Made possible with a $1 million grant from the State Government�s Racing Infrastructure Grants Program (RIGP) and Royalties for Regions, York Racing showed off its new facilities, which include an administration building, jockeys� and stewards� rooms and bar and tote areas for patrons.
York Racing chairman Pat Flynn paid tribute to the State Government for helping the club to continue its long history.
�The outcome of this funding just goes to show how important initiatives like RIGP are to sustaining the racing industry,� he said.
�We were ready to throw the keys in the river without this assistance but now we have a new lease on life and look forward to an exciting future.�
Racing and Gaming Minister Colin Holt, on hand to open the track, said it had been a long way back for the York club after facilities at the 172-year-old racecourse were devastated by a storm in January, 2011.
�York racecourse is a crucially important venue � both economically and socially � for the local community,� Mr Holt said.
�One in every 16 people in this region has an involvement in racing � either as an employee, volunteer or participant � making it the most active racing region in the State on a per capita basis,� he said.
More than 2000 race fans attended, including many locals, who dressed in their finery for the big occasion under the picturesque backdrop of Mount Bakewell.
The highlight of the strong, eight-race program was the $70,000 Royalties for Regions York Cup (1500m), won by handy galloper My Bonnie Lad.
It was fitting that the Pat Flynn Maiden was won by Diamond Guru, ridden by Craig Staples and trained by local horsewoman Keri D�Orsogna.
Local husband and wife team Misty and Aaron Bazeley also had two second placings on the day.