A bright and big new lounge facility is to be constructed at Caulfield Racecourse to greatly encourage racehorse ownership and help grow the racing industry.
Minister for Racing Denis Napthine said the new indoor/outdoor lounge facility, to be located in the former outdoor betting ring, will be open to racehorse owners and their guests, regardless of whether their horse is running on the day.
"There are 55,000 thoroughbred racehorse owners in Victoria. It is important to look after these investors in the industry and, most importantly, encourage new owners," Dr Napthine said.
"The new venue will showcase the benefits of racehorse ownership and feature marquees, food and beverage stalls, racing vision and a stage for entertainment," Dr Napthine said.
"The new owners' lounge, a step up from the current cramped facilities, will make a major difference to the raceday experience to those who make an investment – small or large – in Victorian racing by buying and owning a racehorse.
"It is hoped that this new area will also entice owners to attend more race meetings and entice their guests to consider racehorse ownership, which helps to build on the economic benefits generated by the racing industry."
Melbourne Racing Club Chief Executive Officer, Alasdair Robertson said the club is pleased to be partnering with the Victorian Coalition Government on this important project.
"Racehorse owners are so vital to the racing industry and its ongoing prosperity, so we are thrilled to be able to boost our level of service to owners through the development of a new facility at Caulfield," Mr Robertson said.
Thoroughbred Racehorse Owners' Association (TROA) Chairman Jonathan Munz welcomed the recognition of the role of racehorse owners across Victoria.
"Owners put on the show and need to be given the best possible raceday experience. We commend the Melbourne Racing Club and Coalition Government on acknowledging that and showing the initiative to introduce this new owners' facility at Caulfield," Mr Munz said.
As a further incentive, the club intends on expanding its hospitality package for Victorian Thoroughbred Owner Gold Card holders, by providing:
- owners with free access to non-feature meetings and half-price entry to feature meetings;
- half-price entry to guests to non-feature and feature meetings;
- free barbeque, beverage package and race book for owners and trainers on the day; and
- a selection of free finger food after the last race.Costs for this project have been shared between the Coalition Government, providing $120,000 from its Victorian Racing Industry Fund and the Melbourne Racing Club, contributing $136,285.
The MRC, in conjunction with TROA, will also contribute $100,000 per year to operate and maintain the new facility.