SALE is one of three regional racing clubs being considered to host Victoria’s first horse race meeting on Good Friday.
The state government has announced it will lift the ban on Good Friday facing, bringing it into line with other sports.
The thoroughbred, harness racing and greyhound codes have indicated they will look to program meetings in regional areas next year, to drive tourism and bolster local jobs.
Support for the Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal, a feature of marquee AFL, NRL and NBL matches played on the day, would also be part of Good Friday race days.
Should it be awarded the Good Friday raceday, Sale Turf Club will look to work with the local tourism industry to make the races part of people’s visit to the region during the long weekend.
Racing is conducted on Good Friday in Western Australia and Tasmania and legislation has been introduced into state parliament to remove the prohibition on Good Friday racing in Victoria.
Thoroughbred, harness racing and greyhound meetings will be conducted under the same general guidelines that apply to Good Friday activities involving sport, festivals, restaurants, bars and cinemas – including later starting times.
Racing Victoria and Country Racing Victoria have indicated Sale, Benalla and Echuca will be considered for the inaugural marquee Good Friday thoroughbred meeting, with the meeting to then be rotated among regional clubs in following years.
As well as elite sport, events have also been held at the grassroots level on Good Friday, including the Easter tennis tournament in Maffra and local football and netball.
The government has no plan to overturn the prohibition on racing on Christmas Day.
Sale Turf Club is scheduled to host its “Christmas in July” meet this Sunday.
If the lockdown is lifted tonight, spectators should be allowed to attend the meet.
Spectators must register on the Sale Turf Club website, where tickets can be purchased, before going to the track.
During the state-wide five-day lockdown, only competing participants and other people essential to the running of a race meeting have been permitted to attend.
Iona Heart wins in Moe
IONA Heart led from start to finish to won at the Moe races on Saturday.
The three-year-old gelding, trained in Sale by Paul Worthington, won a 0-58 handicap over 1217 metres.
Coming off a third placing at Pakenham earlier in the month, Iona Heart claimed a maiden win in his ninth start by a length.
He’s Stryking, trained at Kilmany by Cliff Murray, finished second in the final race of the day, a 0-58 handicap over 1628m, finishing a nose behind favourite Fighting Whiskey.