This year’s Seymour Cup will receive a $21000 funding boost from the Victorian Racing Industry Fund (VRIF) Race-day Attraction Program.
Racing Minister Martin Pakula made the announcement on Wednesday when he visited the Seymour Racing Club.
During his visit Mr Pakula inspected the club’s new $1.2million training track, which was completed just days prior.
The new fibre sand track replaced a synthetic track which was installed 15 years ago, and had reached the end of its life.
The new track will significantly reduce the workload on the course proper, allowing for faster recovery and regeneration.
The upgrade included stripping off the synthetic surface, improving the base and drainage systems, extending the turn out of the straight and the replacement of some of the running rails.
A new automatic irrigation system was also installed to allow night watering, which will reduce evaporation and save on watering costs.
Seymour Racing Club chief executive Penny Reeve said the track was used for the first time the morning of the minister’s visit.
‘‘It went very well,’’ she said.
‘‘The trainers used it for trotting and cantering just to get a feel for it and the reports were all positive.
‘‘It is a galloping track but we’re starting off slowly.’’
The track was funded by the club ($180000), Racing Victoria ($480000) and the Victorian Government which contributed $600000 to the project.
‘‘I think this will be a really big bonus for the Seymour track and a great addition to our facilities here,’’ Mrs Reeve said.
Mr Pakula said the track would be utilised well by the club’s about 35 trainers and 100 horses.
‘‘Having the best facilities is a big part of making sure we keep racing strong in this area,’’ he said.
Talking about the funding boost for the Seymour Cup in October, Mr Pakula said it was great to be able to put racing money back into the racing community.
The cup, which had a year hiatus in 2016 due to track works, returns this year and will be held in conjunction with Tastes of the Goulburn food and wine festival on October 22.
The funding will go towards children’s activities, live music and a free shuttle bus to get people to and from the track safely.