Exhilarating Emirates Singapore Derby 2017 Event

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Emirates Singapore Derby Header

I vividly remembered the day I was introduced to the Horse Racing sport. I was still a kid when my Dad brought the family to the Singapore Turf Club during one of its Open Day events – Where people under 18 could enter and no bet placements took place… Just pure fun and fascination to watch the horses galloping with vigour and speed. It was certainly memorable to be part of the crowd cheering with excitement while witnessing the trial runs!

Fast forward to many years later, and as an adult, those fond memories returned to my mind, when I was at the recent 22nd Emirates Singapore Derby race, sponsored by Emirates. Though often known as the "most exciting 2 minutes in sports" (since that's how a horse race usually last), the Emirates Singapore Derby is MORE than just that, and I am more than happy to share with you why.

Singapore Turf Club

Regarded as one of the most anticipated race and highly-covetable social event in the local horse racing calendar, the Emirates Singapore Derby is the coveted event to attend on a lovely Sunday. This is where one gets to enjoy fine hospitality, dining and wining, high glamour and fashion and soaking in all the excitement and action that entails with the sport of horse racing. Hence, I was thrilled to be once again, invited for the event. Read on as I share my experience and hopefully, it will spur you to attend it next year. ;)

Emirates’s Sponsorship
The Dubai-based Emirates airline company sponsors numerous global sports and lifestyle events, but it has the longest sponsorship portfolio with Emirates Singapore Derby. This shows the prestige and success of the event that has Emirates to sponsor it for 22 years consecutively!

The Emirates Hospitality Experience
The Emirates Singapore Derby event is a brilliant blend of the horse racing sport and fashion, with the finest touch of the Emirates’s signature hospitality provided to Marquee Package (SGD128) ticket holders, which I felt delighted to be able to fully immerse myself in this exquisite experience, all thanks to Singapore Turf Club!

Inside the Marquee Tent

The perks of being a Marquee ticket holder is being steps away from the intense pulsating racing action, with the starting gates for some races being just right in front of the Marquee tent. In addition, having the best views of the races as this is also where the horses make the home turn and power their way to the finishing line! It was amazing to have this opportunity to be that near, and come to think about it... My heart was racing with much excitement as the races were going on. My desire for speed and adrenaline was all displayed so obviously on my eager face!

Witnessing all the Thrills and Spills Upclose


In addition, one gets to eat, drink and get merry at this joyous event, alongside the sumptuous buffet spread and free-flow alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. There were the live food stations where one got to also savour the brilliantly-prepared Angus Striploin Beef And to also bring home an exclusive Emirates Cap and Bear as momentos.


There was a myriad of activities held at the Marquee, such as the:
- Catwalk appearances by this year’s Miss Singapore International finalists (Which may I add that I was also a Miss Singapore International finalist once upon a time, haha!)
- Music performances
- Models showcasing dazzling Derby fashion outfits so that people can find inspiration for their outfits next year. 
- Best dressed contest for Marquee ticket holders, and winner was voted by those present.
- Emirates Prediction contest to guess the winner of each of the ongoing races that were going on that day.

Emirates Prediction Contest Form

The Emirates Prediction contest was my favorite activity that kept me busy in between the races, and in between of sipping wine, that is. ;)

Emirates Singapore Derby Race Prediction Contest_

Horse Betting
So why just play the prediction contest? Try your luck in horse betting. But in my opinion, it takes more than just luck… It requires much experience and analytical skills to predict a race win successfully, and that ‘gut feel’ in you to select the horse to wager on.

What's more, the unique thing about wagering on horse racing is you would not know the exact odds of it until the race starts, as it keeps changing based on the amount bet on the horse versus the amount that is bet on other horses in the same race.

I actually studied the race information in the race book before placing the bets, such as the number of times a horse won and lost in the races participated, weather, turf, health, comments, etc. Sharing you a piece of good news ---> I won the wagers I placed for two races!  (1) Win the Race *Bet Type: WIN* and (2) Be in the 1st to 3rd positions *Bet Type: PLACE*.

Just for sharing purposes:
Race 6: Chose ‘Dream Comes True’ horse #9, and it was a dream CAME true as it came in FIRST! This was a double-win since it met the criteria to win a WIN and PLACE type.
Race 7: Predicted that it would be ‘Best Tothelign’ horse #3, and it came in third, so it was a PLACE win. Initially, I was reading the comment of him in the race guide and was sitting on the fence as to even wager on him. But I went with my gut feel on this one... So I was surprised he even won! Come to think of it, he was increasing his pace steadily through the race as he slipped from 8th to 6th and finally to the 3rd position. 

The winning ticket for Race 6!

The winning ticket for Race 7!

Here’s me at the Betting Counter, collecting my wins.

(Public Service Announcement: Horse betting should be a recreational activity for fun, for a little windfall, within our financial means, but never an addiction.)

Derby Fashion
I love derby fashion as it shows the elegance and sophistication of a lady, along with the hats, fascinators, feathers, lace, colorful cocktail dresses and heels which female Derby-goers would wear. I love how both men and ladies dress up for the occasion!

My outfit choice for Emirates Singapore Derby 2017 was a Karen Millen number that has a fitted bodice and a flared A-lined skirt, which is of a similar cut to the dress by Emilia Wickstead, that Kate Middleton wore during her royal visit to Luxembourg in May this year. The green shade is in-trend as it is one of 2017 Spring/Summer colors, and it is the Summer season now.

Furthermore, when I was deciding on what my Derby outfit should be, I was thinking that red would be an obvious color which people may choose for their outfits as it is one of two corporate colors of Emirates, and also because I have worn red when I attended my first Emirates Singapore Derby event last year. So why not make it a color quartet series of Red, Green, White, Black, as these are the colors of the UAE flag (which Emirates is based in UAE). My dress was the PERFECT choice as it comprised of green, white and black colors (save for the silver zipper). That's some creativity play, isn't it? ;)

My Emirates Singapore Derby 2016 Outfit

My Emirates Singapore Derby 2017 Outfit



My fascinator color was also inspired by
Kate Middleton’s black fascinator style.
Fascinator - Kate Middleton Inspired

A group photo of all the invited E-influencers who
dressed up for the event, along with Singapore Turf Club staff.

Splendid derby fashion by some guests

Horse Racing
Getting to the exciting part of my blogpost is none other than the horse races itself! Horse racing is regarded as a sport, and in Singapore – A legalised recreational gambling activity. Punters place their bets with Singapore Turf Club (Singapore’s only licensed horse racing operator and betting service provider), and may head down to the racecourse on weekends to watch it live and soak in the exhilarating atmosphere.


The jockey's silks (aka jackets) are usually brightly-colored and loud patterns. Why?
(1) To allow race commenters and spectators to spot them quickly and from afar.
(2)  To represent the ‘registered colors’ of the owner or trainer who employs the trainers.
(3)  Symbolic significance of loyalty and festivity, and often with matching helmet, vest and gloves.

With such fine detailing of their uniform, it is to my amusement when I learnt that jockeys will throw their new uniform on the ground, stomp on it and soil it to ward off any misfortune during the races. 

Brightly-colored Silks Worn by Jockeys


Jockeys leading the horses to the starting point


Seconds just before the start of a race

And there they go!

Once the race is flagged off, helpers dashed to push aside the starting gates and make the soil even, in anticipation of the race horses that would pass the area to approach the finishing line.


The bend before the horses gives their all in
a straight direction, towards the finishing line.


Takes physical strength of a jockey to actually maintain
a crouching position while having to also handle the
horse at the same time!

The final seconds before the end of a race
Horse Racing GIF

Parade Ring
We were brought to the parade ring next. This is where the horses for the upcoming race will walk around the ring, led by their minders, before walking to the starting point for race flag-offs, via the glass-sided horse walk that runs through the grandstand and connects the parade ring straight to the track.

While I was at the parade ring, I could not help but to feel the bustle in the air as this is also where race-goers can have a close look of the race horses while they are at the Viewing Circle. For the lucky ones like us, we got to stand in the middle of the Viewing Circle (which is only for the horse owners and jockeys to be at) and admire the horses from a safe distance. You would not want to distract/agitate an adrenaline-charged horse that is raring to give it its all, in the next few minutes, right?


A picture of my Burberry clutch, which the brand's logo
consists of a knight and horse!
Simply befitting to take to a horse racing event!

Emirates Singapore Derby 2017
Out of the races that took place that day, I would say Race 9 - The Emirates Singapore Derby is the 'cream of the crop' event for the day, as it would be a great accomplishment and prestige to win this significant race. Undeniably, getting the S$1.15 million prize money would be amazing for the owner, jockey and trainer.

The excitement and anticipation of the race rose remarkably when the thoroughbreds were racing head-to-head, nearing the finishing line! I noticed bated breaths and still positions giving way to signs of joy and and excitement for those who were rooting for the (winning) geld!


For that 2000 metres on the tracks, jockeys pushed their horses to their maximum speed in a bid to be crowned the Winner. The race was won triumphantly by #2 Infantry, a horse trained by HW Tan and ridden by jockey - M Nunes, owned by Thai owners, in slightly over 2.2 minutes!

Shot taken, showing #2 Infantry in first position

Winner's Group Photo

I was telling my friend while we were at the race that it takes about S$3K a month to maintain a racing horse. My friend said it would be a good investment (if it wins). Why? You see, the S$1.15 million is split three ways to the Owner (48.25%), Trainer (6.25%) and Jockey (5%). Therefore if you are an owner and your horse wins the Emirates Singapore Derby race, you will get more than S$550K! If anyone is keen on doing so, count me in ;p

Galloping On for 2017
Before we called it a day, we were led to the reception area where the Singapore Turf Club distributed our goodie bags and to announce the results of the Best Dressed E-fluencers contest. It was really a surprise to be one of the winners, which I walked away with a bottle of champagne and an exclusive horseshoe (Yay! To more luck!).


Goodie bag items and prizes

It was certainly a memorable event to start off the third quarter of the year. Going back to the story of my dad bringing us to the race course, here's something he said that day which I remembered : "Sometimes, the strongest horse would not win the race... It may be the heart and 'Never Give Up' spirit of a "weaker" horse that eventually makes it the race champion". Bearing this in mind, let this be our motivation to gallop strong and with perseverance for the rest of 2017!

And yes, may I have the best of luck!

Glad to be part of this event – Where the majesty beauty of the horses, athleticism of the jockeys, and sports fans blend seamlessly together to take this perfect ride! Much thanks to Singapore Turf Club for the invitation and lovely experience.

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