Community should back jockey club bid

1THE Bendigo Jockey Club’s bid to host its first Saturday metropolitan race meeting next March should be embraced by the community.

Whether you like horse racing or not, Bendigo hosting a stand-alone race meeting on a Saturday is a coup for the city.

Any time we can attract people from across Victoria to Bendigo and/or gain national prominence is an opportunity for our region to prosper.

The BJC’s plan to include Bendigo’s popular art precinct and growing fashion, food and wine industries as part of the race meeting makes sense.

These days a day at the races is not just about looking at horses.

After all, each race lasts between one to two minutes and the races are run every 40 minutes. People like going to events and we need to offer patrons more than just horses and one of the best tracks in Australia.

There’s no reason why the BJC couldn’t organise a special race train to leave Spencer Street that has a distinct Bendigo theme.

Or I’m sure the BJC would be willing to work with Bendigo tourism in developing a deal in which buying a train and racing ticket earns patrons a discount at Bendigo motels.

Win or lose, the BJC should be congratulated for aiming high.

Last month the club’s feature race the Bendigo Cup earned an upgrade to become a Melbourne Cup qualifier. The Saturday metropolitan meeting would be the icing on the cake.