THE Byford harness training complex could be upgraded so it can hold community race meetings, according to a report into the use of racing tracks in Perth
Governing body Racing and Wagering WA (RWWA) commissioned independent consultants GHD to review racing and harness track facilities to provide a plan for the future and meet the needs of the racing industry.
The Metropolitan Equine Asset Review Taskforce (MEART) report identified the Byford facility as a high quality training complex that would benefit from new on-course stabling.
The report gave an estimate of $9.3 million to upgrade the facility.
Research showed it was “an ideal training facility to service the industry as it expanded to the southern corridors and could be developed to provide community picnic twilight meetings”.
On-course stables would provide a low cost entry for new owners and trainers.
The report suggested there was an opportunity to develop a race facility to service the region, which had a fast growing population, or sell the land in the future to fund a relocation program.
The Byford complex is part-owned by RWWA and Gloucester Park and is in an equine-zoned housing conclave with bridle trails linking to the facility.
It has a fast work track and a sand track, with club house and equipment shed.
There is also a horse pool and a number of stalls.
The report also recommended Gloucester Park facilities be renovated and retained as the premium city venue and Pinjarra harness track be kept as the primary provincial course.
MEART chairman Bob Pearson said the report was critical to understand the industry’s long-term needs and viable future in a highly competitive wagering, leisure and sporting entertainment market.
The racing industry in WA is experiencing a decline in attendance and in on-course wagering, which is a revenue stream for race clubs.