Ballarat Racing Gallops Ahead

Ballarat Racing Gallops Ahead

Victoria Minister for Racing Denis Napthine

Racing Minister Opens Ballarat Uphill Training Track

Victor P Taffa

Victorian Minister for Racing Denis Napthine today officially opened the new $2.4 Million uphill training track at Ballarat’s Dowling Forest Racecourse.

Inspecting the track at Ballarat, Dr. Napthine said the 1400-metre uphill synthetic training track would provide superior strength development for horses at one of Victoria’s major thoroughbred training centres.

“Dowling Forest is one of the state’s top-tier provincial racecourses and as a major thoroughbred training centre, deserves the best infrastructure to give local trainers every opportunity to produce winning racehorses.” Dr. Napthine said.

“The new straight synthetic track stretches over 1400 metres and uses the natural landscape to work its way up uphill following the topography of Mt. Pisgah.”


“It will provide strength training for thoroughbreds that could not be achieved on a traditional flat track and at eight metres wide it can be used for both slow and fast work.”

“This unique development complements other training facilities at the Dowling Forest racecourse including the sand track internal to the main course.” Dr. Napthine said.

Ballarat Turf Club President Dr. Ian Fulton said Mawsafe plastic running rails had been installed on both sides of the track to improve safety for jockeys and horses.

“Ballarat produces over 2,300 individual starters each year, the fifth-highest number in the state. It is therefore fitting that the Ballarat trainers using the Dowling Forest training centre have access to superior facilities, and opportunities to develop the strength of their horses.” Dr. Fulton said.

“Other features include a trainer’s box at the 1000 metre mark, pull off points at 1200 metres, 1300 metres, 1400 metres and timed distance markers every 200 metres.”

Racing Victoria CEO Bernard Saundry said the total cost of the project at Dowling Forest was $2.4 Million, with the State Government contributing $2.16 Million and the remaining $240,000 provided by Racing Victoria and Country Racing Victoria.

“The uphill synthetic training track will be an invaluable asset for the Ballarat region, providing a world class all-weather training facility for 150 horses a day. Timing, communications and lighting systems have also been installed, complementing the Pro-Ride training surface.” Mr. Saundry said.

“Investment in racing infrastructure and training facilities is important for the future of the sport and this project follows the redevelopment of the synthetic training track at the Cranbourne Training Centre.”

“On behalf of Racing Victoria and Country Racing Victoria, I would like to thank the State Government for its support and continued investment in racing’s future, particularly in country Victoria.” Mr. Saundry said.

The completion of this new uphill training track follows the Coalition Government’s contribution to purchase new starting stalls for the Ballarat Turf Club at a total cost of $118,000.

Dr. Napthine said the Coalition’s $79.5 Million Budget racing package was a reflection of the Government’s commitment to the Victorian racing industry, particularly in regional areas.

“The Victorian racing industry supports more than 70,000 jobs across the state and contributes over $2 Billion to the Victorian economy, more than half of which is generated in country Victoria.”

“The State Government is committed to maintaining and developing a dynamic racing industry, that ensures that Victoria continues to lead the nation, more than ever when it comes to thoroughbred racing.” Dr. Napthine said.