Newcastle’s highly anticipated $11.2 million racetrack redevelopment has been officially opened at an industry gathering hosted by Newcastle Jockey Club.
Racing NSW's CEO, Peter V’landys AM, was on hand at Newcastle Racecourse to help officially launch the new StrathAyr course proper with NJC Chairman, Geoff Barnett, and said he was delighted to see five years of planning and hard work finally come to fruition.
“The $11.2 million provided for Newcastle’s track facilities is the largest investment Racing NSW has made to date,” said Peter V’landys AM. “This reflects the importance we place on racing at Newcastle and how it’s integral to Racing NSW’s vision.
Left: A barrier trial on the new Newcastle track. Image by Steve White
“Our objective was to have a track that was conducive to competitive racing and have a surface that could take all conditions and be safe at all times for both the jockey and the horse. Also to ensure that punters could bet with confidence and not be concerned with track bias. I believe the Newcastle club has met all these objectives,” Mr V’landys added.
NJC’s Geoff Barnett said he was thrilled to be part of the launch and has extended an invitation to the community to share in the excitement of its first race-day by offering FREE ONLINE GENERAL ENTRY to the Newcastle Newmarket on Friday March 17.
“We want as many as possible to book their ticket for free online to be part of history as we host our first meeting and Group 3 race on the new course proper,” said Mr Barnett.
The Club’s CEO, Matt Benson, said that it was a truly historic occasion for the NJC that now has a track that is up there with the very best in Australia.
“This landmark event represents a total re-birth for this great facility and it was critically important for the Club to also seize this unique opportunity to refresh its look and feel,” Mr Benson said.
Along with the track launch, a rejuvenation of the new brand identities for both the Newcastle Jockey Club and Newcastle Racecourse was revealed.
“There is a new logo built along traditional lines for Newcastle Jockey Club which acknowledges our heritage, but also, importantly, we have separated the Club from the venue in a similar way to the Australian Turf Club and Randwick or the Victoria Racing Club and Flemington.
“The year 1907 features in the Newcastle Racecourse logo as this was the year that racing started here at Broadmeadow with the running of the first Newcastle Cup on April 27 of that year,” Mr Benson added.
Newcastle Racecourse will host the first race meeting on the new course proper on Friday, 17 March 2017 as part of Mercedes-Benz Newcastle Autumn Racing Carnival and the Coca-Cola Newcastle Newmarket Raceday.
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