Labor Upper House Member for Northern Victoria, Jaclyn Symes, today announced a joint funding package of more than $172,000 to upgrade the power supply to the club and support the running of this year’s Wangaratta Cup on Sunday 5 March.

To attract racegoers to the event, the Andrews Labor Government is contributing almost $42,000 through the Victorian Industry Fund Raceday Attraction Program. The Wangaratta Turf Club will provide almost $32,000 and Country Racing Victoria will give $10,000 to the event.

The Wangaratta Cup is part of Country Racing Victoria’s ‘Relax at the Country Races’ campaign, which covers 42 weekend and feature race meetings across regional Victoria from 5 February through to 1 April 2017.

Former Essendon and AFL star Matthew Lloyd, along with media personalities Liam Pickering and Dr Turf, will be this year’s Wangaratta Cup hosts and ambassadors.

Patrons can book a King Valley Food and Wine Experience that includes entry to the racecourse and the King Valley enclosure featuring award-wining wines and local gourmet produce. Family entertainment will include a ‘Kids’ World’ entertainment area featuring children’s sports activities, face painting, a giant water slide and pony rides.

Complimentary shuttle buses will transport patrons to and from the racecourse from surrounding towns including Bright, Myrtleford, Beechworth, Yarrawonga, Bundalong, Milawa and areas within Wangaratta.

The club has also received funding to upgrade its power supply to ensure the club can meet increased demand for electricity on the race day.

The Andrews Labor Government contributed more than $44,000 towards the upgrade through the Victorian Racing Industry Fund. The Wangaratta Turf Club provided more than $24,000 and Racing Victoria and Country Racing Victoria put forward $20,000.

Last year, the power supply failed after five races on Wangaratta Cup Day which led to the cancellation of the running of the Cup.

The upgrade includes a new transformer to power the racecourse, new cabling, an electrical box and installation. The increased power supply will provide the club with a guaranteed supply of electricity and also allow training to be conducted under better lighting each morning.

The racing industry in the Ovens-Murray region generates more than $39 million for the Victorian economy and helps to sustain more than 380 full-time equivalent jobs locally.

“The Wangaratta Cup is one of the feature races on the country racing calendar, contributing to the local economy and attracting many visitors to this beautiful part of Victoria,” Ms Symes said.

“The Wangaratta Turf Club has undergone extensive improvements to public facilities and racing infrastructure over the past three years and we’re proud to be supporting the club again in 2017.”

Quotes attributable to Wangaratta Turf Club CEO Paul Hoysted

We thank the Victorian Government for its ongoing support, not only for our cup meeting, but for also for the recent capital works at the racecourse.”

“Racing has a rich history in Wangaratta and has helped shape the identity of the town. We encourage visitors and locals alike to join us on cup day for the very best of country racing.”