THE CRANBOURNE Turf Club is predicting their new on-course stabling will be completed as early as December this year.
After 20 years of deliberations the dedicated training centre has received $1 million towards the new $6 million on-course thoroughbred stabling from the Victorian Racing Industry Fund (VRIF) which will house up to 240 horses.
Minister for racing Martin Pakula visited the centre on Wednesday to officially announce the long-awaited funding and said the demand for on-course stabling was very high at the centre.
“With around 800 horses using the complex each day but with only 462 tie stalls on-site, trainers are required to share stalls,” he said.
The upgrade includes stable sites with separate tie-up stalls and a mezzanine floor with a viewing balcony, 10 horse walkers at each site along with tack rooms, sand rolls, feed stores, medical and bathroom facilities.
The State Government is also investing more than $26,000 under the VRIF to expand Cranbourne Harness Racing Training at the centre.
Member for Cranbourne Jude Perera MP said it was great to see expansions taking place at both the thoroughbred and harness racing training centres.
“The harness centre will host up to 54 horses and 12 trainers and will be a significant boost for the racing industry in the region, which already generates more $375 million and supports more than 3700 jobs in outer Melbourne,” he said.
The state funding will support the construction of four new stables to accommodate six horses, two new trainers and improved drainage to prevent flooding.
There will also be improved animal welfare and the addition of five small day paddocks for post-race recuperation and a hot water wash area to reduce exposure to the cold over winter.
The centre already boasts a horse walking machine, an equine swimming pool and a communal work shed and local horse trainer Greg Eurell of Greg Eurell Thoroughbred Training – Cadet Lodge said the stables would be the best Christmas gift ever.
“It’ll be a big boost to our business – being off-course has a big impact an extra burden on the economics of the whole exercise and logistically it’s very awkward,” Mr Eurell said.
With his base on Craig Road it’s currently a two-hour exercise to transport the horses just 12 minutes down the road.
“For the horses themselves I’m sure they’ll obtain a lot of benefit from just being here, they are going to get a lot more downtime to recuperate and rest and economically for us as a business – we’ll be able to reduce our work hours in the morning by at least an hour and half,” he said.
Training 60 horses a day, Mr Eurell was one of the original pioneers for on-course stabling at Cranbourne and said he had no doubt the model would work seamlessly.
“I think they’ve got the model and location of the stables right – as a training complex this is one of the best in Australia, if not the southern hemisphere and I’ve been to a lot of training complexes in Australia and nothing equals this,” he said.
Mr Eurell is also looking forward to overseeing his operation from the sky.
“We are going to get viewing towers as well, which means we’ll be able to stand in our own complex and watch the horses train – we’ll just walk down the stairs have our own stripping bays and be able to see the horses pull up and the riders.
“Evverything’s just going to work so systematically and easy, it’ll be fantastic,” he said.
Construction of the stables is set to start in late July.
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