The Moruya Jockey Club Board unanimously supports the proposed purchase of the Moruya Racecourse by RacingNSW.
The Board has come to this position having given due consideration to the possible effect of a change of Racecourse ownership upon:
Day-to Day Operations
RacingNSW has given an undertaking to lease the Moruya Racecourse to the Moruya Jockey Club Ltd on the same terms and conditions as the current 50 year lease the Club has with the Eurobodalla Shire Council. From the perspective of daily operation’s, we envisage that all current stakeholders – staff, trainers, track work riders, members, patrons and on-course food outlets and entertainment providers will see no discernible immediate change to their current arrangements.
Future Sustainability of Racing in the Eurobodalla.
The Moruya Jockey Club has been one of the most successful Thoroughbred Racing Clubs in NSW, having won the prestigious NSW Country Race Club of the Year Award twice, the second time in 2017. All our KPI’s are well above the average for clubs of our type and size.
But our success is now presenting challenges for the Board.
We have over 500 Members, and our Race Meetings are consistently well patronised by the general public. Also, RacingNSW has demonstrated considerable faith in the future of the Club by increasing the number of meetings over the past eight years and the recent inclusions of Moruya in the Country Cups program, adding $70,000 to Cup Day prizemoney.
While welcomed, this is placing considerable strain on ageing facilities and equipment.
All available housing adjacent to the track is occupied, and stabling is at full capacity and we have strong expressions of interest from prominent Trainers to train at Moruya Racecourse. This demand is placing increasing pressure upon our track facilities.
To address these issues, the Board has identified several essential works, totalling $1,500,000, which need to occur in the coming 18 months. In addition to these immediate needs our experience indicates that the ever-evolving Thoroughbred Racing industry, statutory regulations and increasing community expectations will necessitate continual capital investment into the foreseeable future to remain a suitable venue for Thoroughbred Racing.
While the Moruya Jockey Club is in a comparatively sound financial position, we are unable to fund the current works program, let alone service future capital requirements. from our own resources. Consequently, the Board approached RacingNSW for assistance both with
regard to our immediate finance requirements and a strategy to satisfy future capital and maintenance needs.
During these discussions the Board was briefed on RacingNSW’s new Strategic Plan. While broad in scope, three elements of the Plan were of particular relevance to the Moruya Jockey Club. These being:
· A commitment to Thoroughbred Racing throughout regional NSW
· An acknowledgment that financial sustainability will be a continuing challenge for Race Club’s such as Moruya.
· A range of strategies, including Racecourse acquisition, to ensure the future certainty and security of Country Clubs.
In this context, the Board sought clarification from RacingNSW as to the implications for the Moruya Jockey Club should it seek to acquire the Moruya Racecourse. This possibility had been briefly discussed with RacingNSW in the past, but the Board believed it needed to be revisited in view of the new Strategic Plan.
Following a number of discussions and based on the information provided, the Board determined that the security and future sustainability of thoroughbred racing in the Eurobodalla is likely to be significantly enhanced if RacingNSW were to assume full responsibility for the Moruya Racecourse complex and allow the Moruya Jockey Club Ltd to lease the facility on the same terms as the Club’s existing lease.
The Moruya Jockey Club’s is one of the oldest Thoroughbred Horse Racing Clubs in the nation and prides itself on its strong links with the local community. It exists and prospers because of community support and endeavours to acknowledge and reciprocate this in several ways.
The Club is already a significant employer in the region and as Trainer numbers grow so too will the number of people employed in horse training activities. Also, there is a flow on effect for related businesses such as Produce Suppliers, Veterinarians, Farriers, Horse Transporters etc.
Monetary and in-kind support is provided to many not for profit community services in the region.
The Moruya Jockey Club has a firm “Buy Eurobodalla” Policy. Given the Racecourse operates 6 days per week, 52 weeks a year it is a source of revenue for many individuals and local businesses. This policy will remain under the new ownership and we expect that the positive impact on the local economy will be further enhanced as activity levels grow.
Finally, as our membership and race meeting patronage numbers attest, the Moruya Racecourse is a source of social and recreational pleasure for a great number of Eurobodalla residents and visitors alike. We believe the purchase of the facility by RacingNSW will ensure this remains so for many decades to come.
Authorised and on behalf of
Moruya Jockey Club Ltd