Carlton AFLW star Bella Ayre to be Golden Mile race day ambassador

AMBASSADOR: Carlton AFL Women's league star Bella Ayre with Bendigo Jockey Club chair Margot Falconer Picture: KIERAN ILES
AMBASSADOR: Carlton AFL Women's league star Bella Ayre with Bendigo Jockey Club chair Margot Falconer Picture: KIERAN ILES

CARLTON'S AFL Women's league Rising Star nominee Bella Ayre will be the face of the Bendigo Jockey Club's Golden Mile race day.

The former star Bendigo Thunder forward was announced as the popular stand-alone race meeting's ambassador.

Her appointment comes two days after the Blues ended their inaugural AFLW season with a draw against premiership favourites Brisbane at Ikon Park.

The Golden Mile will be Victoria's feature race meeting on Saturday, April 1, with more than $1 million in prizemoney on offer on the day.

Feature race will again be the $150,000 Listed Golden Mile handicap over 1600m.

Ayre, 18, who was one of two Blues players to share the round five Rising Star nomination after their round five win over the Western Bulldogs, said she was looking forward to swapping footy bots and bandages for something a little more stylish and elegnat on race day.

"I used to go to the races with friends, socialising. I do love the atmosphere of the races, having a look at the horses and getting dressed up," Ayre said.

"When I was approached to an ambassador for the Bendigo Jockey Club, who are sponsoring the Bendigo Pioneers, I thought it was amazing.

"It's a big day of racing and will be amazing to be a part of such a great day."

A quality nine-race program, including the $250,000 Super VOBIS Gold Rush and $150,000 Bendigo Guineas, is set to be complemented by a host of trackside attractions.

New this year will be the Triple M Food and Wine Village, showcasing some of Bendigo's finest wineries, including Burnt Acre Vineyard, The Bridge Vineyard, Glenwillow Wines, Sandhurst Ridge Winery, Munari Wines and Yalumba.

Foodies will also be catered for with gourmet woodfired pizzas, freshly made souvlakia, Greek donust, fresh coffeee and other assorted treats.

Bendigo Jockey Club CEO Aaron Heaps said the club was going all out to lure local and visiting racegoers.

“What many people don’t realise is that Bendigo is only second to the Yarra Valley in terms of acreage for vineyards in Victoria and what better way to sample our region’s finest wines than on bet365 Golden Mile Raceday." he said.

“We hope that our travelling patrons will not only enjoy Victoria’s feature race meeting while sampling some local wines but they may also book accommodation and really enjoy some of Bendigo’s hospitality and rich heritage which we have become renowned for."

Admission is $20 for adults, $15 concession and children 16 and under free.