The Victorian racing industry will again come together to honour the ANZAC spirit with a range of commemorative activities planned at the race clubs hosting meetings this ANZAC Day (Sunday, 25 April).
The fixtures at Flemington and Moe will offer free entry to current serving Australian Defence Force (ADF) and all Returned and Services League (RSL) members, and will also give racegoers the chance to pay their respects to Australia’s and New Zealand’s wartime heroes at the traditional ANZAC Day ceremony.
The race clubs will also raise money for the annual ANZAC Appeal, with Racing Victoria (RV) kickstarting the fundraising courtesy of a $10,000 donation.
RV has again collaborated with the Victorian branch of the RSL to produce special commemorative silks, which incorporate the ANZAC Appeal Rising Sun logo and will be worn by the jockey riding the top-weighted horse in each race at Flemington and Moe.
This year marks the 60th anniversary of the Victoria Racing Club’s ANZAC Day Race Day, and the family-friendly event will feature traditional games of two-up for the adults and tug-of-war for the youngsters on the front lawn between races.
The Moonee Valley Brass Band will also play the Australian national anthem and The Last Post, and a minute’s silence will be observed following the laying of the wreath.
The action on the track will be highlighted by the 162nd running of the VRC St Leger, a staying race conducted over 2800m which in recent years has been dominated by the Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott stable.
The first lady of Australian racing has trained the last three winners of the Listed contest, with Sacramento outstaying his rivals in a thrilling finish last year to follow stablemates Transact (2019) and Runaway (2018) into the winner’s enclosure.
Waterhouse and Bott will be aiming for an unprecedented fourth successive victory in the race this year, whilst the other marquee contest of the day will feature some highly progressive juveniles in the Listed ANZAC Day Stakes (1400m).
As with the VRC St Leger, the winner of the William Newton Handicap (2600m) will be offered a ticket into the Listed Andrew Ramsden Stakes (2800m) next month, with the winner of that race guaranteed a start in the 2021 Lexus Melbourne Cup (3200m).
At the Moe meeting, between the seven races on the card patrons can enjoy live music, sample the fare on offer from the various food trucks and watch the AFL match between Essendon and Collingwood on the big screen.
Families are also welcome to bring a picnic to enjoy on one of the grass areas under the large umbrellas, or else take a seat in the grandstand.
The recently-refurbished members area will also be available for club members, with a raffle draw and an ANZAC Day happy hour complementing the action on the track. The traditional flag-raising ceremony will also take place prior to the running of the first race.