They might have opted against holding their 2021 race meeting back in March due to the ongoing impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, but the Holbrook and District Race club are eyeing a bigger and better 2022 and beyond.
Buoyed by a successful grant application through Sport NSW for the amount of $160,000, the club is in the process of upgrading their facilities.
“We have major work being done on the existing grand stand, which is getting re-roofed and will encompass an extension out the back, which is a food preparation area and an undercover area for patrons,” said Holbrook and District Race Club Vice President, Tom Last.
A hard-working committee had been working on the improvements for some time, and Last hoped to have everything up and running when they raced on March 26, 2022.
“The good thing is, we have a very vibrant committee, which has seen a lot of work behind the scenes,” Last said.
“It was always a project on our list, and we had been squirrelling away into our war chest to do that and getting this grant just meant we could get it all done sooner.”
Improvements on course are in the works as well, with Last explaining that hosting a good meeting on and off the track was important to the committee.
“We are looking at the replacement of the running rail. We will be relying on Racing NSW, who have been very supportive of us,” Last said.
“We only race once a year but it is a very successful meeting and we have trainers come from the South Coast and everywhere. We have full races and it is always good card, which is good for everyone.”
Racings fans were left disappointed that there was no race meeting held by the Holbrook club while other meetings went ahead, and Last was happy to admit it wasn’t easy to miss out on the popular race day.
“It was a tough one, and in hindsight we are kicking ourselves,” Last said.
“We had a critical meeting right when the Northern Beaches outbreak happened and to be honest, it was a split committee.
“We just didn’t know what was going to happen, and it came down to two votes. I was on the fence; it is what it is and hindsight is a great thing.”
It has been a tough season on the local racing region, with many meetings cancelling, while Tumbarumba’s cup meeting in February was washed out.
“I felt for Tumba who got washed out. It’s hard on us little clubs when we lose a meeting,” Last said.
“We are all in the same boat, we are all in the SDRA (Southern Districts Racing Association) and we want to race.”
The Holbrook and District Race Club committee is urging racing fans to pencil the March 26 date into their diaries, with Last highlighting why people love visiting Holbrook races.
“We are in the sweet spot of having a picnic atmosphere but we are professional,” Last said.
“The big thing we push is the history, we have a very rich racing history. We have been racing here since the late 1800s and registered with the AJC since 1907 and people just love coming here.”
The small committee will hold their AGM soon, and after that, preparations will be in full swing for their 2022 meeting.