STC members reject merger with AJC

Sydney Turf Club members have rejected a merger with the Australian Jockey Club despite the promise of a $174 million cash injection for Sydney racing.

Less than 500 members of the Sydney Turf Club (STC) voted at Monday’s extraordinary meeting at Rosehill Racecourse which would have been the beneficiary of $24 million.

A show of hands from the 462 members resulted in a “no” vote of just over 60 per cent while 85 per cent of the 1186 AJC members who voted last week were in favour of the merger.

STC chairman Bill Picken said he respected all opinions but was disappointed the resolution which had been recommended by the board of the club had been rejected.

“The STC board worked diligently with the AJC board to ensure the proposed merger was in the best interests of not only Sydney Turf Club and Australian Jockey Club, but the racing industry as a whole,” Picken said.

On Sunday, Tabcorp agreed to finance the funding package as a non-repayable grant if the clubs agreed to merge.

Of the $174 million, $150 million was earmarked for much needed improvements at Randwick Racecourse to turn it into a multi purpose venue.

“Our members view their club as highly successful in its own right and financially sound and do not see the need to merge,” STC chief executive Michael Kenny said.