Night racing at Royal Randwick, The Everest run under lights in future years, and the introduction of Saturday evening race meetings in the summer months.
This is part of the Australian Turf Club’s long-term vision for Royal Randwick if approval is given to erect lights at the famous racecourse.
The project, estimated to cost $20 million, is a step closer to reality with ATC last week lodging a State Significant Development Application (SSDA) to the NSW Government Department of Planning, Industry and Environment for their consideration.
But ATC chief executive Jamie Barkley said there is no time frame on the start and completion of the project and said any suggestion the 2022 The Everest would be run at night is premature.
ATC chief executive Jamie Barkley says the club needs to explore all its options to stay relevant in the very competitive wagering and sports betting market.Source:News Corp Australia
“We have the support of Randwick City Council, and we are seeking a SSDA for night racing on Royal Randwick’s course proper,’’ Barkley said.
The planning approval process could take up to six months before the club has any clarity about its night racing plans.
ATC, which intends to consult closely with Racing NSW and industry participants including trainers and jockeys about their long-term plans, wants to make Royal Randwick the key sports precinct in Sydney and together with the soon-to-open $48 million Winx Stand, night racing is central to the club’s long-terms plans.
There is a growing trend for more night racing in Australia, mirroring that of race clubs and elite sporting competitions around the world.
ATC already has a hugely successful night racing venue at Canterbury and Barkley said this will continue even if Randwick gets approval to race under lights.
In Victoria, there are multiple night racing venues at Moonee Valley, Pakenham and Cranbourne, with speculation Caulfield could be next to install lights.
Gold Coast is another major racing centre that is about to undergo a huge redevelopment including plans to become a night racing venue.
The ATC has plans to promote a ‘Summer Super Series’ at Canterbury Park. Photo: AAP ImageSource:AAP
Barkley said ATC and Racing NSW are mindful the traditional Saturday afternoon time slot maximises wagering turnover each week but added the club needs to explore all its options to stay relevant in the very competitive wagering and sports betting market.
“Wagering is paramount in any decision the club would take before proceeding with racing under lights,’’ Barkley said.
“We have been racing on a Saturday afternoon very successfully for 150 years but we need to continually look at ways to keep racing front of mind.
“All the major sports in the world schedule their events in prime time and when it suits people’s changing lifestyles.
“This doesn’t mean every Saturday afternoon at Randwick over summer becomes a night meeting but it‘s an option we will consider in consultation with Racing NSW.
“I think it is important to give ourselves options in the future to meet the needs of racing industry participants and punters.’’
ATC is also finalising plans to capitalise on the success of Canterbury racing under lights next season by promoting a “Summer Super Series” of races across 10 Friday night meetings with the first scheduled for November.
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Originally published asATC bid to light up racing at Randwick
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