Cranbourne and Pakenham Merger

The Cranbourne Turf Club (CTC) and Pakenham Racing Club (PRC) are very pleased to advise that they have reached in-principle agreement to progress a merger to create a Super Club in Melbourne’s south-east, subject to a members’ vote and regulatory approvals.

The merger is supported by Racing Victoria (RV) and Country Racing Victoria (CRV) and affirm the region’s standing as a focal point for thoroughbred training and racing in Australia.

The CTC and PRC committees believe that the merger would further strengthen racing in the region and create significant additional benefits for members, participants, racegoers, commercial partners and local communities.

The completion of the merger is subject to a vote by both CTC and PRC members that is expected to occur in late 2023, early 2024.  Information regarding the vote will be shared by each Club with its members over the coming weeks.

If the merger proceeds, the new Super Club will engage directly with RV (in place of CRV) into the future on matters such as funding, operations and programming. The direct working relationship with RV has been tabled as one of several agreed benefits that would provide significant racing and financial benefit for the new Super Club.

A name for the new Super Club is yet to be determined by the CTC and PRC committees and will be the subject of further consultation. 

Collectively, CTC and PRC conduct over 60 race meetings annually across three tracks – Cranbourne, Pakenham Turf and Pakenham Synthetic – all of which are lit for night racing. 

In addition, CTC and PRC have more than 1500 horses in training each day across their facilities and deliver 30% of all Victorian starters.

Quotes attributable to CTC Chief Executive, Neil Bainbridge

“The creation of a Super Club between Cranbourne and Pakenham will deliver increased benefits for members, racegoers, participants and other stakeholders with access to more meetings, more facilities and increased opportunities for engagement. 

“We have a unique opportunity to combine the strengths of both Clubs to promote racing in the south-east, leverage collective assets, and achieve improved commercial outcomes. 

“Together we can deliver a more effective and efficient operating model through sharing expertise and equipment between the Clubs’ facilities, which can only benefit racing in the region and Victoria more broadly.

“We encourage all our members to support the merger between Cranbourne and Pakenham and look forward to engaging with them, local trainers and our commercial partners in the weeks ahead on this exciting opportunity.” 

Quotes attributable to PRC Chief Executive, Blair Odgers 

“It’s an exciting time to be involved in racing in the south-east with Pakenham and Cranbourne both having undertaken significant developments over the past decade.

“We both operate first class racing and training centres 40km apart in a rapid growth area and we have the opportunity to become a powerful combination in Victorian and Australian racing.

“The creation of a Super Club means that memberships can be spread across both tracks and over 60 race meetings annually, while creating opportunities to share training facilities.

“We’ll be writing to our members in the coming weeks and encouraging them to support our shared vision of creating a Super Club in Melbourne’s south-east.”

Quotes attributable to RV Chief Executive, Andrew Jones 

“RV applauds Cranbourne Turf Club and Pakenham Racing Club for pursuing this merger. We fully support their vision for a racing and training powerhouse in Melbourne’s south-east.

“The combination of these two great Clubs will deliver increased benefits for members, participants and the industry and is a brilliant economic decision.

“Racing Victoria commends the merger and we hope Club members do likewise.”

Quotes attributable to CRV Chief Executive, Scott Whiteman 

“CRV supports this merger because it’s in the best interests of the Clubs, their members, their local trainers and Victorian racing as a whole.

“The south-east corridor has experienced huge population growth and these Clubs are very much a part of Greater Melbourne these days.

“We’re proud of the incredible progress each Club has made over the past decade and know that together they can capitalise on a bright future for racing in Melbourne’s south-east.”