The Wyong Race Club filed a Development Application with the Central Coast Council just prior to Christmas for Stage One of a planned $6m expansion of its thoroughbred track and training operation.
The first stage of the planned development is the construction of a $3.5m all-weather training track to accommodate more horses to be trained at Wyong in the future.
The new track will be built inside the two existing sand training tracks in the centre of the racecourse.
Wyong Race Club is working with Racing NSW to expand the number of horses able to be trained locally from around 220 currently to 300+ long term. The Club’s $6m Master Plan also provides for new stabling in the next year along with the relocation of the raceday tie-up stall and raceday float parking from the stabling area to the Rose Street end of the racecourse.
Wyong is one of the leading Provincial Racing Clubs in NSW staging 22 race meetings each year and provides employment for over 100 local persons around the racecourse including the Club’s administration and track staff, together with the trainers, stable staff and track riders.
Across Australia more than 159,000 people are directly involved in the thoroughbred racing industry, with racing also generating significant additional employment opportunities across veterinary, feed, retail, hospitality, tourism, accommodation, transport and the construction sectors.
Wyong Race Club CEO David Jewell said that the planned $6m development of the track and training facilities to accommodate around 300 horses will reinforce Wyong’s long term position as one of the major regional training centres in Australia and is expected to generate another 30+ fulltime local jobs when completed.
Thoroughbred Racing is said to contribute more than $9 billion to the Australian economy. Thoroughbred racing is one of Australia’s most popular spectator sports with upwards of 2 million people each year attending at least one racing event.
Mr Jewell said that while Racing was a big business, generating more than $800 million per annum in State and Federal taxes from its racing, wagering and business activities, the Clubs themselves operate as a not for profit organisation, with Wyong governed by a voluntary Board elected by the Club’s members, along with three independent directors appointed for their business skills.
Wyong currently has around 600 members. The Club’s major days attract a crowd of 2500 to 3000 people, with the Club employing up to 140 casual staff to assist with the delivery of these events. In 2019 Wyong Race Club will distribute more than $6 million in prizemoney, which goes mainly to the owners as well as a percentage share being paid to the trainers, jockeys and stable staff.
Wyong Race Club has been in business here on its present site since 1912 with the Club having invested more than $20 million over the years developing its facilities which are amongst the best in New South Wales outside of the metropolitan area.
The picturesque Wyong Racecourse hosts numerous functions and events throughout the year including the popular fortnightly local Farmers Market.
Various local organisations are able use the racecourse each year including the annual two week RYDA Road Safety and Education training programme, which is run for High school students. On Christmas day the Samaritans hosted a free luncheon at the racecourse for almost 500 people, while local schools regularly use the racecourse grounds for their Cross Country events and sports days.
A number of organisations also work closely with the Wyong Race Club to run charity race days throughout the year to raise valuable funds. Wyong Race Club has a long standing partnership with the Westpac Rescue Helicopter services, 2GO’s very successful Give Me Five for Kids appeal and supports a number of local Service Clubs raising tens of thousands of dollars for their very worthwhile causes each year.