Kilmore up and racing

Country Racing Victoria regional services manager Leigh Newton, Kilmore Racing Club chief executive Ben Murphy and Kilmore Racing Club ambassador Paul ‘Pegs’ Egan on the club’s upgraded track.

By Jackson Russell

Kilmore Racing Club hosted its first race meeting since the 2018 Kilmore Cup on Thursday, 14 months since the track closed for upgrades.

Upgrades to the track include a drainage system that falls into a collector drain around the inside of the track, which was also widened by three metres.

The project was part of a collaboration between the club, Racing Victoria and Country Racing Victoria with funding from the State Government.

Kilmore Racing Club chief executive Ben Murphy said the club had worked with Racing Victoria on the project for the better part of four years.

“The project’s in a large part about having the best possible racing surface for as long as possible and hopefully that translates to more race meetings for the club each year,” he said.

“The track will continue to improve and consolidate over the next 12 or 18 months and Thursday was the first step in that journey.”

The club’s taken a conservative approach to getting racing back on the new track, previously transferring several meetings to nearby racecourses, including the 2019 Kilmore Cup which ran at Seymour.

“We’ve always taken a view that this is a sort of 20-year project so we were happy and comfortable to have our cup at Seymour last year because we knew the benefit for the track to have that couple extra months was going to be beneficial,” Mr Murphy said.

“The feedback we’ve had today is that it’s a really good racing surface and really even racing surface and that’s what you want.

“We’re really confident the track’s going to race evenly and give every horse a chance and that’s what we want to be known as, a racetrack where every horse gets a chance because we are on metropolitan Melbourne’s footsteps, and Bendigo and Ballarat aren’t too far away.”