Horse racing in Melbourne could be headed to the CBD with a crazy idea seriously being considered by the local government to host a horse a race or multiple races in the streets of the city.
Victoria’s Minister for Racing Martin Pakula says it’s too early to be getting excited about a proposed race meeting on the streets of Melbourne.
A News Corp report claims an international sporting group, also planning events in Paris, Rome, New York and Hong Kong, was also looking at holding a race meeting in Australia.
It says world-class jockeys would be flown in to ride local horses in races over 1000m on a specially laid-out track.
St Kilda Road with a finish near Flinders Street Station and Federation Square or Olympic Boulevard where crowds could line the street near the Tennis Centre and Olympic Park with the MCG in the background have been touted as possible sites.
A similar idea was floated last year for a race meeting to be held on the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
“I wouldn’t get too excited just yet,” Pakula told RSN927.
“I haven’t met with the organisation that is the proponent of this idea, but I’m happy to and I’m happy to hear what they have to say.
“At first blush it would seem to have a few challenges associated with it.
“We’ve got lots of amazing racing coming up this spring at Flemington and Moonee Valley and Caulfield and Sandown as well as our country tracks,” Pakula said.
“For the time being that’s where my focus is, it’s where the focus of the racing industry is and that’s not to say we should disregard interesting new concepts and I would be happy to hear what they have to say.”
Melbourne hosts Australia’s biggest race the Melbourne Cup each year on the first Tuesday in November but pressure from Racing NSW’s The Everest which is now the richest race in the country has put pressure on the city to regain interest in racing to the area.