BALLARAT’S Bray Raceway is to get a $600,000 makeover.
Racing Minister Denis Napthine announced yesterday that the state government would contribute $310,000 to an upgrade the racing circuit.
Harness Racing Victoria and Ballarat and District Trotting Club will finance the balance of the project’s estimated cost of $621,366.
An increased camber on the turns is the most significant aspect of the upgrade.
This will go from between 7 and 8 per cent to 14 – minimising stress on horses and making the circuit faster.
Napthine said the upgrade would improve safety, the competitiveness of racing and bring the track up industry standards.
BDTC chief executive officer Rowse said the steeper camber would put the 1000-metre circuit on par with the state’s newest tracks such as Melton and Swan Hill.
This will be the first major upgrade of the track since its redevelopment and expansion to 1000m in 1992.
The project will also feature a new granite base, racing surface, new wire mesh and Colourbond perimeter fencing, standardised sponsorship signage and improved lighting.
Harness Racing Victoria is calling for tenders for the work, which is scheduled to start immediately after the group 1 $150,000 Ballarat Pacing Cup on Friday, January 25.
The HRV expects the project to be completed within a month, allowing racing to resume in Ballarat in early March.
HRV CEO John Anderson said 13 tracks had either been built or redeveloped in the 20 years since the last time Ballarat had been reconstructed.
“As one of Victoria’s premier clubs it is time that an investment is made in the Ballarat track to ensure its keeps pace with the latest technology in track design and safety,” he said.