Jockeys and horses racing at the Mortlake Derby Day this Saturday will be safer, thanks to a funding boost of almost $90,000 supported by the Andrews Labor Government.
Minister for Racing Martin Pakula today announced the Labor Government has contributed almost $45,000 through the Victorian Racing Industry Fund towards the installation of new lightweight plastic running rails, with Racing Victoria matching the Government’s contribution.
The new rails, which will be used for the first time on Derby Day, significantly improve jockey and horse safety by reducing the impact of rail contacts or collisions.
The Labor Government is also contributing a further $33,000 to the ‘Make it to Mortlake on Derby Day’ race meeting this Saturday, featuring the Mortlake Cup. Country Racing Victoria is providing $33,000 and Mortlake Racing Club is providing more than $16,000 towards the event.
A highlight of Derby Day at Mortlake will be a Kids Mega Fun Zone which will include a mechanical bucking bull, a bungee ride, face painting and sporting activities. A sheep dog dash down the home straight for kids in costumes will round out the fun.
Racegoers will be entertained by DJ performances by Hit Nation and complimentary return shuttle buses will provide safe transport to the track from nearby towns such as Warrnambool, Port Fairy, Koroit, Terang, Cobden and Camperdown.
Representatives from local charity ‘Let’s Talk’ will also broadcast live from the track with the Off the Bench sports commentary team, providing information on suicide prevention.
Since 2014, the Labor Government has provided more than $140,000 to the Mortlake Racing Club to support three infrastructure projects, and the 2015, 2016 and 2017 Mortlake Cup meetings on Derby Day.
The racing industry in the Western District generates more than $100 million annually for the Victorian economy and helps sustain more than 980 full-time equivalent jobs in the region.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Racing Martin Pakula
“The ongoing rollout of plastic running rails at Victorian racing and training venues across the state is an important contribution to the high safety standards expected of the Victorian racing industry.”
Quote attributable to Member for Western Victoria Jaala Pulford
“We’re proud to support the Mortlake Derby Day meeting for a third consecutive year. Mortlake is a great country racing event for locals and visitors to Victoria’s west.”
Quotes attributable to Mortlake Racing Club President Jason Hughes
“The club thanks the Victorian Government for its ongoing support of this important date in our racing calendar. We encourage racegoers across the region to come to the track for Mortlake Cup Day.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020