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Posted 2022-05-27 07:37:19  
Inside Track for Melbourne voted on

The Melbourne Racing club will build a second, inside track at Caulfield.

The MRC Board unanimously voted on Thursday night to proceed with the new track despite industry wide opposition from trainers, jockeys and some of its own members.

The new facility had the support of Racing Victoria.

"The club is pleased to announce the Executive Committee is unanimous in its decision to proceed with the delivery of a second track inside the course proper, with the second track to be known as 'Caulfield Heath'," an email to members said.

"Caulfield Heath will allow MRC to operate up to 45 total meetings a year at Caulfield across both tracks, with additional grass track for use by the industry where members, owners and punters enjoy attending."

The club said it had listened to views regarding the site over the past 18 months.

Prominent jockeys and trainers had been vocal in their opposition to the inside-track option, preferring a wider, one-track solution.

Veteran jockey Damien Oliver even labelled the inner-track option a 'dog track'.

Jockeys also voiced concerns regarding safety, with the lack of tunnels to cross to the inner track from the mounting yard.

The Australian Trainers' Association remained opposed despite a series of meetings over the past month.

"Throughout the consultation period the club listened to all views, including calls for a single wider track as put forth by some industry stakeholders. Further examination of subjects aired throughout consultation, such as track access, will continue as the development phase continues," the MRC said on Friday.

"The single-track option would have led to maintenance difficulties compromising the Course Proper, which hosts many of the Club's premium Saturday meetings including 11 Group 1s and is one of the best-wagered and attended tracks in Australia."

The MRC also claimed the new inner track will be larger than most other courses in Victoria.

"Caulfield Heath's circumference will be bigger than the majority of racecourses in Victoria and will be a premium surface for racing that will be safe and fit for purpose," the club said.

"The Course Proper will continue to host our main race days and iconic races like the Carlton Draught Caulfield Cup and Neds Blue Diamond Stakes and the Caulfield Heath will provide additional opportunities for members to come to Caulfield to enjoy midweek and night racing," the MRC said.

"The two tracks along with the Caulfield Masterplan, will offer a world-class racing and events experience for members, racegoers and the industry to enjoy more chances to experience metropolitan racing at Caulfield Racecourse." 

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