Members to decide racecourses’ fate

The chairmen of two Melbourne racing clubs say it will be up to members to determine the future of their racecourses.

There has been speculation on the future of Sandown and Moonee Valley racecourses as well as the long term future of training at Flemington and Caulfield.

Melbourne Racing Club chairman Mike Symons and Moonee Valley Racing Club chairman Don Casboult have each issued statements as work continues on their clubs’ master plans.

The MRC conducts meetings at Caulfield and Sandown and Symons says the future of both tracks is far from finalised.

“I want to assure you that no decisions have been made by the club and ultimately any decision on the future will be made by members,” Symons said.

“The Melbourne Racing Club is foremost a members’ club and any major decision regarding our racecourses will be done in consultation with members and for the long-term benefit of the club.”

Casboult said his club was supportive of an industry-wide review to ensure racing in Victoria continued to be world class.

He said it was important to remember that the MVRC owned the Moonee Valley racecourse.

“The review into metropolitan infrastructure for racing and training is far from complete,” Casboult said.

“The release of inaccurate and unsubstantiated details regarding the plans of the three metropolitan clubs is unfortunate and distracts from the work that has been undertaken to date and the next steps in this important process.”

RV’s chief executive Bernard Saundry said Victoria’s peak body had been in talks with the the two clubs as well as the Victoria Racing Club.

He said discussions with the three clubs focused on the future of the industry in coming decades.

“It’s incumbent on Racing Victoria to lead the discussion about what the future of the industry should look like,” Saundry told Melbourne radio station RSN.

He said other great sporting facilities has been developed in Melbourne and asked what was going to attract people to go racing in the next 10 to 20 years.

“Can we develop four customer facilities in Melbourne? That’s the discussion we are leaving to the clubs,” Saundry said.

“We want to have healthy and robust discussion to ensure the future of our sport is secure.”


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