The Ballarat Turf Club has been hard at it this year after ripping up more than 8 hectares of turf following the Sportsbet Ballarat Cup last November as part of the track upgrade project to replace their old track.
It’s an exciting project for the club and has created plenty of interest in the local community, especially on the back of the Magic Millions Clockwise Classic, Magic Millions Ballarat 3YO Classic and Thomas Jewellers VOBIS Gold Eureka Stockade being added to Ballarat Cup Day meeting over the past couple of years.
I caught up with Sales & Marketing Manager Ryan Stanaway to see if the project was on course for a May return to racing.
“The project began on the day immediately following the Ballarat Cup and the final sections of turf have been laid,” Stanaway said.
“There has been major work done to remove the dip in the home straight and the new ryegrass & bluegrass turf blend is growing extremely well.”
“The club remains on track for a scheduled return to racing in May or June this year.”
The club officially opened the new jumps schooling lane on February 19, with City Of Ballarat Mayor Cr Joshua Morris and Australian Jumps Racing Association President Marg Lucas cutting the ribbon.
“Racing Victoria CEO Bernard Saundry and Operations Manager Paul Bloodworth attended the opening and a series of track gallops and jumpouts will take place in the coming months to ensure the surface is ready to go,” Stanaway said.
“The new jumps lane has both modular hurdles and steeples and will provide local trainers with the ideal training ground to educate horses over the jumps.”
The Ballarat Turf Club, headed by CEO Lachlan McKenzie, is a progressive race club that has grown in leaps and bounds in recent years, and is fast becoming the hub of country racing in Western Victoria.
As a resident of the area, I’m excited!