Removal of COVID-safe zones enables all to participate in commemorative activities.
The Victoria Racing Club (VRC) will honour past and present servicemen and women on ANZAC Day Race Day on Sunday 25 April at Flemington Racecourse, with a special commemorative service, wartime displays and Two Up alongside top-quality racing, with the removal of two strictly segregated COVID-safe zones meaning members and patrons can move more freely around the course to partake in the memorial activities.
The VRC is pleased that we have been approved to remove the two strict COVID-safe zones previously required under our 15,000 patron cap, meaning that more members can be accommodated in the Members’ Enclosure and that spectators can move more freely around the course.
VRC CEO Steve Rosich said the removal of the two strict zones meant that members would enjoy a raceday experience that resembled pre-COVID race days.
“We’ve worked closely with the Victorian Government to return to a more familiar race day experience for all our members and spectators, and we’re delighted to confirm the removal of the two strict, segregated zones in time for our traditional ANZAC Day Race Day,” Mr Rosich said.
“It means that patrons can watch the entertainment on the Front Lawn, wander down to the horse stalls to see our equine athletes up close and participate in the different ANZAC Day activities across the course.”
This year marks 60 years of racing conducted on ANZAC Day at Flemington Racecourse, and the VRC will mark the milestone in conjunction with the centenary of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) with a number of fitting tributes to our servicemen and women on course.
The traditional ANZAC Day Mounting Yard Ceremony will be held between races 4 and 5, featuring exhibition horses and handlers in cavalry attire inspired by the charge of the 4th Australian Light Horse at Beersheba.
Racegoers can join in on wartime-themed activities including Two Up, a game which was played legally for the first time at Flemington Racecourse on ANZAC Day in 1991.
Kids’ activities will include jump rope, hopscotch and tug-of war, along with the opportunity to write letters to current servicemen and women.
The feature race is the VRC St Leger, a Classic Listed race run over 2800m for three-year-olds. First run in 1857 the VRC St Leger is older than the Lexus Melbourne Cup and has been won by VRC Ambassador Gai Waterhouse and training partner Adrian Bott the last three years.
ANZAC Day Race Day also continues the build up to The Andrew Ramsden at Flemington on Saturday 15 May with two qualifying races held on the day, The VRC St Leger and William Newton VC Handicap. The winner of The Andrew Ramsden secures direct entry into the 2021 Lexus Melbourne Cup.
To further commemorate the ANZAC spirit, the jockey of the top weight horse in each race will wear special ANZAC colours.
Delicious ANZAC biscuits made by Country Women’s Association will be free with every tea and coffee purchase made on course.
The traditional ANZAC Day AFL clash between Collingwood and Essendon will also be shown on screens around the course for racegoers to enjoy.
Pin sellers from the Watsonia RSL will be located at key entry points raising funds for the ANZAC Appeal.
For each Racing Rewards Complimentary Guest Pass redeemed on the day, the VRC will also donate $5 to the ANZAC Appeal.
“We look forward to welcoming up to 15,000 members and spectators on ANZAC Day for a more traditional race day experience that ensures everyone on course can participate in the activities honouring our servicemen and women,” Mr Rosich said.
Past and current servicemen and women will gain free entry into Flemington Racecourse on ANZAC Day Race Day upon showing identification. Ticket prices start at $15 for adults, $12 for concession/student, $8 for pensioners and children under 16 are free.
A digital race book will be available here closer to the race day.