Malaysia is not a country that automatically comes to mind when one thinks about horse racing. Some are surprised to find out that horse racing in Malaysia offers exciting betting action. The trick can be finding an online horse betting site where you can make wagers.

Here is a closer look at what bettors can expect when watching and wagering on the horse races that are conducted in Malaysia.

History of Malaysia Horse Racing

According to the official website of the Malayan Racing Association, horse racing in Malaysia was first established in 1864. This was when the Penang Turf Club was first set up to oversee horse racing. Other clubs followed including the Perak Turf Club and Selangor Turf Club as the 19th century came to a close.


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The MRA is responsible for setting the rules of horse racing in the country. Those rules are in line with what one would find at a thoroughbred horse racing track in other parts of the world. The organization also oversees horse racing in Singapore as well as the naming of horses and their registration.

Those owners who wish to compete in sanctioned Malaysian horse racing events must comply with the association’s rules and standards. Those who do not are subject to fines and other punishments.

The Types of Horse Racing in Malaysia

Most turf clubs conduct horse racing on tracks that are seeded with cow grass and well-maintained. Some of these tracks have a dirt track which is only used for training of race horses. Turf racing has always been the standard in Malaysia. Practice your turf handicapping skills if you intend to bet these events.

Races are typically organized around the age of horses and their sex, just as they are in the United States and other locations. There are classes of races which are also designed to keep the events competitive. The most talented race horses are placed in the highest divisions.

At certain times of the year the various turf clubs will conduct big days of horse racing action that are like the Kentucky Derby and other events in the US. On these days it is not uncommon for thousands of spectators to attend the races in person.

Betting Malaysia Horse Racing Live and Online

Horse racing betting in Malaysia is indeed legal for those of adult age. However, it is only possible to make wagers in person with one of the three live tracks in the country. All other betting is considered illegal.

This means that there is no agreement between Malaysian horse racing tracks and online horse betting sites. If you find a site that is offering betting on these horse races, proceed with caution. The site may be a scam, or it may be operating outside of the law.

This should not be taken to mean that there are not other ways to bet horse racing in Malaysia online. A few online bookmakers still take bets on these tracks. Just don’t expect to find the tracks on sites like Bovada or TwinSpires.

In 1962, Malaysia chose to go to the use of the Totalisator board. Tote boards are what facilitate betting among a group of individuals. This is known as parimutuel betting, and it is the primary model for betting throughout the world today.

A tote board ensures that all betting pools are calculated properly. Payouts can be made with ease. Malaysia has all the elements in place to make online horse betting available. It just has not taken that step yet. This is probably due to issues with how revenues will be earned and divided.

Some Famous Malaysian Horse Racing Tracks

If you happen to visit Malaysian and want to attend some live horse racing, you have three main options. These are:

  • Selangor Turf Club
  • Perak Turf Club
  • Penang Turf Club

The horse racing tracks in the country tend to be very opulent. One of the tracks even has a full 18-hole golf course on the property, with 7 of the holes located in the infield! You can play golf and watch the horses run at the same time. We wonder how many times an errant golf ball has found its way onto the track.

Each of the country’s tracks has many amenities which include restaurants and luxury accommodations. Tracks have different seating areas. There are grandstands as well as luxury suites and clubhouse seating.

Tracks here generally have a dress code that is strictly enforced by track officials. You won’t see too many casual outfits on race day.

Jockeys, Trainers, and Horses

Malaysia has taken steps to create its own breeding program for horse racing and has made some progress. You will encounter horse races here where the event is filled with regional horses. There are not many horses from the country which leave for other regions.

The same can be said for jockeys and trainers. Most of them are individuals who have made the choice to remain in Malaysia and compete. The best of these can enjoy a lucrative career. Purses are generous, but the competition is fierce.

Trainers and jockeys are required to undergo a strict licensing procedure before they are given permission to compete in the country. They are also subject to oversight by the Malayan Racing Association.

Can’t find an online horse betting site that offers horse racing in Malaysia? You can still bet on horse racing in many other parts of the world when you sign up for an account with Bovada. Start betting today right from the comfort of home. If you are in the United States, check our Bovada racebook reviewAmWager review, BUSR, BetUS, Twinspires review, or Betamerica review. If you are outside the US, 5Dimes review for folks anywhere!

Future topics:

  • Selangor Turf Club
  • Perak Turf Club
  • Penang Turf Club
  • An FAQ for Horse Racing Betting in Malaysia


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