Statement from Chairman Mike Symons

Posted on Categories Member News

There are a number of reports in today’s media regarding the future of the Melbourne Racing Club’s racecourses at Caulfield and Sandown.

The club announced over two years ago that we were developing a Master Plan for Caulfield and Sandown. This was a prudent course of action to canvas the opportunities for the two racecourses and allow planning for their future – all built upon the premise of the long-term sustainability of the club, and benefit to members.

The Master Plan continues to be developed and discussions have been held with State Government and Racing Victoria regarding key matters which require resolution – particularly long-term tenure at Caulfield.

The Master Plan presents a number of options for the future of Caulfield and Sandown, however I want to assure you that no decisions have been made by the club, and ultimately any decision on the future will be made by members.

The Melbourne Racing Club is foremost a members’ club and any major decision regarding our racecourses will be done in consultation with members and for the long term benefit of the club.

The club’s vision is to provide world class facilities for our members and the racing industry. The assets of the club and any benefits generated from them will be re-directed with your interests in mind.

We will continue to engage with key stakeholders including our members, trainers, participants, local communities and State Government regarding our Master Plan.

Any future decisions will be made in the best interests of members whilst also achieving the most efficient and optimal racing footprint to ensure Victorian racing remains at the forefront for our customers.

Yours sincerely,


Mike Symons
Melbourne Racing Club

MRC Special General Meeting set for July 30

Posted on Categories Member News

The Melbourne Racing Club (MRC) has announced that the club rule amendment originally proposed at a Special General Meeting on April 28 will be decided at a further meeting of members on July 30 at Caulfield Racecourse, coinciding with the club’s Bletchingly Stakes race day.

MRC Chief Executive Officer, Brodie Arnhold, outlined details of the repeat Special General Meeting and associated voting process regarding the proposed amendment.

“Another Special General Meeting of members will take place at 11am, before the first race, on Bletchingly Stakes day, July 30, to consider the club rule amendment first proposed in April,” Arnhold said.

“We’ve taken the decision to conduct the meeting on a race day to allow as many members as possible to attend and take part in the voting process.

“Comprehensive information regarding the vote, including postal voting material, will be posted to our 9,597 eligible voting members in mid-June, while details of the Special General Meeting will be emailed to all members and placed on the club’s website and online members’ portal.

“On review, our analysis showed that the notification regarding the original meeting reached 99.21 per cent of the 8,870 members we emailed, with the remaining 727 receiving notice via post. However, we have listened to feedback from members and in the spirit of full transparency, and to eliminate any confusion or dissatisfaction, we have opted to run the process again.

“We are a club that operates wholly for its members and their interests, and we want to ensure every one of them is satisfied that they have been given the opportunity to participate in this decision, which we fully encourage them to do.”

Special General Meeting Update

Posted on Categories Member News

Statement regarding Special General Meeting

At the Special General Meeting of members held last Thursday, April 28, a vote to amend the club’s rules to align the maximum terms of the offices of Chairman, Vice Chairman and Treasurer with general Executive Committee tenure was approved.

Despite the approval of the motion by independent election and voting specialists, Corpvote, the MRC has opted not to seek the approval of the Minister for Racing of the club rule change, as is required under the Racing Act, the effect of which is that the motion approved by members on April 28 does not stand.

Alternatively, the club will conduct a repeat of the vote in a commitment to high standards of governance and to quell any perception around the integrity of the original vote. The vote will take place at a time to be determined by the MRC Executive Committee.

A statement by MRC Chief Executive Officer, Brodie Arnhold, is following.

“We are a members’ club and, while very much in the minority, a select few members expressed concerns over the process undertaken as the amendment was successfully passed.

“We want to demonstrate that our governance standards are unconditional and that our integrity cannot be questioned. In order to achieve that, we have decided to run the vote again at a time to be determined.

“We encourage all of our members to participate in that process once again, and in doing so, apologise to all members who voted in favour of the amendment originally, who have been disenfranchised by our decision to repeat the process.

April Special General Meeting Q&As

Posted on Categories Member News

April Special General Meeting Q&As

At the Special General Meeting we held an open members forum to ask questions of the committee and executives. Below is a summary of those questions and answers.

1. Why didn’t you offer EFTPOS facilities in the member’s bars downstairs at Mornington on Mornington Cup Day?

We are planning to install an EFTPOS machine in the members’ area for major race days at Mornington. Our sales systems at Mornington are currently being upgraded, which will allow for “tap and go” transactions and much faster credit card transactions.

2. What is the plan for Ladbrokes Park (Sandown) and when do you expect to make a decision?

We are in a fortunate position as we own all of the land around the race course at Ladbrokes Park. The club has been developing a masterplan strategy over the past year, which we are currently working on with the State Government and key stakeholders. There are a number of potential options for Ladbrokes Park, and we will share our preferred vision with members once we have all relevant input. Racing at Sandown will still continue in the foreseeable future.

3. When will you be making a decision on whether to re-build the Terrance Whitaker Grandstand (the stand previously in the gap area)?

Similar to Sandown, we have a Caulfield masterplan process we are working on with the State Government and key stakeholders. We are absolutely committed to providing world-class facilities at Caulfield, and we are very excited about these plans. We will share more information about this shortly with our members.

4. The food in the Bernborough Restaurant needs improvement, what are you doing about it?

We believe the quality of food at Caulfield has lifted significantly over the past two years, with dining numbers and overall feedback supporting this. However, we strive to continually exceed expectations and our General Manager of Food and Beverage has been notified of this feedback and will conduct a review specifically on the Bernborough Restaurant to see where we can improve.

5. Has the MRC opened a bakery in which it has a 50% share in and if so, why?

The MRC is proud to announce that our new food venture, Gontran Cherrier, is now open on Smith Street, Collingwood!

Gontran Cherrier is a world-famous French boulangerie and café that adds to the MRC’s vision to be one of the best food providers in Melbourne, both on race days and in all our other venues.

Furthermore, this partnership with Gontran Cherrier, a renowned Parisian baker who has lent his name to a number of bakeries around the world, provides another diverse income stream that we can reinvest into racing.

This new and delicious business will also see our racing and leisure venues supplied with Gontran Cherrier’s famous croissants, baguettes and sweet treats.

As an introductory offer, for the next three months MRC members can enjoy significant discounts in both the boulangerie and café with 20% off take-away items and 10% off the dine-in menu by simply showing your Membership Card at the time of sale (limit of four items per transaction).

6. When will the new members’ loyalty/rewards program be rolled out to Mornington and Ladbrokes Park (Sandown)?

We launched phase 1 of the new rewards program in February 2016 at Caulfield. Now it is successfully implemented, we will introduce it to both Mornington and Ladbrokes Park from next season.

7. There is less information in the Annual Report than there used to be, why is this? Also why isn’t it mailed out to members?

We are happy to include more information on our major initiatives and we’ll ensure we include more information this season. Our Annual Report is fully audited and signed off by KPMG and all of the key financial information is included. On accessing the Annual Report, we have printed copies available at the AGM, plus the full report is loaded on our website as soon as it is signed off by the auditors, and members can request a copy to be posted to them. We will endeavour to have the Annual Report completed and available to members well in advance of the AGM this year to allow questions and discussion to take place.

8. Can you deliver Mornington race books to Steeples before each Mornington race day?

Yes, we will work with our Mornington team to set this up.

9. The cost of wine at Caulfield is expensive, why is that?

We benchmark our costs against the local market and we work with our suppliers to get the best deal possible. Members also enjoy a discount, usually around 10%, on food and drinks at our bars and snack outlets around the racecourse. The new members loyalty program also allows members to use the rewards points they’ve earned from attending the races or purchasing food and drink at Caulfield to be spent on beverages at the racecourse.

10. For the Wednesday meetings at Ladbrokes Park (Sandown), there is no members-only area, why?

Given the small crowds for most Wednesday race meetings at Ladbrokes Park, we only open part of the race course. This is done to minimise costs, but still provide everyone attending with the relevant facilities.