Stage set for inaugural Good Friday racing at Sale

Victoria will conduct thoroughbred racing on Good Friday for the first time when the Sale Turf Club (STC) hosts the inaugural Good Friday raceday this week. 

The destination event, which will rotate annually throughout country Victoria promoting different regions of the state and encouraging tourism within, will see thoroughbred racing in Victoria join the AFL, NRL, NBL and A-League in conducting professional sport on Good Friday.

As part of the raceday, the Victorian thoroughbred racing industry will come together to raise important funds for the time-honoured Good Friday Appeal, which assists the The Royal Children’s Hospital to provide world class care.  

A percentage of every admission ticket will be donated to the Appeal, whilst fundraising efforts will include an auction of commemorative silks signed by jockeys riding on the day, tin rattlers collecting donations from attendees, and gold coin donations to use buses transporting fans from surrounding towns.

Racing Victoria (RV), Country Racing Victoria (CRV) and the STC will make an official donation on behalf of the industry on Friday comprised of funds raised from the Sale race meeting and previously committed nomination fees from the 2022 Seppelt Wines All-Star Mile. 

Action on the track will be headlined by the first running of country Victoria’s newest and richest sprint race – the $500,000 The Country Discovery (1100m) – which has attracted 55 nominations.

Entries for the race, which closed at 12 noon today, include a variety of high-class sprinters headlined by Group 1 winners Savatoxl and Shelby Sixtysix, Group 1 placegetters Swats That, The Astrologist and Halvorsen, former Singapore Horse of the Year The Inferno, classy comeback galloper Showmanship, Malkovich, Brooklyn Hustle, and three-year-olds Generation and Marine One.

Further highlights of the Sale program include two $150,000 finals of the Good Friday Country Trainers Series run over 1200m and 1500m respectively, with every race on the program worth a minimum of $100,000. 

The Country Trainers Series is exclusive to smaller Victorian stables that had limited metropolitan success last season with their horses qualifying through a series of heats run during March and April. 

Final fields for the eight-race Good Friday program, which will not see racing commence until 1pm, will be released this Wednesday, 13 April.

Trackside, there will be a host of kids’ activities for young ones to enjoy including face painting, a petting zoo, a Kelly Sports clinic, carnival style rides, an Easter egg hunt and a colouring competition.

For the adults, fantastic country hospitality is on offer throughout the day with food trucks featuring fresh Gippsland seafood and live entertainment from The Voice finalist Micka Harrington.

General admission tickets are available at just $15 with a variety of hospitality packages still on offer.  

To accommodate the large number of families holidaying in the Gippsland region over Easter, the Traffic Accident Commission is supporting CRV and the STC to deliver a bus service connecting patrons to the track for a gold coin donation to the Good Friday Appeal.

The shuttle service will connect nearby towns of Wonthaggi, Moe, Traralgon, Heyfield, Briagalong, Seaspray, Loch Sport, Golden Beach, Lakes Entrance, Nicholson, Paynesville, Metung, Yarram, and Sale itself with the race meeting. 

RV Chief Executive, Giles Thompson, said: “We’re excited to conduct the first ever Good Friday meeting in the heart of Gippsland which will begin a tradition in Victoria, rotating the race meeting around our country tracks and driving tourism for the local economy.

“Racing Victoria is also extremely proud to partner with CRV and STC to support the Good Friday Appeal through this event and we hope the funds raised can assist the Royal Children’s Hospital in conducting their lifesaving work. 

“With an outstanding race program worth $1.4 million and exciting on-course initiatives for the whole family, the inaugural Good Friday raceday at Sale is set to provide a welcome boost to the local community and I would like to thank CRV and the STC for their hard work in the lead up to this event.” 

STC Chief Executive, Brad Evans, said: “The club is really looking forward to Friday and the event is continuing to build momentum. The local community has been really supportive of the event and some fantastic sponsors have come on board for the day. 

“The club has focused on making the event a family fun day whilst also ensuring that much needed funds are raised for the Good Friday Appeal. We have committed to donating a percentage of gate takings, proceeds from the silks auction and gold coin donations to the Good Friday Appeal amongst other initiatives.

“It will be a proud day for the club’s history to host the industry’s first ever Good Friday race meeting.”

Gates will open at Sale Racecourse at 12 noon on Friday with the racing action to commence from 1pm. To buy a ticket to the races or to find out more, please visit: To donate to the Good Friday Appeal, visit: