The home of the Cox Plate is about to undergo a six-year, $2 billion transformation.
Work will begin on the first stage of a revamped Valley — a residential section on the site of the members’ car park — just days after Winx’s record-breaking attempt at a fourth victory in the famous race.
Moonee Valley Racing Club believes the new complex, which will include 2000 apartments housing more than 4000 residents, will see it become a world leader in terms of a racing, residential and community precinct.
The construction of a new racetrack and grandstand won’t start until after the 2022 Cox Plate.
It is believed the 2023 version of the weight-for-age championship of Australia would need to be moved to either Flemington or Caulfield during the construction period.
“There would be a period of about 18 months needed to build the track and the grandstand, so we would start that on the Monday after the (2022) Cox Plate and then be up and running 18 months later,” Moonee Valley Racing Club chief executive Michael Browell said.
After years of planning, the Moonee Valley Racing Club earlier this month was given the green light to start work on the first phase of the redevelopment, which Browell describes as “a game changer”.
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and we will leave no stone unturned in making it happen,” Browell told the Herald Sun.
“The club has been here for 135 years, and we’ve had a long and proud history in that time. This project will ensure the club is here for the next 135 years.”
The project, dubbed The Valley of Tomorrow, has seen the MVRC team up with superannuation fund HOSTPLUS and developer Hamton to transform the site, which will include 2000 apartments housing more than 4000 residents in the coming years.
“We see this as a great opportunity to deliver a brilliant new asset for our great sporting capital — an iconic precinct to join the likes of the MCG and Melbourne Park,” Browell said.
“More than that, the new reconfigured track and grandstand will provide seven-day and seven-night facilities for Moonee Valley members and the local community to world-class standards.”
Plans for the new track would see it moved in 60 metres along the northern boundary, with the new course widened from 24m out to 30m, and the circumference decreasing from 1805m to 1702m.
The new home straight would be increased from 173m to 317m, with the track having an uphill run from the 800m mark, with a rise of three metres to the winning post, making it a true test.
But Browell insisted the changes won’t have an impact on the intimate atmosphere of The Valley. “Moonee Valley is an amphitheatre; it has got an intimacy about it, and that won’t change,” he said.
He predicts there will be more race meetings at the venue — possibly up to 35 — giving more owners and trainers the opportunity to race at the new Moonee Valley.
“The Valley of Tomorrow is without doubt one of the most exciting projects in world racing, but for the moment, let’s all enjoy The Valley of Today when Winx creates history on Saturday,” Browell said.
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