During the early 70’s horse racing was very much sought after by the prestigious, rich and famous people and even the royalties of the time and was termed as “Sports of Kings.”
It was at the turn of the 19th. century that the horse racing industry was first established in Singapore in 1842, followed by Penang Turf Club in 1864 and in Perak Turf Club and Selangor Turf Club in the years 1886 and 1896 respectively.
The horse racing industry was very well received by a large portion of Malaysian as an exciting form of entertainment as they were attracted by the thrill of winning and the excitement that comes along with it.
One very prominent person who was lured into this fascinating industry was Tan Cheong Soon who was mesmerised by the horses during their routine morning workouts at the then Selangor Turf Club at Jalan Ampang. Thus, this gave rise to a passion for horses and the idea of becoming a horse owner himself in the years that were to follow.
Subsequently, his quest for knowledge on the horse racing industry took form as he developed his friendship with young budding Apprentice, Subian Dalvi. While he travelled with this jockey to all the turf clubs for almost a decade, he gathered as much information as he needed to become involved in this industry.
“I am a 100% business man,” claims Soon who says that horses are one of his favourite hobbies and as he came to understand the trainer’s responsibilities and their skills in preparing horses for races, it further boosted his confidence in becoming a horse owner.
“Uncle Soon” as he is fondly called in the racing circuit began his journey as a horse owner by co-owning a few horses with friends in Ipoh before venturing on his own. At one point, all his horses were under the care of the MRA 1996 Champion Trainer John Brink, who brought in a fair share of winners before it changed hands to Singaporean Trainer Lawson Moy.
Source and further reading — Selangor Turf Club