Bendigo Racecourse has been allocated a standalone Saturday meeting for the next three years which will be known as the Golden Mile race day.
The meeting, the first of which will be held on March 17 next year, will replace that day’s Melbourne metropolitan fixture.
The race day will feature the 1,600 metre Golden Mile, which will move from spring to autumn for the meeting, and will be worth a minimum of $100,000 in prize money.
Racing Victoria’s chief strategy officer, Paul Bittar, feels that the new standalone meeting is a great step forward for the local industry.
“The introduction of a premier Saturday meeting in regional Victoria provides a unique point of difference within the racing calendar and the opportunity to build another showcase meeting for the industry,” Mr Bittar said.
Bendigo Jockey Club chairman, Brendan Drechsler, was excited about the prospect of Golden Mile race day.
“There is a wide range of fantastic events and attractions in Bendigo in March that we believe will complement this historic race day and will allow us to showcase the City of Greater Bendigo which continues to grow and prosper as a major regional centre,” Drechsler said.
Country Racing Victoria chief executive, Scott Whiteman, said the decision had been made due to the success of other country standalone meetings in Hawkesbury and Scone.
“Racing at other country venues interstate, such as the stand alone feature Saturday at Scone last weekend, highlight the great opportunity the industry has before it to market and promote our exciting industry to a wider appeal, particularly in the country,” Whiteman said.