Derby postponed, Saas Fee Stakes cancelled
S'pore Turf Club to announce new Derby date later in light of Covid-19 pandemic
The Singapore Turf Club (STC) will be rescheduling the $1 million Singapore Derby race, which was to be held on April 18, at the Singapore Racecourse.
The date for the rescheduled Group 1 Derby will be announced later.
The Saas Fee Stakes, a $175,000 Group 3 feature scheduled on the same day as the Derby, has been cancelled.
The STC will be holding only one local race meeting per week in April. All races will be on Fridays.
As of last Friday, members of public will not be admitted into the Singapore Racecourse.
The above measures are expected to be in place until April 30 and are in line with the Ministry of Health's (MOH) advisory on the tighter measures to minimise further spread of the coronavirus.
The club was to hold a Post Position Draw for the Derby at the Asian Civilisation Museum on April 16. That has been cancelled.
The Singapore Derby is a time-honoured event on the local racing calendar and is the final leg of the Singapore Four-Year-Old Challenge Series.
Bold Thruster won the first leg - the $175,000 Group 3 Silver Bowl over 1,400m on Feb 29.
Siam Blue Vanda took home the second - the $400,000 Group 2 Stewards' Cup over 1,600m on March 20.
Both winners were trained by Michael Clements, who had said that all his five Stewards' Cup runners would be heading for the Derby.
The Singapore Derby is run over 1,800m.
The last horse to sweep the Series was Jolie's Shinju in 2009. That was when the series comprised the Patrons Bowl, the Singapore Derby Trial and the Singapore Derby.
The Derby has always been one of the most important races on the Singapore racing calendar. Inaugurated in 1880 at the then-racecourse at Farrer Park, it was cancelled in 1910 and revived in 1959.
Since then, it has been contested over various distances - from 2,400m to 2,000m and now, 1,800m.
It was for many years sponsored by Emirates Airlines.
The last winner of the Derby was Sun Marshal. Trained by Lee Freedman, he was ridden by Perth jockey Joseph Azzopardi.
Together with the Singapore Gold Cup, it is the second richest race in Singapore, after the $1.5 million Kranji Mile.
The invitational Kranji Mile, won by Hong Kong's Southern Legend the last two years, on May 23 is now in doubt with the Covid-19 pandemic.