.
The 136 years old turf club is the upholder of the longstanding horse racing tradition in the region, dating back to 1886 when the first racing event took place at Taiping, the state’s capital at that time.
Presently, the Perak Turf Club is home to the classic 1,600m Perak Coronation Cup. The other two prominent races that take place at the racecourse include the Sultan Golden Vase, the only race that runs over 1,100m on the straight course and the 2,400m Perak Derby, the longest race in the Malaysian and Singapore horse racing circuit.
Want to learn more about this historic turf club? Here is a brief account of the Perak Turf Club’s history and facilities.
Perak Turf Club History
The Perak Turf Club was founded in 1884 and was the first of its kind in Perak. The club’s establishment was Sir Frank Athelstane Swettenham’s vision, the first Resident General of the Federal Malay States. It was his passion for horse racing that led to the formation of the club. At that time, the major tournaments for the region took place in Singapore, Selangor and Penang.
Previously races were run at an old course almost three miles away from the new course, which was at Waterfall Road near the Lake Gardens. The name of the road was later changed to Racecourse road. At that time, regular races were held between Burmese ponies as a source of entertainment and socialisation. People from all classes would come to mingle and gamble. By 1906, the club had a membership of around 250.
However, Taiping was losing its importance as a horse racing venue with time. A major development was the establishment of the Kinta Gymkhana, Batu Gajah, in 1893, which increased horse racing popularity in the region. The gymkhana held its first meeting, the Perak Derby at Batu Gajah in 1896.
Meanwhile, Ipoh was becoming a fast-growing community and took over from Batu Gajah as the hub of horse racing after the establishment of the Ipoh Gymkhana in 1913. The Perak Turf Club shifted to Ipoh in 1934 after the popularity of Taiping had dropped below Ipoh.
Perak Turf Club Facilities
The Perak Turf Club is located at Jalan Raja Di Hilir in Ipoh Perak. The racecourse is set on a vast green field with the splendid Gunung Korbu in the backdrop, one of the tallest mountains in the Malaysian Main Range.
In 1964, the Perak Turf Club underwent a major revamping as its facilities and premises were demolished and rebuilt. The current grandstand on the facility was built around 1967. It was designed by a team of Australian architects. The Sultan of Perak inaugurated the grandstand building on 1st February 1971.
To date, the grandstand is one of the most iconic building structures in Ipoh. The structure comprises two 180ft high towers that overlook the racecourse tracks and winning post. The grandstand has a seating capacity of 20,000 spectators.
The building features luxurious corporate boxes that offer an exclusive view of the racecourse. The corporate boxes are available for hire for individuals and organisations both. Closed-circuit television screens are installed throughout the facility so that the spectators can follow every single moment of the races that take place at the racecourse. The grandstand also has numerous food and beverage stalls at various convenient locations to facilitate the spectators.
The racecourse features 1,600m long sand and grass tracks which act as training facilities for the horse races. The main racing track on the venue is a turf track that is 2000 meters long and has a width of 21 meters. The race track has the distinction of being able to hold an 1100m straight race.
The Perak Turf Club currently has 600 horses in the stables. The club has an Equestrian hospital at the venue. Another prominent feature of the racecourse is the Equestrian Club. Schools, the general public and religious organisations can use the facilities of the Equestrian Club for a fee, including riding lessons and carriage rides etc.
What is the entrance fee of the Perak Turf Club?
The entrance fee for the public grandstand is RM 9, while the tickets for the air-conditioned enclosure can be purchased for RM 15.
What are the main racing events held at the Perak Turf Club?
The most prominent race held at the Perak Turf Club is the classic 1,600m Perak Coronation Cup. The other two prominent races that take place at the racecourse include the Sultan Golden Vase, the only race that runs over 1,100m on the straight course and the 2,400m Perak Derby, the longest race in the Malaysian and Singapore horse racing circuit.
What are the race days at the Perak Turf club?
Races are usually held on Saturday and Sunday, in the first or second week of the month.