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Flemington racing for a good cause on VRC Community Race Day

6 June 2024 Written by VRC

The Victoria Racing Club (VRC) will host its first winter race meeting for the year this Saturday 8 June 2024 on the annual VRC Community Race Day, with local residents able to gain free entry and the club partnering with a familiar and much-loved charity.

“The club is pleased to continue our partnership with RDA Victoria and raise awareness and much needed funds for the organisation on the race day. RDA Victoria provides an extremely valuable service for people living with disabilities, with their weekly riding session being the highlight for many participants.”

RDA Victoria is a voluntary, nonprofit organisation which provides opportunities for anyone with a disability to enjoy safe, healthy, therapeutic, horse-related activities in Australia.

RDA Victoria President Tanya Twaits said that the race day provides the perfect platform to recognise long-serving volunteers.

“We have the most incredible group of volunteers, some of whom have volunteered at their local RDA Victoria centres from Horsham to Moorabbin for upwards of 25 and 45 years. We will have nearly 60 volunteers attending on Saturday to celebrate RDA Victoria and its volunteers who are truly honoured to have a race named after them,” Ms Twaits said.

“In addition to giving our volunteers the moment in the sun they deserve, we feel so privileged to partner with the VRC on this Community Race Day to raise awareness of our programs and much-needed funds to continue providing the resources to our centres to allow them to thrive.”

Last year the VRC and RDA Pakenham launched the Subzero Arena at Pakenham. The arena was named in honour of 1992 Melbourne Cup winner Subzero, who not only won ‘the race that stops a nation’™, but surpassed that legendary achievement by proceeding to become one of racing’s greatest ambassadors.

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The VRC will partner with Riding for the Disabled Association Victoria (RDA) which will see eight races named in honour of RDA centres, coaches and volunteers across Victoria, shining a spotlight on the tireless work that goes into providing this lifechanging activity. Racegoers will be able to contribute by donating via Ticketmaster or collection tins on course, while $1 from the sale of every serve of hot chips will be donated as part of a new ‘Chips for Charity’ initiative.

Local residents are invited to enjoy the race day with Flemington, Kensington and Ascot Vale locals and others in postcodes 3031 and 3032 able to show their ID at the gate to gain free entry.

On the track, Victoria’s leading jockey Damian Lane has eight rides and heats of the Winter Racing Series continue with horses looking to qualify for Flemington Finals Race Day on Saturday 6 July.

Victoria Racing Club Chief Executive Steve Rosich said the club was looking forward to the first winter race day of 2024.

“VRC Community Race Day is a great chance for people in Melbourne, especially local residents who can enjoy free entry, to head trackside and enjoy some quality winter racing, food and wine,” Mr Rosich said.

The VRC donated the special synthetic surface material that was re-purposed from the Flemington training track plus nearly $60,000 from the VRC Equine Wellbeing Fund.

The new arena provides the perfect riding surface for every weather condition and ensures that the riders at RDA Pakenham can always enjoy the therapeutic benefits from their association with horses.

RDA Victoria also partners with Racing Victoria’s Off The Track program to integrate retired racehorses into their programs, including Thumbtacks who recently joined RDA Pakenham after having been previously trained at Flemington by Lexus Melbourne Cup winning trainer Chris Waller.

Living Legends Tom Melbourne and Super Jockey will be on-course for the day, with racegoers able to visit the legends in the horse stalls and watch them parade in the Mounting Yard after races 2 and 4.

The VRC Punters Club will be open in Saintly Place and The Atrium for everyone to enjoy for just $10 per ticket. A guest tipster will be on-site to provide exclusive insights and selections for the racing program.

Gates open at 11:00am with race 1 at 11:50am. General Admission tickets are $20 per person with children under 12 admitted free. For more ticketing information, visit vrc.com.au.

Racing returns to Flemington on Saturday 22 June for VRC Country Race Day.