ATC UNVEILS 10-YEAR STRATEGIC PLAN FOR SYDNEY RACING INFRASTRUCTURE
The Australian Turf Club has developed a 10-year strategic infrastructure program for its four racecourses, as it invests further for the long-term growth and sustainability of Sydney racing.
Central to the ATC strategy is a scheduled program of renovation or rebuilding of all course proper and training tracks, ensuring only one main racing surface is affected at any one time.
The Australian Turf Club Infrastructure Strategy recognises the need to provide world-class racing and training tracks and facilities, leading to greater participation and increased confidence in wagering.
Installation of lights at Royal Randwick will be subject to development consent and consultation with the local community, before further investigation of lights at Rosehill Gardens, taking advantage of NSW Government light rail links at both venues.
Following consultation with industry participants and Racing NSW, work is scheduled to begin next month on the track infrastructure program, starting with a full rebuild of the Kensington course.
The scheduled works for all racecourses includes:
- A full rebuild of the Kensington track starting next month, with the potential to return to racing in Summer of 2017/18;
- An upgrade of training tracks at Rosehill Gardens, including conversion of the larger circumference sand track to a synthetic surface, and the existing synthetic to a sand surface;
- Reconstruction of the sand training track at Royal Randwick;
- A full course proper rebuild at Warwick Farm, along with a possible new synthetic track to replace the current A grass;
- Further renovation work at Canterbury Park including sand slitting to improve drainage;
- Full course proper rebuilds at Royal Randwick followed by Rosehill Gardens.
The future works follow the recently completed full renovation of the Royal Randwick course proper and a refurbishment of the Canterbury Park course proper which was completed ahead of the current night racing season.
Construction of lights at Royal Randwick would be expected to take about 12 months to complete.
Australian Turf Club Chief Executive Officer Darren Pearce said the Australian Turf Club was now able to develop and deliver long-term plans after several years of financial consolidation and reduction of debt.
“Everything that we have built this strategy on recognises the need to get the stage right for our main attraction, the thoroughbred,’’ Mr Pearce said.
“This means building and maintaining the very best in training tracks and course proper surfaces at all of racecourses, to world-class standards.
“Starting with the Kensington track, we have undertaken a great deal of consultation and research with trainers and the industry, along with independent experts across many fields.
“We remain fully focused on continuing to make Sydney racing not only the strongest in Australia, but the benchmark for anywhere in the world.
“This will continue to attract more of the best horses and trainers from Australia and around the world for the benefit of all Sydney racing fans.’’
Mr Pearce said further development of ATC Members and spectator facilities would be shaped by consultation with all stakeholders, along with the progress of NSW Government transport and urban planning projects.
These would include activation of the ATC’s Masterplan for Rosehill Gardens around the wider development of the Camellia Peninsula and Parramatta light rail, the sale of non-core, surplus land on the outside edges of Canterbury Park, and a 600-horse stable development at Royal Randwick to replace existing stabling facilities.
Projects already underway under the ATC strategy include a multi-deck Members car park and accompanying horse stall area at Royal Randwick, and new car parking and better access to Warwick Farm as part of the Inglis development.
“ATC has the strategic and financial stability in place to further improve and take advantage of our assets across all parts of Sydney for the benefit of racing and our customers,’’ Mr Pearce said.