Emirates Singapore Derby 2016 at Singapore Turf Club

Soaring to newer heights in Singapore Derby history, public roadshows were held for the first time, over two weekends to promote the Emirates Singapore Derby, as well as to increase awareness of the horse racing sport and Singapore Derby History that goes back to more than 20 years ago. To find out more about the roadshow and the fun activities which the public took part in, click [HERE] to read in one of my recent blogposts.

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The roadshows culminated the 21st Emirates Singapore Derby race that took place at the grandly-designed Singapore Turf Club on 10 July 2016. This premium racing event is said to be one of the most anticipated race and highly-covetable social event on the local racing calendar.

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It was my first time to attend a Derby race event. Considering the actions, thrills and spills, glamour and fine hospitality happening on that day itself, I was most elated to be part of it and I would not miss it for anything in the world! Let me share with you some information and photos from the race day itself, so that you can know what to expect when you plan to go for the next annual Emirates Singapore Derby.

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Emirates's Sponsorship
The Dubai-based Emirates airline company sponsors many sports and lifestyle events internationally. But when it comes to the Emirates Singapore Derby, it is the longest-established relationship ever in Emirate's global sports portfolio, with this year being the 21st consecutive year. This also makes Emirates to be the longest-standing sponsor in Singapore's horse racing history.

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The Emirates Singapore Derby
Out of the 11 races that took place on 10 July 2016, the most significant one was the Group 1 Emirates Singapore Derby that saw jockeys pushing their racehorses to its maximum velocity, galloping furiously over 2000-metres on turf, for the bid of winning the $1.15 million prize money. The race was won victoriously by David Kok-trained horse "Well Done", ridden by  jockey, Michael Rodd.

David Kok and Michael Rodd after their winning race
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(Image credit: @GazzaDP on Twitter)

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During this event, I learnt how the money won during a race is split between the horse owner, trainer and jockey... Quite a good investment if one is lucky to get an accomplished trainer and jockey and a good horse, in my opinion! For example, Owner (48.25%), Trainer (6.25%) and Jockey (5%), which means the owner of Well Done would have gotten more than 500 Grand for winning the Emirates Singapore Derby! By the way, it cost an owner about SGD3,000/month to maintain the horse.

Experiencing Emirates Hospitality Under One Roof
The well-established Emirates Singapore Derby Event is not only about horses and racing. It is a brilliant blend of sports and fashion, with the fine touch of Emirates's signature hospitality for the Marquee Package (Priced at SGD118) ticket holders. Thanks to Singapore Turf Club, I had the opportunity to fully immerse myself in the deluxe experience of such. From what I know, the marquee package tickets were all sold-out, hence do grab them early if you intend to go for the next annual Emirates Singapore Derby!

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It was certainly most exciting that I was just steps away from the intense pulsating racing action, with the starting gates situated just directly in front of the Marquee. Such close-up actions were only possible at the Marquee.

The Starting Gate Just Right Infront of Me
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Marquee Holders had the Best View of the Action-Packed Races!
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Photo by Genghui

View of the Marquee
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Photo by Genghui

View of the Turf
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For marquee ticket holders like myself, we got to enjoy a sumptuous buffet spread, with free-flow alcoholic/non-alcoholic drinks to celebrate this joyous event, while being hosted in the air-conditioned Marquee.

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Exciting activities such as the Emirates Prediction Contest kept us busy in between races. It was interesting and fun to actually learn how to analyse the races and odds so as to submit my entries. Prizes include the luxurious Chopard watch and Emirates Cardholder for guessing the races correctly.

Here's me filling up the prediction contest form
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Took photos with two gorgeous Emirates air stewardesses!
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Horse Betting
Race-goers can try their luck or reaffirm on their fine analytical skills by placing bets. Since the Emirates Singapore Derby race was the highlight of the whole event, I decided to place my first-ever bet on it. My event partner, Geng Hui, taught me to fill up the betting slip, and I chose to predict on the three fastest horses under the Trio (TRO) bet type. 2 out of 3 horses which I predicted came in as the first four positions!

(PUBLIC SERVICE: While horse betting is a fun activity while at the Derby, we should always bet within our means, for fun, for a little windfall, but never make it to an addiction.)

My portrait with my first-ever horse racing betting slip!
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Derby Fashion
Hats, feathers, lace, and colorful dresses and heels are always the highlight for female Derby-goers. The glitzy Derby event is always like a fashion show for both gentlemen and ladies. There could be fascinators worn by the ladies that are loud and flamboyant, or they can be as classy as how Kate Middleton always seem to be seen in her millinery fashion.

I love to dress up, especially for themed events. For those who know me would have seen me in different hats, outfits, and outfit colors, just to match to the event's theme. I am always game for such dress-ups! My choice of fascinator for the Emirates Singapore Dery 2016 event was inspired by this design worn by Kate Middleton. And as you know, the British take derby fashion very seriously. ;)

Kate Middleton and her fascinator
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As this event fell in between of my course assignment and examination, I did not have ample time to brainstorm an outfit. I made do with what I had from my wardrobe and I chose this silk dress from  the British-band Karen Millen. I think this silky number certainly matched really well with my red fascinator.

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And yes, my fascinator was red as (1) I LOVE RED and (2) it is the corporate color of Emirates. I paired it with my Chanel ear studs and my Chanel Boy bag, diamond rings, Swarovski bracelet and a pair of black leather heels from Guess.

Special thanks to Chester from my hair salon sponsor, Salon De Choix for styling my hair! :)
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Derby Fashion with Renzze and Singapore Turf Club's digital media staff - Jessie and Hong Peng
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Photo with Elaine. We knew each other for almost 10 years!
We met at the Miss Freshkon competition back then, where I was crowned the winner, as well as the Miss Personality subsidiary award winner. Time flies... And glad to see her in the social media scene too! Looking good after all these years, Elaine~ :)
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Some fabulous Derby fashion get-ups by the other race-goers!
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Horse Racing
Being as an equestrian sport, horse racing is a competition between two or more horses to determine the fastest one. Seen as a sport, it is also a recreational gambling activity in most countries, of which it is legalised in Singapore to do so. Punters place their bets with the Singapore Turf Club and weekend races are always filled with horse lover and punters. The exhilaration from the fast actions experienced from watching horse races are certainly one of a kind!

Jockeys leading their horses to the starting point
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If you notice, the jockey's silks (aka their jackets) are usually brightly-colored with loud patterns. This is one way for race commentors and spectators to spot them quickly and from afar. The colors worn are also the 'registered colors' of the owner or trainer who employs the jockeys. The silks and colors are known to be important symbols of loyalty and festivity, and usually come accompanied with matching  helmet, vest and gloves. One cool snippet is that when jockeys are given or purchase a new uniform, they often throw it on the ground, stomp on it and soil it so as to ward off any similar misfortune during the race.

One interesting fact is that all the male race horses required to be castrated/gelded as they can be rather hormonally-driven. In this way, they are more well-behaved and easier to be trained. Basically, more rideable.

Shot taken before the race started.
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Final warm-up before entering into the gates
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Shot taken few seconds before the race started...
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And off they go!!!!
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The photo above was taken just before a race, awaiting for the horses to arrive. The helpers looked so chill, right? But once the race was flagged off, they had to work really fast to push aside the starting gates, and make the turf/soil even (as seen in the photo below), before the horses pass by this area while approaching the finishing line.

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Notice how the jockeys are in a crouching position?
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Horses approaching the finishing line!
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Seconds before the race ended
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Open-air seating area
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The various lounges to catch the action from
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We were led to the viewing circle, where the horses that are racing soon will be guided to walk along the circle, before emerging into the turf, towards the starting point for flag-offs. No flash photography is permitted as it may agitate the horses. It was a marvelous experience to be that close to the race horses!!!

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Horses being led to the turf before their race
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Overall, I enjoyed myself tremendously. Like what I have mentioned in the beginning of this post, I would not miss this for anything in the world. With that being said, I took time off for the day from my examination revision for this event. Afterall, time management is the key to sufficient revision, so I devoted more time before and after this event, just so that I could be part of this memorable classic event, a blend of sports and fashion, traditional and timeless.

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Thanks to Singapore Turf Club!
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