great tradition of the Yang Di Pertua Negeri Gold Cup went back as
far as 1921 when HAUD, with RN Hobbs astride, won over
"one mile and distance" at the old racecourse in Jalan
MacAlister. The race was then known as the Penang Gold Cup.
For some reasons, it was not until 1934 that the Gold Cup was
run again, when STAR PLAYER (D McPherson) was successful. KNIGHT'S
EYE became the first horse to win the race twice, in 1937 and
In 1939, the Penang Turf Club moved to its new "home"
in Batu Gantong and that year’s Gold Cup was won by ROYAL
WORLINGTON, after which racing was halted because of World War
The Gold Cup series resumed in 1948 when PREDOMINANCE
became the first post-war winner.
COL. WHATNOT's second consecutive in 1953 created
history, for it was the first time a local jockey had won the Gold
Cup. That honour went to Abdul Mawi, who two years later repeated
the success on ZABAGLIONE.
THREE RINGS won his first Penang Gold Cup in 1954 with
Harry McCloud astride and two years later, scored with SE Geyer
The race was renamed the Yang Di Pertua Negeri Gold Cup in
The only other horse to have won the Gold Cup twice is ST
GALLEN. The son of Decies first won the race in 1984 and
remarkably, it was four years later that he achieved his second
ST GALLEN was ridden by apprentices on both occasions: The
first was K L Oo and the second time Danny Chee. So far they are
the only apprentices to have won the Gold Cup.
History was also created in 1980 when SCARAMOUCHE II,
ridden by Chris Gwilliam, became the first three-year-old to win
the Gold Cup, and for that matter, any classic in the local
In recent years, prizemoney for the Gold Cup has kept on increasing,
with a RM1mil offered in 2000 when BALLISTIC
(J Saimee) was triumphant. It was the first time a million-ringgit
race was run on Malaysian soil.
The prizemoney was raised by RM250,000 in 2001 when CONFLUENCE
became the first mare in many years to win the Gold Cup. In 2002, the prizemoney was raised to RM1.3mil and a further RM50,000 added in 2003.
But due to reduced funding, the
prizemoney was scaled back to RM1mil in 2009 and further lowered to
RM750,000 in 2010 when the race was held at Sungei Besi racecourse
in Kuala Lumpur due to upgrading work on the main track in Penang.
The prizemoney was further reduced to
RM500,000 in 2011 and further reduced to RM350,000 in 2014.
After 30 years being run over 2200m,
the distance of the Gold Cup was reduced to 2000m in a bid to attract more runners
In 2019, SACRED EMPIRE smashed the course record with
a time of 1 min 59.90 secs, the first ever to crack the 2 min