Thursday 28th September 2017
Pauline Henthorn (MRC Member)
A New Lifestyle Unfolds at Caulfield Village
The response from residents just a few months after moving into Caulfield Heath, the first precinct in the prestigious Caulfield Village development unfolding next to Caulfield Racecourse, has been overwhelmingly positive, especially from MRC members.
For those residents now unpacked and enjoying their new Caulfield surrounds, the biggest single message is how the move has transformed their lifestyle.
Pauline Henthorn, aged 67, now spends her time between her holiday home in Rosebud and her new two-bedroom town home at Caulfield Heath, enjoying the best of both worlds.
“As a member of the MRC I’d been looking at what has been happening at Caulfield Village and I wanted to get in early to find my dream. I always wanted a ground floor townhouse and that’s given me an added feeling of space given the outside terrace. It has a real feeling of light and space,’’ she said.
Pauline has been a MRC member since 2011 and now has the added benefit of attending race meetings with just a short walk.
“I certainly have no excuse to ever miss the first race at Caulfield. I only need to walk out the front of the building and then I can go through the Maple entrance where the horses are stabled and I don’t even have to walk up to the front entrance,’’ she said.
Dirk and Collette Ruijs (MRC Members)
It’s the combination of the ability to get everywhere on foot around Caulfield (including regular trips to the local swimming pool) or the easy accessibility to the Caulfield train station which especially thrills Pauline.
Her love of the arts can be fulfilled by the short train ride into Flinders Street Station (she says during the day she never has to wait more than 10 minutes given the station is serviced by three different train lines) and then a walk across Princess Bridge to the Arts Centre.
“I’m one of those quintessential baby boomers downsizing and getting a new life and it’s like opening an oyster. I cannot thank the MRC and the people at Beck Property Group enough. I lived for 35 years in my beloved house and now I’m enjoying all that Caulfield has to offer. It’s great having a racecourse on my front doorstep,’’ Pauline said.
“With wall-to-floor windows there is an added advantage. We haven’t needed to have the heating on so far so our energy costs are right down, but our windows are tinted which adds to privacy,’’ she said.
Dirk Ruijs and his wife Collette, both aged in their 70s, moved into their King apartment (three bedrooms and a study) in October, having previously lived in an upstairs townhouse in Blackburn.
Collette, a long-time MRC member, enjoys going to the races, and Dirk enjoys the proximity to the city and St Kilda Beach and even visits to the iconic Prahran Market.
“We’re enjoying apartment living. Yes, there are more people, but it’s very quiet during the day. We’ve got a large apartment, facing towards the city and its very light with big floor to ceiling windows. There’s so much light we almost need our sunglasses. We’ve been very happy,’’ Dirk said.
Collette has got into the habit of walking to Caulfield Park in the morning and then dropping into a local café for a coffee. Dirk prefers an early trip to the gym located onsite at Caulfield Heath and then a short walk to the swimming pool where he pops into the sauna.
“The swimming pool is just a three to four-minute walk away. It’s a lot different to where we used to live in Blackburn for 40 years, but we’re really enjoying it,’’ he said.
Want to know more about Caulfield Village?
M 0418 120 382 or E firstname.lastname@example.org
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Table of 10 Committee Room experience at Caulfield Racecourse
You may have seen reports regarding proposed changes to the BMW Caulfield Cup in today’s media.
Specifically, around the prospect of the race being altered from a handicap to weight-for-age conditions, among certain other elements including increased prize money.
Please note that these are merely options that we are considering, and are not confirmed changes.
We carefully assess all of our major races after they are run each and every year with a view to exploring any possibilities that may improve them and their participation and stature locally and abroad.
And we embark upon a process of consultation with various industry stakeholders, clubs and participant groups as we navigate through evaluating our races.
In this instance, such a change would assist to ensure that more of Australia’s premier stayers, those best suited to running in a 2400-metre Group 1, would likely be assembled at Caulfield when in recent years they may not have – including the likes of Preferment, It’s A Dundeel, Criterion, Puissance De Lune, Hartnell and Fiorente. This prospect has been aided by the agreement by the VRC to alter the conditions of the Melbourne Cup regarding the penalty or re-handicapping traditionally applied to the Caulfield Cup winner, should the Caulfield Cup be run under weight-for-age conditions.
It would also enhance our prospects of recruiting superior stayers from abroad, further developing the reputation of our greatest event on the global stage.
It cannot be overstated that the Committee and executive of the Melbourne Racing Club has the utmost respect for the rich history and tradition of the Caulfield Cup, and in no way wants to see that diminished.
Any changes made to the conditions of the Caulfield Cup would be made only in absolute confidence that the quality and esteem of the race is enhanced both domestically and internationally.
We will seek to keep you updated as we continue through the process of consultation and approval required to consider such an important decision amid an exciting time for the club.
Melbourne Racing Club Chairman
The Mornington Racing Club is excited for what is in store for our members on the Peninsula as we approach the 2017 Ladbrokes Mornington Cup.
It’s been a blockbuster start to 2017 at the Mornington Racing. Our four race meetings thus far in 2017 have seen 14,000 witnessing the racing action on course. Away from the summer of racing, the course has come to life with new and exciting events, including the sold out Red Hot Summer Tour and the Food Truck Festival which brought over 50,000 patrons through the gates.
The Mornington Racing Club is excited for what is in store for our members on the Peninsula as we approach the 2017 Ladbrokes Mornington Cup.
The recent renovation to the Mornington Members Reserve has elevated the Mornington Racing Club to be one of the premier entertainment facilities on the Peninsula and we are proud to have record membership levels and to have witnessed a strong growth in crowds over the 16/17 Racing Season.
The 2017 Ladbrokes Mornington Cup (March 25th 2017):
Ladbrokes Mornington Cup Day on March 25th 2017 boasts the nation’s most valuable country cup, with the feature race being the listed $300,000 Ladbrokes Mornington Cup.
The stakes are high as the winner of the race securing a guaranteed nomination into the 3 million dollar Caulfield Cup in October 2017.
With the Mornington Cup again featuring on a Saturday for the third year in a row, this race day is fast becoming the biggest country race day in Victoria.
Mornington Cup Day mixes the very best in horse racing with a social atmosphere to match.
With dining packages selling quickly, be sure to secure your spot on course by calling (03) 5975 3310 today!
The New Pegasus Rewards Program at Mornington:
We hope Mornington Members have been making the most of their membership with the new Pegasus Member Rewards program launch at Mornington Racing Club this Season. Mornington Members now receive benefits each and every time you attend the races.
Here are some handy tips to make the most of this program:
- Attend race-days at receive 200 points each and every time you attend a race-day
- Scan your membership card when making a purchase to receive 5 points per dollar spent
- Visit your online members portal – this is your guide to making the most of the program
- Redeem your points for dining and behind the scenes experiences through the portal
- Refer a new member and receive $25 credit instantly!
- Scan your card at the gate to redeem guest passes, race books and general admission tickets
- To check your points balance, visit the members portal or scan your card at any outlet at Mornington.
If you have any questions about your new rewards program, call our friendly membership team on 1300 GO RACE (46 7223).
MRC Owned Events at Mornington:
Mornington racecourse has fast become the best destination for family events on the Peninsula.
Splashland – The Inflatable Water Park for Kids! – 27th December – 8th Jan @ Mornington Racecourse
The MRC launched an inflatable water slide park for kids for the first time which has just been at Mornington from the 27th December until the 8th of January 2017. We hope you managed to take part in this great event. Over 17,500 patrons attended this event across Mornington and Caulfield.
Peninsula Picnic – Music, Food and Wine Festival – Saturday 1st April at Mornington Racecourse
With last years Peninsula Picnic a complete sell out, this popular food and wine festival will return again to Mornington Racecourse.
Our members on the Peninsula are encouraged to take up the exclusive members ticket discount of 25% by using the promo code MEMBER25 at www.peninsulapicnic.com.au
Gourmet Cinema – March 2nd – 12th
On the back of this events success at Caulfield Racecourse last Season, Gourmet Cinema will be extended over 10 nights this Season. Gourmet Cinema combines the very best of local produce and movie classics.
With different movies each night and a wide variety of different outlets, there is something for everybody.
All Mornington members will receive a 25% discount on tickets using the promo code MEMBER25 at www.gourmetcinema.com.au.
Guest Card Entitlement Changes:
On the back of direct member feedback at Mornington, the Mornington Racing Club is looking to re-introduce the additional second guest card to full Mornington Memberships under certain conditions.
The second guest card will be reintroduced as a reward for high race-day attendance in the prior Season. Those members who attend more than 6 race days in the 16/17 Season will be entitled to an additional guest card in Season 17/18 once they renew.
The Club will also issue a second guest card at its own discretion based on long term loyalty and engagement with the Club. Further details regarding the second guest card will be featured in your membership renewal information.
Be sure to scan your card at the turnstiles each and every time you attend a race meet at Mornington.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your loyal support as a Member of the Mornington Racing Club and we look forward to sharing our journey with you.
Chairman – Mornington Racing Club Advisory Group
In conjunction with the Melbourne Racing Club’s commitment to communicate and engage more frequently with our loyal members, the Club held a Member Forum and Q and A Session in the Peter Lawrence room at Caulfield Racecourse on February 4th.
Sixty two MRC Members attended the meeting in the Peter Lawrence Room, with the MRC Chairman Mike Symons providing an update on Club initiatives including:
- Membership Update
- MRC Foundation
- MRC Owned Events
- What’s In Store For Members in 2017
Melbourne Racing Club Members then had the opportunity to take part in an open forum discussion with members of the Committee.
During the open forum session, a number of comments were raised by our loyal members. Please find a summary of the comments raised by members, along with the responses from our Committee below.
The Melbourne Racing Club are currently working on addressing the comments raised by members and you will find the follow up actions to these comments also included below.
Thank you for your ongoing support as a Member of the Melbourne Racing Club and we look forward to seeing you on course soon as we build towards the 2017 Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes on February 25th.
Question/Comment (MRC Members)
The current offering at the Caulfield Glasshouse needs improvement.
Response From Committee: The club is concerned to hear this feedback and will address this internally with the management of the Glasshouse restaurant.
Proposed Club Actions: The CEO of Pegasus Leisure Group has called each of the members to who made comments regarding the Glasshouse to better understand the feedback and address the issues raised.
Is there any truth to the rumour that racing will end at Sandown?
Response From Committee: There is no truth to this rumour. No decisions regarding the future of Sandown have been made and all Members will be consulted before any decisions are made.
Proposed Club Actions: The Club will keep its Members informed throughout the master planning process and ensure Members are consulted before any decisions are made.
Why does the Glasshouse currently stamp MRC Members before entering the course?
Response From Committee: We will speak with the head of Pegasus Leisure Group to see if another alternative can be explored.
Proposed Club Actions: Hand held scanners have been purchased by Pegasus Leisure Group and are currently being tested before we remove the stamping process.
Would the Club explore a methane converter to help with energy cost savings?
Response From Committee: This is a great idea and is currently being explored by our ground staff.
Proposed Club Actions: The Club is still working through the viability of this option with the relevant stakeholders.
Concerns were raised in relation to the quality of the horse stalls.
Response From Committee: The Club is yet to receive any negative feedback in relation to the horse stalls from the trainers or industry staff.
Proposed Club Actions: The Club will proactively seek feedback from the trainers with the view of looking where improvements can be made.
Has an architect been employed to design a new grandstand in the gap area at Caulfield?
Response From Committee: No. The Club will not employ an architect until a long term lease at Caulfield has been secured.
Proposed Club Actions: Once the long term lease has been secured, the Club will explore all options for permanent facilities, including a new grandstand in consultation with its members.
The dining offerings are too expensive at Caulfield.
Response From Committee: The club regularly benchmarks its pricing with other venues and restaurants to ensure that MRC’s pricing is competitive. Particularly when it comes to beverage pricing.
Proposed Club Actions: The Club is working with our food and beverage team to look at other restaurant options at Caulfield at a lower price point as well as conducting our annual pricing review.
How was the Sub-Committee selected? How do you provide feedback to the Sub-Committee members?
Response From Committee: The Club received expressions of interest from a club email sent regarding the Sub-Committee. A formal letter was then sent to those who expressed interest and the group was locked down at this point.
Proposed Club Actions: The Member Sub-Committee group will be rotated regularly to ensure the Club has a broad range of different members involved.
Members can provide feedback online through the member feedback form, via email at email@example.com or in person at the race day office.
Those without email do not receive all of the clubs communication.
Response From Committee: The Club still currently issues printed versions of the annual report, keeping track magazine and regular mailed updates. It would be cost inefficient for the club to mail every piece of communication (often twice weekly).
Proposed Club Actions: With the new online member portal, the Club encourages all members without a registered email to provide an email address.
The Members Millinery night entry experience needs drastic improvement.
Response From Committee: This is duly noted by the Club and we will work with the events team to make this process more efficient next Season.
Proposed Club Actions: The relevant stakeholders in the events team have been provided with this feedback and are working on a better entry experience for 2017.
As Melbourne heads into the twilight of Summer, the racing is what really heats up at Caulfield this Saturday, with the running of the first Group 1 in Victoria for the year, the CF Orr Stakes.
If you check out the honour role for this race, you will see how strong it is. It includes Black Caviar (her only win over 1200m), Redoute’s Choice, Vo Rogue, Let’s Elope, Saintly and Lohnro to name a few. Outside of the Group 1 glory, just about every race on the card is Group level, making it one of the great race days in Australia. By the way, check out Race 6 (3.10pm) in Sydney if you get a chance. How can you not watch Winx? Anyway, let’s find you a winner!
12.30pm R1 – thebigscreencompany.com.au Hcp (1800m HCP)
Overview: Good race for the stayers to kick off. We see a few returning to the track, including Signoff, Second Bullet and De Little Engine, all Group level performed horses of the Spring. Nozomi and Hipparchus come into this on the back of strong wins, with the latter beating a field that included a few of these. O’Lonera is second up after a solid run over 1500m and will appreciate the extra trip. Refulgent rarely seems to run a bad race and was good to the line here over 1700m on Aus. Day (3rd), in a race that also included Our Bottino, who tried to lead and run away from them, just peaking late. Up to 1800m?
Caulfield Call Out Says: De Little Engine 1st, Refulgent 2nd, O’Lonera 3rd.
1.05pm R2 – Hyland Race Colours Autumn Stakes (Group 2 1400m 3YO)
Fast Facts: First run in 1979 and Group 2 since 2008
History Tells Us:
- Look for value – only two of the last six winners were favourite
- Only six females have won the race since it began
- Match practice helps – only one of the last 12 winners was ‘first up’
- Odd stat – two of the last three winners have had the same saddle cloth and barrier number
- The winner based on ‘History Tells Us’ – Peacock
Overview: Sydneysider, Attention, is sure to have a lot based on his 2YO career (Group 2 winner). He comes into this after an average first up run against the older horses in Sydney. Second up and 1400m suits. Peacock found himself in a deep Group 1 first up and didn’t disgrace himself behind some smart older horses. He won a strong Group race here over this trip in Spring so is a big hope. Oak Door is deep into his Summer campaign and in great form. Has he got one left in him? If he does, look for him trying to hold them off up front. Snitzon hit the line strongly last start over this trip, albeit in a weaker grade, but is a horse on the up and is a key player. Caulfield local, Ruthven, returns to the track after a stellar Spring that included Group 2 2nd.
Looking for Value? Knowable does jump right up in grade, but beat a smart field last start over this distance.
Caulfield Call Out Says: Attention 1st, Oak Door 2nd, Knowable 3rd.
1.40pm R3 – Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Prelude (Group 2 1100m 2YOF)
Overview: The girl’s Prelude is a cracker! Hard not to love Catchy. The form out of her two winning races has been outstanding, with horses she has beaten in her first two starts winning since. She looks like a star! Tulip has also been impressive. She won well on debut and just missed late here in the Diamond preview over 1000m. 1100 will be perfect for her. Limestone smashed Black Caviar’s daughter on debut and then backed it up with a strong win in the Diamond preview here. Can she go on again here? Roomooz and Blondie jump sharply in grade but did win their Maidens strongly, while the promising Jorda is first up after her strong debut win in Sydney in the Spring. Artic Angel had a great Spring campaign and won a trial leading into this, so is certainly not without a hope.
Looking for Value? Zarpoya debuted in a strong race in the Spring (Listed grade 3rd) and then really hit the line well first up over 1000m. She looks promising and comes in at a nice price here.
Caulfield Call Out Says: Catchy (Best of the Day!) 1st, Tulip 2nd, Jorda 3rd.
2.15pm R4 – Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Prelude (Group 3 1100m 2YOC&G)
Overview: Lots of chances here. Pariah deserves being in the market here after his impressive debut win in Sydney over a strong field. He looks promising. Cao Cao stepped out as an early 2YO in the Spring and impressed in his two runs, including a strong 3L win 2nd up. The impeccably bred colt has been training strongly and is in this. Property comes into this on the back of an ultra-impressive Diamond preview win here two weeks ago. He ranged up and won easily after his debut 2nd placing behind the promising filly Catchy. Also out of that preview was Indernile, who absolutely flew late to just miss. Up to 1100m looks ideal. Marsupial is another impressive Sydneysider that dominated in his maiden win and Overshare is sure to be an improver after his debut run in the Preview, where he was forward and just peaked late. Azazel was strong late in the Preview and is another likely improver. He ran well in some early Spring 2YO races in the Spring. Wait For No One will set a cracking pace and may take some chasing.
Looking for Value? Going to go wide here with Will’s Bid. This is a huge jump in grade, but you must respect this stable and they have placed him on ice since his dominant debut win in December. Could be a blowout!
Caulfield Call Out Says: Cao Cao 1st, Property 2nd, Indernile 3rd.
2.50pm R5 – Kevin Hayes Stakes (Group 3 1200m 3YOF)
Overview: Jennifer Lynn is proven in stronger grade, narrowly missing in a 1600m Group 2 in Spring. Her first up run was sound and 1200m, second up will suit. Hard not to love the Summer form of Fuhryk. She strung together three impressive lower grade wins, before getting a bit lost on the straight course. Deserves a shot at Group level. Selenia seems to always be thereabouts in this grade, so is a chance. Navagio won impressively first up against a field that included a few of these so has to be admired, as does Princess Of Queens, who jumps sharply in grade but was super impressive winning here last start. Zunbaqa was only 1L off in a hot 1400m Listed race in the Spring so is up to these on her day. The lightly raced, Oregon’s Day won a Listed race here last Autumn so is up to this grade.
Looking for value? Facts jumps from Maiden class to a Group 3 here, but it is hard not to be impressed by her maiden win where she won with ease over 1000m.
Caulfield Call Out Says: Jennifer Lynn 1st, Fuhryk 2nd, Princess Of Queens 3rd.
3.25pm R6 – Schweppes Rubiton Stakes (Group 2 1200m)
Fast Facts: First run in 1989, elevated to Group 2 in 2014 and recent winners include Chautauqua and Lankan Rupee
History Tells Us:
- Favourites rule – four of last five winners were favourite
- Male domination – 16 of last 17 winners were Male
- Smaller numbers are big – 16 of the last 17 winners were numbered one to four
- Odd stats – ‘A’ was in the name of last 10 winners and the winner has come from barrier three in three of last four
- The winner based on ‘History Tells Us’ – Chautauqua
Overview: The Group 1 star, Chautauqua, is back. He appeared flat during his 2-start Spring campaign, but you can hold a champion down and he is sure to bounce back here. He won this race almost two years to the day and many will be hoping he scores again here. Hellbent jumped out a short priced favourite 1st up and found the 1000m a little sharp. Second up and 1200m should see him at his best and he must the big danger to the grey flash. El Divino really caught the eye first up over 1000m (actually beat Hellbent) and should thrive over this trip second up. Wild Rain is also first up here and was on the heels of Sheidel last start. She is ok first up but is up to this field on her day. I Am A Star finished off her Spring preparation with a Group 1 win. She has a good record over this trip and first up and is a sneaky chance. Fast ‘N’ Rocking does like this track so might be a sneaky chance first up.
Looking for Value? Super Cash was sound in three hot Group races in the Spring and has never missed the top three first up. She looks like great value!
Caulfield Call Out Says: Chautauqua 1st, El Divino 2nd, Hellbent 3rd.
4.05pm R7 – Ladbrokes CF Orr Stakes (1400m Group 1 3YO+)
Fast Facts: First run in 1925 and Group 1 since 1993
History Tells Us:
- Follow the money – six of the last seven winners were favourite
- Gender is no guide – four of the last eight winners were female, four were male
- Be fresh – eight of the last 14 winners were ‘first up’ after a spell with the other seven being ‘second up’
- Odd stats – five of last seven winning jockeys were named Luke and barrier eight or 10 hasn’t won in 30+ years
- The winner based on ‘History Tells Us’ – Malaguerra
Overview: Malaguerra has come back from his spell in stunning fashion, smashing a strong Group 1 field last start and looks hard to beat. Black Heart Bart had to spend most of the Spring checking out Winx’s behind, but he looked to have come back in top condition with a strong 2nd last start over 1200m behind Malaguerra. He has only missed the top two once in 11 starts over 1400m so can’t be dismissed! Lucky Hussler is a Group 1 performed horse that comes back onto a track and distance he loves so is in the hunt. Divine Prophet won the Caulfield Guineas with a super finish in his last start and will be looking to pick up where he left off. Ecuador brings some sound Summer form down from Sydney and loves this distance, while He’s Our Rokki knows how to win a Group 1 here and seems to race strongly first up so must be considered. Turn Me Loose hasn’t quite hit his straps is Australia, but his 2nd up record can’t be ignored. Awesome Rock may be looking for further and if the real Palentino turns up, look out!
Looking for Value? Whilst you may think she is looking for further after her stunning 2016 Caulfield Cup win, Jameka may surprise here. Her record over this distance is good and she often runs well fresh.
Caulfield Call Out Says: Malaguerra 1st, Black Heart Bart 2nd, He’s Our Rokki 3rd.
4.45pm R8 – TS Carlyon Cup (Group 3 1600m 4YO+)
Overview: Great Group 3 race. Tally gets a great chance back in grade here first up. He was good up against some stars in the Spring, including a 3rd behind Hartnell/Jameka in October. May find this a little short, but is classy on his day. Real Love is certainly one of the class runners in this field. She wasn’t far off in the Caulfield Cup in the Spring and comes into this after a strong first up run over 1400m here behind Grande Rosso (1L 5th). Burning Front is the horse you would just love to own. He always tries his heart out and rarely runs poorly. Loves this track/distance and is right in this. Grande Rosso has been the surprise packet of the Summer stringing some super wins together, including here last start over 1400m. Seems to love this track! Ex-NZ horse Humidor seems to be taking his time to find his straps here, but 3rd up and under the guidance of Weir, puts the Group 1 2nd place getter amongst the chances. Tonopah was good late behind Grande Rosso last start, just missing late. Up to 1600m will suit him.
Looking For Value? Divine Mr. Artie rises in grade here, but has been running well all Summer and is another runner that was strong late last start over 1400m so is in this.
Caulfield Call Out Says: Real Love 1st, Tally 2nd, Grande Rosso 3rd.
5.25pm R9 – MyPunter.com Geoffrey Bellmaine Stakes (Group 3 1200m 4YO+M)
Overview: Silent Sedition finds herself the best rated horse here and rightly so. She never missed the top three in this grade across the Spring. She also has a super first up record and looks well placed here. Ameristralia comes up in grade for this, but has been super this Summer, winning her last run in dominant fashion. Abbey Marie may be looking for longer, but it’s hard to ignore an undefeated runner, especially a Group 1 winner. Thames Court seems to always be there abouts in this grade and is super first up, while fellow first up runner, Alaskan Rose wasn’t far off in this grade throughout the Spring. Prussian Vixen jumps in grade, but is having a hot summer and is sure to be the one to chase down. Rocket Commander may be looking for further, but was strong in this grade throughout Spring (including two 2nds) so might bob up at odds.
Looking For Value? Little Indian finds herself back at Caulfield after a long absence. She has had a great Summer in lower grades and boasts an explosive finish. Late in the day, that might suit!
Caulfield Call Out Says: Silent Sedition 1st, Ameristralia 2nd, Alaskan Rose 3rd.
As the year winds to a close and our fantastic Spring Racing season wraps up for another year, it is naturally a good time to stop and reflect on the activities and achievements of the preceding months, and to cement plans for the year to come, particularly as they impact our most important audience, our members.
2016 has seen tremendous change, and with it, noteworthy growth across many aspects of our business, which I’ll outline below.
Spring Racing Carnival Review
Back in October I labelled our 2016 BMW Caulfield Cup Carnival “the most successful Caulfield Cup Carnival in a decade” and all subsequent reports, feedback and data have confirmed that assertion.
As we have come to expect, the racing was first class, and Jameka, Ciaron Maher’s Caulfield-trained mare, winning the BMW Caulfield Cup capped off this great carnival.
We saw attendance, at-home and online viewership up on last year, with social engagement across the carnival growing five times from last year, as well as increased total wagering turnover. Our new precincts around the course were fantastically received, particularly the Crown Young Members marquee and the David Jones Fashion Stable which saw 3 times the participation compared to last year.
Overall satisfaction from you, our members, was high across the board, particularly in relation to the quality of the field on racedays, presentation of the venue and atmosphere/ crowd numbers. Where need for improvement has been noted, specifically in crowding levels in the members areas and Medallion Bar, the club has committed to addressing these issues over the coming months.
We have also recently taken the exciting step of foraying into the business of distributing our racing vision to international markets directly. This means, for the first time, we are collecting 100% of the associated revenue in an area we view as a significant opportunity.
The Club’s membership base continues to enjoy year on year growth, seeing us with a 10% lead on memberships compared to same time last year. This growth can be put down to the fantastic efforts of the membership team and us striving to create more value and better experiences for our members, including:
- The recent refurbishment to the concourse area in the Rupert Clarke Grandstand, with new carpet, furniture and lighting throughout
- Pegasus Rewards being rolled out to Mornington and Ladbrokes Park with even more ways to redeem and use points
- Exclusive behind the scenes member experiences available in conjunction with the recent launch of our new member rewards program – Pegasus Rewards
- Exclusive, Member offers for our owned events including Splashland, Gourmet Cinema and The Peninsula Picnic
- The upcoming development of the Hiskens Grandstand Bar as a new Members facility to open in 2017
- The establishment of a members sub-committee with strong representation across all membership demographics to ensure a greater voice for all of our members at the club
As part of the new and improved member communications focus, we will also be holding two scheduled member forums next year, and have installed a new online member feedback form to ensure more direct, and transparent communication channels between us.
The MRC Foundation has achieved some big wins over the past year, including facilitating our first intake of students into the Female Track Rider Scholarship at Melbourne Polytechnic.
We have also begun planning for the external facilities upgrade at Mornington, thanks to the hefty $150,000 donation to support Riding for the Disabled Mornington, which is a result of a $50,000 equal commitments from the Committee of Management for the Mornington Racecourse, the MRC Foundation, and Racing Victoria.
We have an exciting upcoming calendar of activities relating to the MRC Foundation, with the marquee Blue Diamond Gala Ball fast approaching in February 2017.
Gontran Cherrier, our French bakery, launched in Collingwood mid-year and I’d encourage you to sample some of its fantastic French products at the MRC Members discounted rate. We are focused on growing the business through wholesaling many items as well as looking at future stores. Members will see more of Gontran Cherrier products throughout all our racecourses, pub venues and events in 2017
Renovations have finished at Caulfield’s Glasshouse which I think we can all agree has made a big difference to the aesthetic and atmosphere of the venue.
The site now boasts contemporary state-of-the-art facilities, with a stylish new family bistro, a modern wine and tapas bar, multi-purpose function space, sports bar, alfresco style dining area and interactive kids zone.
The Glasshouse team look forward to welcoming you soon.
Looking ahead to 2017
With a calendar stacked with racing and non-racing events well into next autumn, we have had little time to rest on our Spring Carnival laurels.
Summer sees our second biggest season of quality racing, with 24 dates across our three racecourses, including hallmark dates Boxing Day, New Year’s Day and Australia Day Races. The Ladbrokes Blue Diamond Stakes, set for February 25, has enjoyed a record number of acceptances, with 686 horses currently in contention and the kids favourite, Family Day, is back bigger and better on February 13.
Upcoming Non Racing Events
As members you always receive exclusive offers for our owned events. With four major events coming up over the coming months, we encourage you all to take advantage of these offers, with our regards.
Many of you will have heard about our new summer family event, Splashland, popping up at Mornington and Caulfield in December and January. An inflatable waterslide park for kids, Splashland is part of our ongoing effort to expand upon our family and kids offering and will be a fantastic event for parents and kids alike. Ticket sales are doing well, and when the warmer weather finally does decide to hit, we are looking forward to some sellout days!
March and April will see the return of two of our most popular non-racing events Gourmet Cinema and The Peninsula Picnic. Outside of racing, these events allow us to showcase our other finest assets, our wonderful venues, and our outstanding expertise in food and beverage. Tickets are currently on sale for The Peninsula Picnic, scheduled for April 1 (on a Saturday for the first time), with the Gourmet Cinema season and tickets to be launched later in January.
The MRC Foundation is ramping up for their biggest fundraiser of the year, the Blue Diamond Gala on February 23. The Gala is always a very special event on our calendar, a chance for us to celebrate our achievements and charity partners, and shine a light on this important part of the business. If you have not already RSVPd to this event, I highly recommend that you do so, it really will be one of our best events of the year.
As you can see, the MRC will be in full swing across the festive season, with some exciting projects in the pipeline and some outstanding activities for our members. We encourage all of members to take part in as many of our upcoming events and offers as possible, and as always, welcome all and any feedback on your experiences either via our new online feedback form, or directly to myself or any of the Committee.
On behalf of the Committee, Executive team and staff of the Melbourne Racing Club, we would like to wish all of our members are very Merry and Safe Christmas and look forward to seeing you in 2017.
Melbourne Racing Club
Get a load of our massive preview from the Sandown Sound Out by Tim Guille
Preview by @timbguille
Nestled deep in the south-eastern suburbs, Sandown may not have the profile of its three Metropolitan ‘cousins’, but its feature day of the Melbourne Spring Carnival is a classic. With all ‘black type’ races on a ten race card, including five Group races, it is a day that rivals many of Melbourne’s feature race days. Not many people would know that racing actually began here in 1888, on a privately owned track, known as Oakleigh Park Racecourse. The track was closed in 1931 and reopened as it is today in 1965. Let’s take a look at a cracking day of racing.
R1 Thoroughbred Club Merson Cooper Stakes (Listed 2YO 1000m) We kick the day off with a great race for the 2YOs. Of those that have started, SA visitor Mikuni was strong on debut (2nd) and looks hard to beat, Artic Angel wasn’t far off a strong field on debut and Explicitly comes out of a fast 2YO race back in October and has trialled ok since then (2nd). Of the newbies, Herrera, Vinland and My Mother Says all looked strong winning their respective trials and Fully Maxed was just on the heels of Explicitly in that trial so has some form reference. For the rest, best to watch betting! Sandown Sound Out Says: Mikuni 1st/Artic Angel 2nd/My Mother Says 3rd
R2 Yarramalong Racing Club Stakes (Group 3 1500m) Small field yet a strong race. Royal Rapture was in stunning form early in Spring before trying his luck at Group 1 level and was certainly not disgraced. Hard not to like him back in this grade. Ex-Hong Kong runner Redkirk Warrior showed real promise in his first Aussie start, just missing late over 1200m. Up to 1500m and in this grade will suit. Soveriegn Nation does jump in grade, but was good behind a smart gallope and is well weighted/drawn here. Stratum Star is a proven Group 1 performer that cant be discounted in this grade and Slightly Sweet has drawn a tricky gate, but is a much better horse than her form suggests. Sandown Sound Out Says: Royal Rapture 1st/ Redkirk Warrior 2nd/ Sovereign Nation 3rd.
R3 Ladbrokes Sandown Cup (Listed 3200m) One of the few 3200m black type races in Australia with a good field. Really hard to go past Qewy. He was strong winning the Geelong Cup (form race of the Spring!) before his gallant 4th placing in the Melbourne Cup. De Little Engine comes back in grade here after a couple of solid performances in Group class over the Melbourne Cup carnival. He was really good late behind Jameka in the Caulfield Cup so 3200m looks ideal now. Murphy’s Delight has a great record over this trip and hit the line well over 2800m last start suggesting he is ready. Bring Something is having his first go over this trip, but definitely showed he wanted further in a solid run over 2400m last start so could bob up at odds. Four Carat is likely to be an improver over 3200m and All I Survey comes out of that hot Geelong Cup so might be a player at odds. Sandown Sound Out Says: Qewy 1st/De Little Engine 2nd/ Murphy’s Delight 3rd.
R4 OTI Racing Doveton Stakes (Listed 1000m) Good little sprint race with a host of chances. O’Malley was super impressive in winning last start so is the top pick. Vezalay’s last start 15th wont jump off the page at you, but it was up the Flemington straight (only 4L off) which didn’t suit her. Based on her run prior, she is right in this. Jungle Edge will be the likely leader here and wasn’t far off O’Malley last start so is amongst the chances. Brockhoff is a likely improver 2nd up and down in weight, while Husson Eagle has an impressive record 1st up and has trialled ok. Sandown Sound Out Says: O’Malley 1st/Vezalay 2nd/ Jungle Edge 3rd
R5 City Of Greater Dandenong Stakes (Listed 3YOF 1400m) Strong race for the 3YO girls here with lots of chances. Prompt Resposne looks hard to beat. She has been really good her last two starts (both 2nd) in this grade, beaten on the line both times. Petition is still a maiden, but was super behind an in-form mare last start (who has won again since) so is hard to ignore. Hear The Chant got a little lost up the Flemington straight last start after a sound win at Caufield in Group 3 level prior. Up to 1400m should suit her. Want To Rock jumps sharply in grade after her last start win, but the horse she beat nearly won a Listed race next start so the form has held up. Moonlites Choice faces a huge jump in grade, but how can you ignore an undefeated Darren Weir filly? Sandown Sound Out Says: Prompt Response 1st/ Petition 2nd/Hear The Chant 3rd
R6 William Hill Sandown Guineas (Group 2 1600m 3YO)
- First held at Caulfield in 1959 for 3YO fillies and always Group 2
- Moved to Sandown and 3YO unrestricted class in 1968
- Winner winner – 11 out of last 17 winners won their last start
- Only five fillies have won out of last 30
- Only eight of last 30 winners started over $10 (10 winners were favourite)
- If history is right, winner is Ruthven
Jennifer Lynn has been impressive winning her last three, including a dominnat Listed grade win last start over 1400m. 1600m will really suit her. It’s hard not to be impressed by Ruthven’s career to date with 2 strong wins. He is jumping in grade, but looks promising. Benz appeared to peak a little late over 1400m, but was forced to go forward from a wide draw. If he gets a quieter ride here he could be a key player. Morton’s Fork was really good to the line over 1600m in a strong Group 3 last start, and whilst up in grade, the smaller field and nice draw will help his chances. Fomo has a big ask in this grade, but the natural leader could give a great sight and cause the upset. Sandown Sound Out Says: Jennifer Lynn 1st/Ruthven 2nd/Morton’s Fork 3rd
R7 Quayclean Zipping Classic (Group 2 2400m WFA)
- First held in 1888 at Williamstown Racecourse, known as Williamstown Cup
- Mostly known as Sandown Classic – always Group 2
- Name changed in 2011 to honour four time winner (07 – 10)
- Seen you before? – nine of last 10 winners came out of Melbourne Cup or Queen Elizabeth Stakes
- Out of form – only four of last 10 winners placed last start
- Boys rule – only 2 mares have won in the last 30 years
- Be favourerd – last 15 winners paid under $10
- If history is right, winner is Who Shot Thebarman
Who Shot Thebarman won this race last year and comes into this after a similar performance in the Melbourne Cup to last year. Almoonqith was really good to the line late in the big Cups and will certainly appreciate the drop in grade. Assign won well at Caulfield over 2400m but then peaked on his run in the Cup. Back to 2400m will suit. Big Orange all but won the 2015 Melbourne Cup before heading back home and having a really strong European summer that netted a number of Group level staying wins. He never fired in this year’s Cup, but he is very talented and shouldn’t be irgnored. Secret Number’s 2015 Melbourne cameo produced a super 2nd in a hot 2600m race before he headed back home to the UK. The lightly raced runner only had one run into the 2016 Melbourne Cup and he really looked flat finishing back in the field. He is sure to be an improver 2nd up. Beautiful Romance had a fairly good European summner before coming out here to try her luck in the Melbourne Cup, where she arguably had one of the best runs in the race behind the place getters. She does come back to 2400m, but she is a classy mare with a huge chance. So Si Bon has a big ask but will relish the 2400m. Sandown Sound Out Says: Who Shot Thebarman 1st/Almoonqith 2nd/Big Orange 3rd.
R8 Kevin Heffernan Stakes (Group 3 WFA 1300m) Hot little mid-distance range Group 3 race. Illustrious Lad certainly looks the stand out. The in-form sprinter beat a strong Group 2 field over 1200m last start. Does rise in weight but is in great form. Faatinah is a natural leader that will be setting the pace and only just missed in a similar field last start over 1200m. Yet to race over this trip, but is talented. Lucky Hussler and Under The Lourve are proven Group 1 performers that should be repsected in this grade, while Famous Seamus has a great record over this trip and comes into this on the back of a strong Listed grade win. Burning Front is sure to improve 2nd up and Durendal has been there abouts all Spring in higher grades so will appreciate the drop to Group 3. Sandown Sound Out Says: Illustrious Lad 1st/Faatinah 2nd/Durendal 3rd
R9 Mypunter.com Eclipse Stakes (Group 3 1800m) Big field full with a host of runners coming out of the same race. Tucanchoo was 2nd in that race and, 3rd up now, is sure to have reached full fitness and will be hard to beat. Alaskan Rose was ultra impressive late in a hot Group 2 mares race over 2000m last start. She is unbeaten on this track and looks well placed. Cool Chap jumped up to this trip for the first time last start and was just beaten on the line late. Stays at 1800m which is interesting, but the leader will be in this for a long way. Plot The Course was shuffled right back in that Tucanchoo race, but did hit the line well. With a better draw here he is right in this. High Church is sure to improve 2nd up and Desert Jueney was 3rd behind Tucanchoo and could be your value runner. Sandown Sound Out Says: Tucanchoo 1st/Alaskan Rose 2nd/Cool Chap 3rd
R10 Le Pine Funerals Summoned Stakes (Group 3 Mares 1500m) The last of a big day of racing. Extensible just cant seem to run a bad race of late and comes into this after a solid 3rd over 1600m in this grade. The same could be said for Silent Sedition. She is in great form and just missed late (3rd) in a strong Group 3 last start. Metaphorical hasn’t been far off in some good races over similar trips this Spring and certainly is right in this. Shillelagh was great over 1400m in this grade last start and will be really suited by 1500m. A few last start winners jump right in grade but shouldn’t be discounted based on how well they won their last race. This includes Weather The Storm, Mossbeat, Miles of Krishan and Vital Importance. Good luck in a tough race! Sandown Sound Out Says: Extensible 1st/Silent Sedition 2nd/ Metaphorial 3rd/Shillelagh 4th.
The big question remains though, can the Caulfield Call Out continue the good from Guineas Day? Let’s take a look at the big races on Caulfield Cup day and hopefully find you a winner.
By Tim Guille @timbguille
What a week it has been. We saw the Sydney raiders take out our two 3YO classics, the mighty mare Winx take out the Caulfield Stakes and He’s Our Rokki blew them away in the Toorak Hcp. This Saturday the curtain comes down on the 2016 Caulfield Cup Carnival with the showpiece event, the $3million BMW Caulfield Cup. The big question remains though, can the Caulfield Call Out continue the good from Guineas Day? Let’s take a look at the big races on Caulfield Cup day and hopefully find you a winner.
R1 – Mypunter.com Plate (1400m, 3YOF) Caulfield Call Out Says: Sylspheed 1st, Skylight Glow 2nd, Tris 3rd
R2 – Polytrack Gothic Stakes (Listed, 1400m, 3YO C & G) Caulfield Call Out Says: Inside Agent 1st, Acatour 2nd, Morton Fork 3rd
R3 – Crown Lager Alinghi Stakes (Listed, 1100m, 3yo+ F & M) Caulfield Call Out Says: Estaminet 1st, Miss Promiscuity 2nd, Almighty Girl 3rd
R4 – New Zealand Bloodstock Ethereal Stakes (Group 3, 2000m, 3YOF) Caulfield Call Out Says: Sebring Dream 1st, Bella Sorellastra 2nd, Moqueen 3rd
R5 – Ladbrokes Classic (Group 3, 2000m, 3YO)
Fast Facts: Registered as the Norman Robinson and many use it as a Spring feature lead up race. It was first run on Wednesday in 1979 and is one of the richest 3YO races in the country.
History Tells Us:
- Form rules – the last seven winners finished in the top three in their last start
- Be favoured – only six of the last 30 winners paid $10 or more
- The last five winners were Victorian
- Only three fillies have won this race since it began, yet two of those were in 2014 and 2015
- Odd stat – the numbers 7 and 9 haven’t won for 30 years
- If History is right – winner is Rocketeer
Overview: NZer Highlad won his first two starts there well and stepped up in grade and distance in his first Aussie start. He tried to lead from pillar to post and just faded late, but you would have to think he could improve with a quieter run. Wine Bush won with authority over 1800m last start (Rocketeer 2nd/Highlad 3rd) and is primed for this distance range. Have absolutely loved the way Rocketeer has hit the line in his last few starts, including an eye catching run over 1800m last start. 2000m will be ideal. Inference was really strong to the line on a tight track last start, so is a likely improver over further ground on this bigger track. Positive Carry might show some improvement here, while Throssell was a little off last start, but showed some promise prior to that, so if he is fighting fit here again isn’t without a hope.
Caulfield Call Out Says: Highlad 1st, Rocketeer 2nd, Wine Bush 3rd
R6 – Priceline Pharmacy Coongy Cup (Group 3, 2000m, HCP) Caulfield Call Out Says: De Little Engine 1st, Bring Something 2nd, It’s Somewhat 3rd
R7 – Schweppes Tristarc Stakes (Group 2, 1400m, 4yo+, Mares)
Fast Facts: It was first run in 1987 and elevated to Group 2 in 2005.
History Tells Us:
- Follow the money – five out of the last eight winners were favourite
- Sydney may actually be better – four of he last five winners were Sydney trained/Sydney jockeys
- Odd stat – the numbers 6 and 7 haven’t won for over 30 years
- Odd stat – nice of the last 11 winners had two word names
- If history is right – winners is First Seal
Overview: Tycoon Tara is having a sensational Spring. She led and put them away last start over this trip in a strong Group 2. Interesting to note that the 2nd horse in that race has won a race since. First Seal is a smart mare who will certainly be competitive here. She was pretty good ‘first up’ in NSW behind Tycoon Tara (5th) and is sure to be fitter over a trip she loves. Danish Twist comes back to her own sex after a good ‘first up’ run against the boys in NSW. Another runner that is sure to be a big player. Telopea’s form doesn’t jump out off the page, but she has been running in some really strong races and is sure to be far more competitive in this field. French Emotion has been fairly good this Spring and never seems to run poorly, while Jessy Belle is up to these on her day.
Looking For Value? Denmagic comes down from Sydney and is out of some pretty hot Group races up there. She could bob up at odds in this field.
Caulfield Call Out Says: Tycoon Tara 1st, First Seal 2nd, Danish Twist 3rd
R8 – BMW Caulfield Cup (Group 1, 2400m, HCP)
Fast Facts: It was first run on Saturday April 5, 1879 and moved to Spring in 1881. Interestingly, a lot of people associate Bart Cummings as the ‘cups king’ referring to another great cup. But Bart actually also won an incredible seven Caulfield Cups.
History Tells Us:
- Value galore – Seven of the last eight winners started over $10
- Got your passport? Three of the last four winners were overseas horses
- Be out of form? Not one of the last seven winners has finished 1st or 2nd in their last start
- A weighty issue – only two horses in the last 30 years have won carrying more than 57kgs
- 1 is done – No horse has won from barrier 1 in over 30 years
- Only six mares have won this race in the last 30 years
- Odd stat – The numbers 4, 10 and 11 haven’t won for over 30 years
- If history is right – The winner is Scottish
Overview: Let’s start with the Australian contingent. It’s pretty hard not to see why Jameka is favourite. Her win her two starts ago here in the Naturalism was outstanding and then she backed up with a strong 2nd behind superstar Hartnell. She has won over this trip before, gets right down in the weights and she will be primed for this. Real Love is having his fourth start this campaign and is another runner that in form.. He won well over 2000m last start (a bit left in the tank!) and has a great 2400m record over this distance.
NSW runner, Tally, comes out of that Jameka/Hartnell race. He found himself unusually leading in that and he peaked late. He gets a wide barrier here which makes it interesting but he could improve. Jameka’s stable mate Set Square knows how to win Group 1s over this distance so has the runs on the board. She showed real promise early on in the Spring but has been a bit flat in her last couple. Can she bounce back?
Now for the overseas runners. Scottish has been in great form in England and comes out of some strong Group level staying races. He beat 2015 Caulfield Cup runner up Trip To Paris in July over 2000m, which gives you a good indication of how talented he is. He is certainly a big player. German trainer Andreas Wholer has tasted big success in Australia already (Protectionist) and brings over the smart Articus for our big one. The lightly raced 5YO has been running well at Group level in Germany, including only finishing 2L off the winner in a Group 1 last start. He is a little bit of the unknown ‘first up,’ but has to be respected.
Exospheric, now with Aussie trainer Lee Freedman, has been highly competitive in a number of English Group races. He wasn’t far off some of the quality stayers over there, including only 2L off Highland Reel last start, who was 3rd behind Winx in last year’s Cox Plate. You should never overlook star British trainer Aiden O’Brien’s runners and he brings over Sir Isaac Newton for this. His form hasn’t been great, but how can you overlook an O’Brien runner? Vengeur Masque has had a few starts in Australia now but let’s put into the overseas runners bucket. The lightly raced 5YO showed some real staying talent in Ireland, including a fairly good run over 2900m in the Group 1 Irish St Ledger. Since coming here, he has been good, including a strong over 2500m last start behind a strong field. Not the worst here. Rounding out the overseas runner is NZer Fanatic. She won the Group 1 NZ Oaks over 2400m and, third up here, gets a chance back at a distance that clearly is to her liking.
Of the rest of the Aussies, Preferment and Our Ivanhowe will love this distance now, Pemberley comes in with a ridiculously light weight, Sacred Master hit the line well behind Sir John Harkwood last start so will have no issue getting the trip and Tarzino is another runner with a Group 1 win over this distance in his bag of tricks. Throw in Big Memory, Go Dreaming, De Little Engine and Almoonqith and you have a cracking 2016 Caulfield Cup line up!
Looking for Value? Sir John Harkwood comes into this after winning a Group 1 over 2400m. How can you knock that? He might have slipped under the radar here and has some attractive odds.
Caulfield Call Out Says: Jameka 1st, Real Love 2nd, Scottish 3rd
R9 – Dilmah Single Origin Teas Caulfield Sprint (Group 2, 1000m, HCP)
Fast Facts: This was first run in 1983 and elevated to Group 2 in 1999. It began as an 1100m race but was changed to 1000m in 2014. Amazingly there has been a dead heat in this race in the last two years.
- Well rested – five of last eight winners were ‘first up’
- In the money – a favourite hasn’t won since 2012
- One for the boys? Only four of the last 20 winners were female
- Odd stat – The number 2 hasn’t won in over 30 years
- If history is right – winner is Lankan Rupee
Overview: First off is last start Caulfield winner Hellbent He does jump up in grade here but was dominant when winning his last 2 and has loads of talent. Wild Rain is one of the few mares here, but is right in this after her strong Group 1 3rd last start in a hot race. Crowd favourite and sprinting superstar, Lankan Rupee, returns to the track here after a long injury lay off. Let’s hope he bounces back. Our Boy Malachi amazingly has only ever missed the top three in four of his 25 starts and certainly isn’t without a hope. Redzel lead and won well here two starts ago before finding the pace a little hot up at Group 1 level last start. Back a little in grade at a track he loves has him right in this. Of some of the others, Take Pride is talented on her day, while Faatinah is the likely leader who will take some catching.
Caulfield Call Out Says: Hellbent 1st, Wild Rain 2nd, Take Pride 3rd
R10 – Ladbrokes Moonga Stakes (Group 3, 1400m, 4yo+) Caulfield Call Out Says: Takedown 1st, Mabeel 2nd, Fast ‘N’ Rocking 3rd