Hello Racing Fans
I haven’t written for a while as I wanted to concentrate this blog as a story of my life in racing.
At this time I don’t think sharing that is as important as other things I have on my mind.
My concern is Racings culture.
What do people expect from a day at the track?
What amenities and facilities and to what standards should a Race Club offer?
What grandstand activities should clubs provide?
Each of these questions contain a myriad of questions themselves the further you delve.
The answers to those questions are there but is there anyone from racings authorities asking them?
One thing for certain is there is no quality control of the product provided.
Today I attended the Kyneton and Hanging Rock Race Club Meet @ Kyneton.
I attended as it is now my local club, living at Macedon the club controls 2 racetracks within a 20 minute drive of me.
It was purely a day out for myself on a sunny spring day. Warm enough mid afternoon to wear a tee shirt.
Glancing at the track after paying my entrance fee, why do I have to purchase a ticket off 1 person walk less than 4 steps and hand that ticket to another is beyond me, anyway back to the track it looked sensational obviously the track staff were well informed that the Club were holding their 1st meeting of the racing season. The rest of the course suffered in comparison.
As you enter the course there’s a small cafeteria next to a children’s playground, not today CLOSED. Onwards we go past about 30-40 disused tote windows that run along the backside of the course, by the looks no more than 20 years old. EMPTY I keep going fully expected a tumble weed to blow by, it doesn’t it’s too early in the season of spring for them, I get to the Bar under the grandstand also CLOSED. Honestly if it were not for the fact that I had paid admission, had driven past horse floats and could see people in the betting ring I could of sworn I had attended on a trial day. Ok quick they’re nearly off for the 1 st. through the mugs in the betting ring and watch the first. It was won in Ultra fine style by Tear Gas. So back behind I go in the search of refreshments. There is coffee available out the back of a Van next to the betting ring and a food caravan beyond that. As I approach the caravan it is obvious they are not set up and no food is available. Shall we cut them some slack because it’s only early and the first race has just been run and won. NO WAY it’s 1 PM. LUNCHTIME.So I spy the crowd and think FOOD..DRINK… I have arrived at the Mounting Yard Bar, lucky I’m not an alcoholic, or for that matter an older kid asked by his unsuspecting parents to acquire soft drinks for their siblings or self, IN A BAR that serves alcohol, anyway as I approach the bar and I ask what they have to eat? OH great… you have what? Party Pies and Sausage Rolls. Party Pies and what oh leave me out of that. as my twitter mate Jack later commented ” no fairy bread”? I’LL PASS.
I head out back to the parade ring to inspect the runners for the 2 nd. Nothing stands out so I head back to the food caravan, I smell something, well it’s about… not food but oil heating up, damn Wait 5 minutes .Time check 1:25pm 10 mins to race. 5 more minutes pass and food is available. A Cup of Hot chips, again I pass, then proceed to watch the race. As soon as the horses crossed the line I turned and headed for the car park, drove into town acquired food, drove back to the track. I ate the food in the car park then re entered the course and re started the day.
The rest of the day passed as I had expected it to. A peaceful day at the track on a sunny spring day. The equine athletes lived up to their part and provided a great spectacle. For the record I didn’t have a bet. For me racing is more than the PUNT. Therein lies the problem, the race course is well equipped and prepared if you like a bet or a drink of alcohol, now I am not a wowser as I do both just not what I was looking to do today. Ok I’ve asked the questions and provided a personal experience of a failure from a race club to provide acceptable facilities, now I’ll put my head on the chopping block and subject myself to ridicule for some of the following suggestions. I’m no marketing expert but I’ll give it a crack based solely on today’s experience. I am the clubs new marketing manager with free reign to create a new raceday experience. Remember it is a Friday. Here Goes.
1.Come and see The Cup .
A request to the VRC to have The Melbourne Cup on course has been approved.
2. Come and celebrate SPRING At Kyneton’s First Race Meeting of the Racing Season.
Confirmed local businesses attending are Hardware Store with their range of garden tools and other spring garden ideas also mowers including ride ons.
The Farm Supply Store is bringing a larger tractor with slasher and other equipment to display and as he is a club sponsor he can have the largest space available to accommodate his needs.
The Female Clothing Store and The Male Clothing Store will have their latest range of fashion for the upcoming Spring Racing Season
4 local food stores are setting up pop up eateries for guests to sample their wares. The towns rotary club is will have their standard sausage sizzle.
The CFA will have a fire fighting unit onsite with fire safety tips for the upcoming fire season.
In conjunction with NMIT and RVL the 2 local high school’s Year 12 students will have a careers day with a talk from an apprentice jockey, a senior rider and a trainer as well as career advisors from NMIT.
Entry Will Be FREE.
I think you get my drift.
How is that sounding so far? The only extravagant request I have made here is for the attendance of The Melbourne Cup otherwise the scenario I have just put forward is not that far fetched, it’s relatively risk free for the club financially. A little imagination goes a long way.
At the very least have a food facility open before the first race.
Feel feel to leave a comment here or on twitter @offtrackjock
Bye for now. Big D