Racing participants have had a small win after the Moonee Valley Racing Club decided on an earlier start and finish for next season’s night meetings.
High-level consultations have produced a change in the times of next season’s Moonee Valley night racing series.
The Moonee Valley night season, which runs between September and March, previously featured a 6.30pm start time with races run every half-hour until a 10pm finale.
The 10pm finish often led to a long day for some participants, who began work as early as 3.30am and sometimes took in another meeting during the day.
The Moonee Valley Racing Club consulted with Racing Victoria, the Australian Trainers’ Association, and the Victorian Jockeys’ Association.
All agreed an earlier finishing time would benefit all involved.
The MVRC will start and finish next season’s night meetings 15 minutes earlier.
The first race will jump at 6.15pm and the last will be run at 9.45pm.
Racing NSW and the Australian Turf Club have agreed to change the start times of Sydney’s Friday night meetings at Canterbury to accommodate The Valley’s move.
“The welfare of participants is always at the forefront of what we do,” MVRC chief executive Michael Browell said.
“While it can be a balancing act to ensure we provide a premium experience for those on track, bringing the last race forward 15 minutes to 9.45pm will help those partaking in the last race to be able to leave the track earlier ahead of Saturday’s activities.”
Browell said he expected the change to have no effect on the betting turnover on Moonee Valley’s Friday night meetings.
“We believe these new race times will ensure we maintain our strong wagering figures, with the Friday night race meetings the second highest wagering meeting of the week behind Saturday metropolitan meetings,” Browell said.