Victoria's Minister for Racing Martin Pakula officially opened the $10 million track at Ballarat Racecourse, which has been supported by the Andrews Labor Government’s Victorian Racing Industry Fund.
The new 1900 metre synthetic track replaces the club’s former inner grass track and will provide a sustainable surface that will allow the training of more than 500 horses year-round.
It will also take the pressure off the existing outer turf racecourse, allowing Ballarat Turf Club to host more than 70 race meetings and sets of trials and jump-outs each year – rain, hail or shine.
The investment in Ballarat is consistent with the Government’s support for a new synthetic training track at Flemington announced earlier this year, further expanding the state’s racing and training facilities.
The funding package at Ballarat included $4 million from the Government while Racing Victoria, Ballarat Turf Club and Country Racing Victoria provided a combined $6 million towards the works.
Since December 2014, the Government has approved more than $5.8 million to support 21 thoroughbred events and 11 infrastructure projects at the Ballarat Turf Club.
The racing industry in the Ballarat region generates $155.9 million for the Victorian economy annually and helps to sustain 1300 full-time equivalent jobs.
Minister for Racing Martin Pakula said: “There are more than 500 horses that use the world-class training facilities at Ballarat and this new synthetic track will ensure they can train on a quality surface no matter the weather.”
“Allowing more race meetings as well, the new track will provide significant benefits to the industry and more widely to the Ballarat community so we’re thrilled to be able to provide this support.”
Ballarat Turf Club Chief Executive Lachlan McKenzie said: “The new all-weather track will enable us to run race meetings regardless of weather conditions and guarantee all participants a safe, consistent and even track in the western part of Victoria.”
“We will be able to use the track for meetings when turf tracks in our region are too rain-affected for racing."