Global Barrier Systems, Mawsafeon March 9th, 2010No Comments

On the rails: Rob Hulls, Wyndham Mayor Heather Marcus, Tarneit MP Tim Pallas and Werribee Racing Club committee member Leon Koch with the new plastic running rail to be installed as part of the track upgrade. Picture: Cathy Jackson

RACING Victoria has confirmed Werribee will host up to 10 meetings a season when the sport resumes in the city on December 18 following a three-year break and the completion of a $5million track upgrade.

The new surface will get its first test when the $1.4million International Horse Quarantine Centre plays host to international raiders during this year’s Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival.

Deputy Premier and Racing Minister Rob Hulls visited the racecourse last Friday to inspect the site for the new centre, where he revealed the track would be one of 26 in Victoria to be installed with plastic running rails, providing the safest conditions in Australia for horses and jockeys.

Work on the new quarantine centre, which includes an equine surgery, should begin next month. It replaces the existing centre at Sandown racecourse.

Mr Hulls said the centre, along with new stabling facilities and a high-standard track, would make Werribee the ideal place for international owners and trainers to quarantine their horses while in Victoria.

Although the track reconstruction was delayed due to the collapse of project manager Akron last week, Racing Victoria has re-employed the company’s contractors to complete the job.

With the base for the track already down, the club expects the turf to be laid within three weeks.

The State Government will provide $1.1million towards the quarantine centre and $2.5million for the track’s reconstruction, with Racing Victoria and Country Racing Victoria to meet the remaining costs.

The new track will have a field capacity of 14 for annual race meetings held between December and August. It will allow for races over eight distances and trials over 800metres and feature comprehensive drainage and irrigation systems.

Racing Victoria chief operating officer Bernard Saundry said the track and plastic running rails would significantly enhance the safety and appeal of racing at Werribee, while the quarantine centre would be a key asset.

“The state-of-the-art quarantine centre will be critical in attracting international participation in Victoria’s feature thoroughbred races, particularly during the spring racing carnival, and will indeed put Werribee on the world racing map.”

Werribee Racing Club committee member Leon Koch said he was excited racing would soon return.

The club hosted its last race meeting in November 2007, during which jockeys walked off due to safety concerns with the track.

17 Feb, 2010