current Perak Derby series has a colourful history dating back to
1950 when INDIAN HEATHER, with A E Ayres astride, won over
a distance of 2,414m.
But available record shows that a Perak Derby was run at the
Batu Gajah racecourse in 1986. It was staged by the Kinta Gymkhana
Club with stakes of $1,000, a princely sum then.
It was not known if the Perak Derby continued to be run at Batu
Gajah. Later, racing in Perak was shifted to Taiping until the
Perak Turf Club came into existence.
In the early days of the current Perak Derby series, expatriate
jockey dominated the scene and practically every classic went
their way. The first local boy to win the Perak Derby was Subian
Dalwee in 1962. He scored on NORVAL LAD.
There was a long wait of 11 years before another local jockey,
Winson Liew, now a trainer, won the Derby on CHAMPAGNE II
Only one jockey has won the Derby thrice. Des Coleman, who once
held the record for winning the most number of classics, was
successful on FELTON in 1966, CASSINI PARK in 1968
and FIREBRAND in 1974.
Ivan Allan, currently based in Hong Kong, is the most
successful trainer with nine wins, including two hattricks. Teh
Choon Beng is the next most successful with eight wins.
was created in 2002 when OPPOSING FORCE won the Derby for the
second consecutive year, becoming the first horse to defend his
Then in 2005, OPPOSING FORCE scores again to join an
elite band of horses to win the same classic thrice.
The prizemoney for the Derby, which had drawn small
fields in recent years, was increased from RM250,000 to RM400,000
in 2003 in the hope of raising the depth of the field.