Wodonga racing club talking up its case for cup holiday


Tom O’Connor and Wodonga Turf Club events manager Natalie Hynd add their support to the drive to have a public holiday declared for Wodonga Turf Club’s cup meeting in late November. Picture: TARA GOONAN

Tom O’Connor and Wodonga Turf Club events manager Natalie Hynd add their support to the drive to have a public holiday declared for Wodonga Turf Club’s cup meeting in late November. Picture: TARA GOONAN

RACING Victoria is prepared to make a late change to its calendar to accommodate a public holiday for Wodonga Gold Cup this year.

The 2014-15 racing calendar has been released with the cup meeting scheduled for Sunday, November 30.

But if Wodonga Council agrees next month to changing the Melbourne Cup day public holiday to the last Friday in November for the Wodonga Cup, racing authorities will make the late switch.

The council has asked Wodonga and District Turf Club to conduct further community consultation before next month’s meeting when a decision on changing the public holidays will be made.

General manager Tom O’Connor yesterday said the club would happily conduct more consultation and had sufficient time to prepare for a public holiday cup meeting in late November.

“Our intention has always been to push ahead this year,” he said.

“Racing Victoria is well aware of our intentions and has made contingency plans.

“They will deal with change.

“There is obviously impacts on other clubs, but they have assured us that if we get the commitment from the council for the holiday they will make it happen.”

Ararat has a stand-alone meeting in Victoria on Friday, November 28.

Mr O’Connor said community consultation had already started with an online survey.

“We are going to be active in community spaces like the library and The Cube,” he said.

“We will also have people out with surveys.

“This is the opportunity for individuals to consider how it impacts on them.”

The club is hoping the council commits to the five-year plan around the cup day public holiday next month.

It includes projections last year’s crowd of 2500 would double this year to 5000 before growing to 8700 in the fifth year.

It is also planning a prizemoney boost for the cup from $80,000 to $90,000 in the second and third years before hitting $100,000 in the fourth year.

The club is proposing to expand the carnival to two days in the fifth year of the plan with eight races on each day.

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