By Brendan Rees
Thousands flocked through the gates at the Cranbourne racecourse as it hosted its first ever Melbourne Cup Day race meeting on Tuesday 7 November, thanks to almost $47,000 in funding supported by the State Government.
Grey clouds didn’t deter 3000 racegoers and their families who were treated to a big day of racing fun from Cranbourne, including all the action from Flemington with a big screen on course.
Children were entertained with rides, ponies, music and sporting activities.
The State Government provided almost $22,000 through the Victorian Racing Industry Fund towards the event, with the Cranbourne Turf Club contributing almost $23,000 and Country Racing Victoria a further $2000.
Cranbourne’s Melbourne Cup Day meeting is part of Country Racing Victoria’s bumper Spring Racing Carnival, which includes 51 weekend and feature race meetings across regional Victoria between 23 September and 26 November.
Cranbourne Turf Club CEO Neil Bainbridge said Cranbourne was the “racing heartland” of Melbourne’s South-East, and the Cup Day meeting was another opportunity to showcase the club’s high-class racing and entertainment complex.
“We are very excited to be part of the Melbourne Cup Day action and thank the Victorian Government for its strong support.”
Member for Cranbourne Jude Perera said the Cranbourne Racing Centre was the largest entertainment complex in the City of Casey.
“The addition of Melbourne Cup Day to its racing calendar will only enhance its reputation as one of Victoria’s best racing venues.”
Minister for Racing Martin Pakula said Cranbourne’s first Melbourne Cup Day meeting was a great opportunity for the club to showcase its outstanding facility with some quality racing.
“We’re proud to support this new race meeting on the Cranbourne Turf Club’s calendar because it attracts visitors, boosts the local economy and supports jobs.”
Since 2014, the Labor Government has provided more than $1 million to support 14 projects for the Cranbourne Turf Club, including the Cranbourne Training Complex.