THE High Court’s decision to validate NSW race field legislation will unlock over $100 million in turnover fees for country race clubs and Racing Orange chairperson Ellie Brown says she will fight to see Towac Park receive its fair share of the pie.
The move to quash appeals from Sportsbet and Betfair will see a cash injection likely to both boost prize money and improve track infrastructure in rural NSW.
Brown said the court win meant big things for Orange.
“We’re thrilled. It was a common sense approach which will give a big injection of funds for country racing,” Brown said.
“We’ve certainly got a wish list and we’ll be fighting hard for our slice of the pie.”
The first season of the Racing Orange reign ended on Monday with the new board overseeing a seven-race program at Towac Park before the barriers are put away for the winter.
The club held its first race meet on Melbourne Cup day last year.
They’ve gone on to host four TAB meetings and a picnic races meet in January.
Brown said it has been a whirlwind six months.
“It was definitely not what I expected but it has been great,” she said.
“The entire board has enjoyed it.”
Brown nominated taking control of racing in Orange just six weeks out from the Melbourne Cup day meeting as the biggest challenge for the Racing Orange board this season.
And she is excited about the challenges that await in 2012-13.
“We’ve got a lot of great ideas for the future,” Brown enthused.
“We’re looking at different ideas to get more people out to Towac Park.”
Brown believes support for the racing industry in Orange is growing.
“Absolutely. We’ve had a lot of support from Racing NSW, the public, the punters. Everyone in general is thrilled to have Towac Park up and running well,” she said.
The club will conduct a full maintenance program over winter to help maintain the track and grand stand facilities in preparation for the Saddle Up Sunday meeting on Sunday, September 30.