Jockeys riding at Cranbourne night meetings will soon be wired with microphones to relay comments to the public.
Cranbourne Turf Club chief executive Neil Bainbridge canvassed the idea of bringing the Twenty20 Bigbash atmosphere to racing and the innovation has the support of jockeys and officials.
“We want to build Friday night a bit like Big Bash cricket – upbeat, family engagement, plenty of atmosphere,” he said.
Friday night racing begins at Cranbourne this week but because of a technical issue the microphones won’t be in use until later in the month.
Bainbridge said the club has Racing Victoria approval and as soon as the aerials are installed by Thoroughbred Racing Productions and the technology is working the project will commence.
“The response from the jockeys has been fantastic … from Kerrin McEvoy and Chris Symons and Des O’Keeffe,” Bainbridge said.
Jockeys will be able to give their live comments on the way to barriers and actual race comments will be recorded and replayed later if required.
“We’ve got a couple of rules that we want to stick to. We would only speak to them on the way to the barriers and once they went into the barriers it would be game day on.
“Chris Symons came up with the idea that the comments during the race (be recorded) … and then replayed later.”
The Victorian Jockeys’ Association chief Des O’Keefe said there was in principle support for the idea as did Racing Victoria Limited chief steward Terry Bailey who said he needed to study the proposal in more detail before signing off on it.