The flood ravaged Yarra Valley track could be as much as two years away from holding its next thoroughbred race meeting.
Racing Victoria chief executive Rob Hines said on Monday the Yarra Valley circuit needed a complete track reconstruction after it was flooded three times in five months with the sand training track being washed away.
“Yarra Valley track is a great events track. It is in a lovely location and we can’t afford to lose it,” Hines said.
Hines said the reconstruction of the track would require a major investment by the racing industry which was irresponsible for the track.
Harness racing meetings at Yarra Valley continue to be held.
Hines said seed was being sown on the Benalla track on Tuesday and there would be an assessment next month to monitor whether the track would be ready to hold its Cup meeting there in September.
Benalla has been closed since October 22 when a horse put its foot into a pothole in the track and dislodged jockey Jason Benbow who suffered a broken ankle.
It was the second time in five months that a section of the track near the 500 metres had collapsed.
Yarra Valley, Benalla, Moe and Kyneton, which are all currently closed, have been identified by Racing Victoria as “high risk” tracks needing urgent attention.
Kyneton is now scheduled to be back racing on May 27.
Hines said wagering revenue was down $10 million this season through disruptions to programming caused by the floods and bad weather.