The curtains came down on the Royal Turf Club at Bangkok’s Nang Loeng horse-racing track in Dusit district on Sunday, more than a hundred years after it came into existence.
A large number of people showed up to watch the final horse races, which saw the number of racing horses increased to 15 instead of 14 and doubled the prize money share for horses, jockeys and staff, before permanent closure of the site that first opened on December 18, 1916.
The closure was reportedly because the club’s lease contracts with the Crown Property Bureau for the track, its five-storey stand, two six-storey parking buildings, a five-storey management building, a one-storey structure and a swimming pool had expired.
After the closure, the club planned to request the Interior Ministry’s permission to increase the frequency of horse races held at another venue – the Royal Bangkok Sports Club – to four times a month (from the usual two times a month) to aid those affected by the facility’s closure, a source at the club said. Some 100 workers at the Nang Loeng site will work until September 28 before being laid off with a compensation equivalent to six months’ salary.