03 June 2011

Melbourne's Valley vision puts Sydney red hots to shame

A tale of two cities? Announcing a visionary $150m masterplan to redevelop the Valley into a "night racing Mecca", Moonee Valley Racing Club chairman, Bob Scarborough, said "at no stage" had his board countenanced merging with the VRC or moving the Cox Plate to another track. "We could have quickly found a buyer for 40ha of prime freehold land within 7km of the city. It would have been a surer bet than Black Caviar winning her 14th successive race," Scarborough reportedly said. "We have a different view. We're proud of our history and contribution to the industry and the broader community since our establishment in Moonee Ponds almost 130 years ago." Puts into stark relief the visionless mob at the NSW Harness Racing Club who grabbed the money for the 120 year old Harold Park to the cheers of owners, trainers and drivers who will divvy up the estimated $187m windfall until it runs out. The developers also did very well, meanwhile, for punters and long-term fans of the trots, what is the lasting legacy of Sydney's once iconic "ribbon of light"?
Goulburn and Bathurst will have two ''new'' stewards' towers as part of the legacy of Harold Park. The stewards' towers were removed from Harold Park yesterday and transported to the country centres. ''Mirvac allowed us to take the towers down, which was good of them, because they owned everything once we signed the contracts,'' NSW harness racing boss John Dumesny said. ''It is good that the towers can help a couple of country clubs and means they have a part of Harold Park.''
Dismembered, broken up, cast to the four winds. The march of 'progress'. That's Sydney

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