The next infrastructure project to be completed under the Marshall Liberal Government’s $24 million racing industry stimulus package will be operational within days.
The final touches are being applied to the Murray Bridge Racing Club’s $505,000 uphill sand training track at the club’s Gifford Hill facility.
An important additional piece of training infrastructure, it will assist the club’s move towards becoming an elite training centre.
Minister for Recreation, Sport and Racing Corey Wingard said the project is further evidence the Marshall Government’s commitment to supporting South Australia’s racing industry is paying off.
“Projects like this one are about helping the racing industry build the infrastructure needed to create a viable, long-term business model which will support South Australian jobs well into the future,” Minister Wingard said.
“Racing is an important contributor to our state’s economy, not only in the major centres but also across regional towns and communities.”
Murray Bridge Racing Club secretary/manager John Buhagiar said the uphill sand training track provides an alternate training technique to most other training centres in the country.
“We see this track as being pivotal in attracting new trainers to Murray Bridge and South Australia,” Mr Buhagiar said.
“The track is just over 800m long and contains one bend, plus a gradient of between 2.5 per cent and 6 per cent, providing multiple benefits for horses including cardiovascular fitness, which improves strength in the hindquarters.
“Uphill sand training is also beneficial to all gaits, so trainers can work horses up there whether they’re walking, trotting or cantering.”
Thoroughbred Racing South Australia (TRSA) CEO Nick Redin said the uphill sand training track was another big boost for local trainers.
“It’s all but completed now, with just the perimeter fence and a catching pen to be installed, so trainers can look forward to getting their horses on the new facility sometime during November,” Mr Redin said.
The training track was funded as part of $2.8 million set aside in the Racing Industry Fund for 10 infrastructure projects across the state.
The unveiling of the Murray Bridge facility follows the opening of the Gawler and Barossa Jockey Club’s $495,000 equine pool in June along with Port Lincoln Racing Clubs $192,000 tie-up, vet and swabbing stalls last weekend.