NJC adjust stable plan after feedback from trainers

Story – Craig Kerry Sports reporter, Newcastle Herald

Newcastle Jockey Club plan to decrease the number of boxes in their proposed multimillion dollar stable development to make the facility more user friendly for trackwork.

The Newcastle Herald revealed the NJC’s plans in 2017 for an ambitious two-storey 500-box stable complex on the Chatham St side of Newcastle Racecourse, where the now former raceday stalls stand.

The on-course stables will replace those at the Beaumont St end of the Broadmeadow site. New raceday stalls have been built near Lowe St, freeing up the area along Chatham St for construction of the stables.

A development application has been lodged with the state government as the NJC await news of funding for the project.

The club, though, are reviewing the plan after meeting with trainers.

NJC chief Duane Dowell said the club were looking at cutting the number of boxes to make room for an elevated observation area for trainers and owners and a marshaling ground for trackwork operations.

“We had a really good, positive consultation with trainers in regard to the stable layout,” Dowell said.

“We are going to make some small alterations to that which we think will improve the efficiency and workability in mornings for trackwork in that new stable complex.

“A lot of it is around having additional tie-ups in the morning and a marshaling area before they go out onto the track for work.

“We will also include a trainers’ observation room, so they will be able to go to a first level and see their horses from a good vantage area, just past the finishing post.

“That will be a great spot also for trainers to bring their owners up to to view trackwork in the mornings. We are very mindful of how important owners are to the industry so we need to give them good access.

“It looks like we might have to reduce the stables to about the mid-400s to allow that to happen. It will probably space things out a bit better as well, but we have to review it.”

The NJC are among clubs hoping to benefit from the $67 million investment in regional racetracks announced last June as part of the 2021-22 NSW government budget.


“We’re obviously hopeful that in the next six to 12 months we can secure that funding through Racing NSW and the state government,” Dowell said. “Once that gets going, there will be a lot of development here. Once that is completed, it unlocks a lot of other areas for major development here.”

The club has also struck a memorandum of understanding with Hunter Water and Newcastle City Council about progressing a project to build a stormwater farming system at Newcastle Racecourse. The water from surrounding areas would be used on course and on nearby sports fields.