Racing Victoria Executive General Manager of Racing Greg Carpenter has confirmed that Racing Victoria is looking into a possibility of adding a second night of racing from 2016 and beyond.
36 night meetings are set to take place in Victoria during the 2014/2015 racing season, 20 at Cranboune and 16 at Moonee Valley, and the majority of these meetings will take place on a Friday night, but Racing Victoria are considering adding racing on Wednesday or Thursday nights as well as increasing the number of night meetings that are held on Saturdays in attempt improve wagering figures.
Carpenter told Racing Ahead this morning that Racing Victoria had opened a dialogue with trainers to gauge an idea of how the racing fraternity would handle another night of racing and he confirmed that any additional night meetings would be transferred from other events already on the racing calendar.
“Part of our strategic plan was to look at growing the night racing number of meetings,” Carpenter said.
“In a landscape where wagering is relatively flat we are looking at ways to drive wagering and one idea is to consider running a second night slot during the week.
“We haven’t made our decisions where that venue will be or on what night that will be, it won’t on calendars until 2016 and beyond, and they won’t be additional meetings because we already have a challenge on horse numbers and industry itself has already got a challenge about the volume of racing.
“We are going through a consultative process at the moment with trainers asking if they would participate on a second night on the week and what night that would be.
“Given that feedback we will make decisions on how we go forward.
“It is something we are definitely looking at and the feedback that we have been getting has been very positive and given us good feedback.
“We will look at our strategy about expanding night racing from 2016 onwards in the next few months.”
Night racing in Melbourne has grown in popularity over the last few years and the Moonee Valley Racing Club now holds major races like the Group 1 William Reid Stakes (1200m), Group 1 Moir Stakes (1200m) and Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) at their Friday Night meetings, but night racing in Australia has failed to see the large crowd numbers and wagering figures that are frequently seen in Hong Kong, Singapore and Dubai.