Funding Boost To Expand Night Racing In Victoria

The Andrews Labor Government will provide a major shot in the arm for Victorian racing, with a $5 million boost to expand night racing to the Pakenham Racing Club’s (PRC) new racecourse, Racing.com Park.

Located at Tynong, Racing.com Park will become Victoria’s third night racing venue with a new $12 million track lighting system, thanks to a joint investment from the Government, Racing Victoria (RV), Country Racing Victoria (CRV) and PRC.

Following consultation with key industry stakeholders, PRC will commence Thursday night racing to complement existing Friday night meetings at Moonee Valley and Cranbourne.

Construction on the new lighting system is expected to commence by June this year, with the first night race meetings to be held in early 2016.

The state of the art lighting system – which will mean up to 28 night race meetings, each with eight races, every year – will feature:

  • Broadcast quality technology with up to 75 lighting masts ranging in height from 20 to 46 metres installed around two tracks
  • Energy savings of up to 30 per cent in comparison to existing night racing venues through modern dimming technology between races
  • The flexibility to conduct night meetings under lights on both turf and synthetic tracks – as occurs in other leading international jurisdictions

In 2015-16, Victoria will host 51 night meetings across three racecourses, up from 36 in the current season. Up to 62 night meetings will occur in the 2016-17 season when Racing.com Park is in full swing – equating to more than 10% of all race meetings held in Victoria annually.

Thursday night racing will expand the thoroughbred industry’s share in domestic and international wagering markets and increase annual revenue by up to $4.5 million.

The Government will contribute $5 million to the new lighting system from the Victorian Racing Industry Fund (VRIF), with the PRC, RV and CRV collectively contributing $7 million.

Minister for Racing, Martin Pakula, officially opened the new $72 million complex at Racing.com Park last month – the first thoroughbred racecourse built in Victoria in almost 40 years.

Located on the PRC’s 608-acre site, Racing.com Park is one of the largest racecourse developments in Australia, boasting a 2400m turf track and 2000m synthetic track, undercover horse stalls, a sand training track, a 600 seat event centre and a 150-acre residential development for trainers’ dwellings and stabling.

Construction of the new racing precinct saw a significant economic boost to the Cardinia Shire, generating up to $688 million in economic benefits for the community and supporting up to 1,800 jobs.

In addition, the future redevelopment of the old Pakenham Racecourse into a mixed-use residential precinct is expected to provide around $592 million in economic benefits and support more than 2,800 jobs in a range of industries.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Racing, Martin Pakula

“Boasting both turf and synthetic tracks – along with brand new, world-class training facilities – Racing.com Park is the ideal venue for an expansion of night racing in Victoria.”

“Night racing has proven a hit at Cranbourne and Moonee Valley, and these 28 new night race meetings at Tynong will cement Victoria’s status as the premier racing state.”

Quotes attributable to Pakenham Racing Club Chair, Don Duffy

“This decision is another vote of confidence from the racing industry and the Victorian Government in the new Pakenham racecourse facility. It is another important step in the Club delivering its vision to be a major player in Victorian racing.”

Quotes attributable to Racing Victoria Chief Executive, Bernard Saundry

“Exploring opportunities to expand the night racing circuit was a key priority in Racing Victoria’s three year Strategic Plan for the industry as a way of maximising audience engagement and wagering opportunities.”

“Funding to further develop this first-class venue will provide significant benefits for the Cardinia Shire and the wider Victorian thoroughbred racing industry.”