Yarra Valley Gallops Gone For Two Years

By: Ryan Clark
April 12th, 2011

The floods that have swept through Victoria caused plenty of damage and the horse racing industry has felt the full effects of the disaster.

The Yarra Valley Racecourse could be out of action to thoroughbred racing for the next 24 months with severe damage to the entire complex.

Chief executive of Racing Victoria, Rob Hines, said the track needed to be completely reconstructed following the third major flood in the last five months.

The best example of the damage was to the sand training track which was totally washed away during the floods however Racing Victoria is adamant everything would be rebuilt.

“Yarra Valley track is a great events track. It is in a lovely location and we can’t afford to lose it,” Hines said.

The funding for redevelopment would have to come through the racing industry in the form of major investment according to Hines.

Harness Racing was not affected and continues to be held in the Yarra Valley.

Yarra Valley isn’t the only track in trouble though with Benalla, Moe and Kyneton all considered high risk tracks requiring urgent attention and as such have been closed.

Seed is being re-sown today at Benalla with rapid progress required if the annual Cup meeting is to go ahead as planned in September.

The Benalla Racecourse complex was closed last October when a horse put a foot in a pothole and dislodged jockey Jason Benbow.

Benbow broke his ankle during the fall in what was the second occurrence of major track slippage  at the track in five months.

The combined loss of revenue as a result of unforseen natural interference is approximately $10 million in Victoria.

Kyneton will be the first track to re-open when it holds its first meet on May 27th.

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