Horse racing in Singapore


Every once in awhile, something comes up to break the monotony here. Last night, i joined about 15 other expats at singapore’s Turf Park for some horse racing, courtest of Saeful Mawar and PT McLen Equipment. Saeful is a regular at Goodies and invited me to this shinding last year, which I declined because I thought the cost was too high, only to find out later that all expenses, including the hotel, were covered.

I did have to pay for the ferry trip to Singapore ($40) and about $16 in taxi fares, but those were minor. We all stayed at the Traders hotel, a 4-star, although my room was small. The bed was very nice, however, although I was there late and up early.

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Saeful is a part owner in a horse that was racing (he finished 10th) and he had reserved a corporate box. Lots of great food, including sushi, and free flowing liquor by the bottle and beer. We even went down to the warmup area before his horse’s race to meet the trainer and jockey.

I had a budget of how much I could lose and managed to stay under it. Did win one race for $23 Singapore dollars ($19) on a SG$5 bet. The betting is a bit different here and it took me awhile to figure out the racing forms. Had a lot of near misses. Saeful hit for SG$1,350 on the last race (he bet $300) and a couple others took home good money.

From the track, we returned to our transport and headed into town at about 11 p.m. to check out the bars. The first one (and my last) was Brix, underneath the Grand Hyatt. There was a waiting line outside but we had reservations, a section in the back of this large and winding almost cave-like bar. Live band was playing and the place was loaded with expats from all over the world – and lots of beautiful, totally decked out women. They mostly were working.

I still had my camera and wondered if it would receive the same reception as in Batam but the ladies here were less inclined to pose. Did use it to attract a couple of ladies to our tables, one from Uganda, very pretty. I asked her what she was doing in Singapore. She leaned over to whisper in my ear. “I’m working,” she said with a smile. “I know that sweetheart, I meant why did you end up in Singapore, so far from home.”

Up early this morning (Saturday), I had my coffee, checked out and headed to the ferry terminal, just making it in time to get on the just departing ferry.  It’s amazing what I’ve forgotten about going through the ferry experience, immigration and such.

Here are the pictures:

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About 2bagsandapack

Lifetime journalist, author, magazine editor and publisher, now semi-retired and traveling the world. My plan, after living in Costa Rica for 14 months, was to visit a new country in southern Europe every three months to experience the culture and the challenge of adapting to a new environment, while on a fixed income. That plan was sidetracked when I was offered a job in Indonesia, providing an opportunity to explore Asia. Indonesia lasted for a 4 wonderful years but I have now moved on to Hua Hin, Thailand.
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