A bigger and better Aquis Park will put the Gold Coast Turf Club in the winners’ circle, with Racing Minister Grace Grace turning the sod on the multi-million dollar works this week. State-of-the-art broadcast lighting for night racing, an all-weather Polytrack, refurbishment of racing surfaces, and an in-field equine tunnel will be delivered as part of the project.
“This project will deliver fantastic opportunities for racing on the Gold Coast with the creation of night racing timeslots, better infrastructure and enhanced training amenities,” Ms Grace said.
“328 jobs are expected to be created during construction, which will be completed in stages to ensure the impact on the Gold Coast Turf Club is minimised.
“This project will inject more than $100 million into the local economy and create brilliant commercial opportunities with more racing at a world-class facility.
“I have no doubt this facility will add to the great lifestyle that Queenslanders have here on the Gold Coast.
“BMD Group has been appointed to complete the overall works, while Martin Collins Australia has been awarded the contract to build the all-weather synthetic track, which is expected to be completed ahead of the 2023 Magic Millions Raceday.
“The installation of a second synthetic track in South East Queensland will also provide an important contingency plan for training and racing activities during periods of wet weather.”
Since the installation of the Sunshine Coast Turf Club synthetic track in December, 15 rescheduled meetings have proceeded, with almost $4 million in prize money and bonuses returned to industry participants. The Gold Coast had to abandon racing at the track last Saturday because of the wet weather.
Gold Coast Turf Club CEO Steve Lines said the new track would provide the Club with a range of exciting opportunities.
“After many years of hard work, we are excited to commence this project which will deliver a world-class racing facility, as well as a significant piece in the jigsaw that will future proof the Industry on the Gold Coast,” Mr Lines said.
“We greatly appreciate the investment and the time of many people and would specifically like to thank Minister Grace, all the team involved at Racing Queensland, and GCTC Chairman Brett Cook who has worked tirelessly with our team to make it happen.”
The first night races under lights at the Gold Coast Turf Club are expected to take place in early 2024.
Following next year’s Magic Millions Raceday further works, including those on the new tunnel and the refurbishment of the Course Proper, will continue, scheduled to be completed prior to the 2024 Magic Millions.
New boxes and stabling could also rise on a $6.6 million 12,230sqm parcel of land on Racecourse Drive that GCTC recently purchased, adding to the renovation plans.
The GCTC bought the land – between the track, turf club and an effluent facility – in April after plans submitted by then-owner Corcoris Group for a hotel and apartments with an infinity pool overlooking the home straight were rejected by Gold Coast City Council last year.