Bendigo Jockey Club making every post a winner

The annual Beach Party race day is proving to be a bonanza for Bendigo Jockey Club.
The annual Beach Party race day is proving to be a bonanza for Bendigo Jockey Club.

BJC YEAR 2017 HIGHLIGHTS:

BENDIGO Jockey Club will head into the new year buoyed by a strong 2017 financial year.

Following another massive Jayco Bendigo Cup day in October and a record beach party race day the previous month, chief executive officer Aaron Hearps said the club was in a healthier position than it was at the end of 2016.

“It’s really pleasing that this year we have had a massive turnaround in our financial position, much stronger than where it was this time last year,” he said.

“We are ahead of budget and well ahead of year-on-year.

“The beach party race day was the best performing in the last three years – profit-wise we were up over 100 per-cent and 69 per-cent up on budget.

 “That was a great result. We put a lot of time and effort into building that day and we have.

“The crowd was up 45 per cent – all the KPIs have been really pleasing.”

The Bendigo Cup meeting – this year run on November 1 – also exceeded budgetary expectations, according to Hearps said.

“That was up 22 per cent on profit from the previous year as well,” he said.

“Part due to that, we are 45 per cent up in operational profit from the same stage last year.

“It’s been a great team effort, now we just want to keep the momentum going into 2018.”

Thousands crammed into the White Hills racecourse to watch the Godolphin galloper Qewy win the Group 3 Bendigo Cup in an exciting finish.

It was the second time in two years as an internationally-trained horse had won the race following on from Francis of Assisi’s win in 2016.

The BJC will have an early chance to build on the momentum of an outstanding 2017, with the popular Marong Cup meeting set down for February 17.

A fundraiser for Bendigo’s eight Catholic primary schools, the meeting traditionally attracts about 3000 racegoers.

A fabulous year for local racing was further highlighted by the arrival of a new $320,000 giant screen on-course, and BJC track manager Bernard Hopkins’ win as the Australian regional track manager of the year.

It was the second time Hopkins, who has been the club’s track manager for more than 17 years, had received the honour.