Green paper to guide discussion on Victorian racing infrastructure

Racing Victoria (RV) has today released a green paper for industry consultation on the future racing and training infrastructure footprint of Victorian thoroughbred racing.

The Victorian Racing Infrastructure Green Paper contemplates a number of key investments and decisions over the next 10 years that will shape the footprint.

The establishment and ongoing development of Victoria’s racing and training infrastructure has a significant impact on the success of the sport in engaging customers and providing a vibrant and sustainable industry for future generations to participate in.

Where possible at this time, the discussion paper proposes outcomes and decisions for industry consultation with a view to finalising an infrastructure blueprint by mid-2023.

The green paper notes that some key infrastructure decisions cannot be resolved at this time, most notably the future of Sandown Racecourse where the outcome of a planning application before local and state Governments is not expected until at least 2023.

It is proposed within the green paper that the following will occur in the Victorian Thoroughbred Racing Industry (VTRI) over the next 10 years:

Race Meetings & Surfaces

  • The number of annual race meetings conducted will remain in the 540-560 range with a minimum of 104 metropolitan meetings per annum; 
  • The number of night meetings conducted will be in the range of 50-80 meetings per annum and the number of twilight meetings in the range of 20-40 meetings per annum. With programming currently at the bottom end of both ranges, any increase in night and/or twilight racing will be driven by customer demand and will require consideration of any welfare concerns for participants and raceday officials; and
  • Racing on synthetic surfaces is likely to be reduced. 

Race Venues

  • All country racetracks will be retained in the same locations as present with the standard of facilities for spectators, participants and horses continually improved;
  • Metropolitan racing will be retained at Caulfield, Flemington and Moonee Valley; 
  • Racing may cease at Sandown towards the back end of the 10-year period, however this will only be supported by RV if a proposal to do so is in the best overall interests of the VTRI at the time of its consideration; 
  • Racing at Caulfield will be conducted on two racetracks from 2024 with night racing capability likely to have been installed on the inner racetrack (Caulfield Heath);
  • Moonee Valley Racecourse will be fully redeveloped, reopening in 2027 with a new racetrack, grandstand and raceday facilities; and
  • A master plan for Flemington Racecourse, currently being developed by the Victoria Racing Club (VRC), will be completed and help inform future racing and training infrastructure requirements at the venue.

Training Facilities

  • Training will continue at current country and metropolitan locations unless industry trends require changes to the current ‘hub and spoke’ model; 
  • The key training locations (‘hubs’) will be Ballarat, Cranbourne, Flemington, Mornington, Pakenham, Warrnambool and potentially the North-West Land (should it be developed) with medium sized and smaller current training venues (‘spokes’) supporting these larger venues; and 
  • A program of upgrades and investment in the standard of facilities for participants and horses across the training venue network will continue, with a focus on improving access to grass training facilities.

North-West Land

Land secured by RV in May 2022 on the north-western urban fringe of Melbourne to future proof the VTRI will have completed a satisfactory period of due diligence, been master planned and potentially developed. 

The North-West Land has the potential to be developed for many purposes including but not limited to, a new training centre, a new racetrack, equine welfare programs, quarantine facilities, and workforce development, as well as community engagement opportunities. All potential future options will be the subject of extensive industry consultation and master planning over coming years.


RV is inviting submissions from any parties wishing to document a view on Victoria’s infrastructure footprint and RV’s considerations of matters within the green paper.

Submissions are to be emailed to by 5pm (AET) on Friday, 2 September 2022. 

RV will consider all submissions and associated customer research in consultation with industry stakeholders between September 2022 and April 2023 before publishing its Victorian Racing Infrastructure Blueprint on or before June 2023.

Quotes attributable to RV Chief Executive, Giles Thompson

“Racing Victoria seeks to work with Clubs, stakeholders, state and local Governments, and other relevant parties to deliver a racing and training infrastructure footprint that fosters the growth and sustainability of a vibrant racing industry in Victoria.

“Victoria is a pre-eminent racing jurisdiction, and we are committed to remaining so by delivering world-class racing and training facilities, raceday facilities that deliver captivating experiences, and by maximising owner and punter investment within the state. 

“Racing Victoria has invested more than $60 million since 2015 supporting in excess of $130 million worth of projects to improve the safety and quality of racing and training infrastructure within Victoria. 

“Future investment in infrastructure is a key strategic priority for Racing Victoria and our Clubs as we collectively strive to continue building Victorian racing’s offering to participants and customers alike.

“There are many key investments and decisions to be made on our racing and training infrastructure footprint over the next 10 years. Whilst we don’t have all the answers at this time, we have proposed the outcomes that may eventuate in this green paper and we’re inviting any interested parties to make a submission on them over the next three months.”