The Complete Cyber Guide to Horse Racing in Malaysia and Singapore

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Back To Classics

(Governor Gold Cup)

Click here for full list of winners.

YASTRZEMSKI winning in 2014

The 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 1938.

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 II.

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 up.

The race was renamed the Yang Di Pertua Negeri Gold Cup in 1976.

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 success.

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 circuit.

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 2013.

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 barrier.


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