The Andrews Labor Government is ensuring the Ballarat Turf Club has first-class racecourse facilities with an upgrade to its inside grass training track to ensure year-round training and use.

Funding of over $1.3 million has been allocated from the Victorian Racing Industry Fund (VRIF) for the upgrade. Racing Victoria will contribute more than $900,000 and the Ballarat Turf Club will contribute almost $400,000 to the upgrade.

The upgrade will see the existing grass track surface stripped, its base reconstructed and widened, and a new irrigation system installed, before new surface turf is installed along with the necessary racing infrastructure, such as rails.

The completed works will facilitate a wider grass training surface which will improve track drainage capability and can be used year-round, offering trainers a greater variety of surfaces on which to prepare their horses for racing.

It will also accommodate the extra workload associated with the increase in the number of trainers and horses based at the club’s training centre from around 400 in 2018, to 650 in 2023. An additional 150 horses based at off-course stables in the surrounding precinct also use the facility.

During the works, the training grass track and one of the sand tracks will need to be closed. The club will manage this by adjusting training hours and providing options for other training locations.

The track is expected to reopen for training in early 2024.

Quotes attributable to Member for Ripon Martha Haylett

“We’re backing these upgrades to accommodate the increased demand at Ballarat Turf Club.”

“Upgrades like this support the racing industry by lifting the quality of our facilities, driving participation and creating a strong and viable future for racing in Victoria.”

Quote attributable to Member for Wendouree Juliana Addison

“Our investment will be of significant benefit to all those who use the training tracks at Ballarat, ensuring year-round availability and enhancing participant and animal welfare.”

Quote attributed to Ballarat Turf Club Chairman Bill Gribble

“We are thankful to the Victorian Government for their ongoing support for projects such as the upgrade to our inside grass training track. “

“The wider upgraded track will provide a more consistent surface and better enable our ever-increasing cluster of local trainers to prepare their horses for racing.”