The Andrews Labor Government is helping racegoers escape the winter blues at Sandown Park in July as part of the 2018 Dollars for Dinner series.
As part of a joint funding package worth almost $115,000, the Labor Government is providing almost $32,000 from its Victorian Racing Industry Fund Raceday Attraction Program towards the series, which is being held on Thursday nights throughout July.
“The McKenna Memorial race is a great way to remember the late Jack McKenna and acknowledge his dedicated service to the club for 35 years,” Minister for Racing Martin Pakula said.
“We’re investing in racing events which help bring the community together and provide thousands of local jobs.”
Dining patrons can enjoy a night out in the fully enclosed Henry Harrison grandstand with live music from acoustic duet Rosie & Dom and the Robbie Williams Experience tribute band.
The race nights will provide a range of family-friendly entertainment, including face painting, a magician, Crystal the Clown, and showbags and giveaways available throughout the series.
The highlight will be the Group 2 McKenna Memorial race on Thursday 12 July.
First run in 1971, the race is named after renowned club member Jack McKenna, who served as secretary from 1935 to 1970 and negotiated the purchase of the land upon which the club sits today.
The Sandown Greyhound Racing Club is providing more than $83,000 towards the four race meetings.
Since 2014, the Labor Government has provided more than $817,000 to support 24 racing events and two major infrastructure projects at Sandown Park.
This includes more than $5300 towards the newly installed CCTV in the catching pen area to improve welfare and integrity measures.
“We’d like to thank the government for continuing to support infrastructure improvements and race day initiatives for the Sandown Greyhound Racing Club,” Sandown Greyhound Racing Club CEO Greg Miller said.
The racing industry in metropolitan Melbourne generates more than $1.5 billion for the Victorian economy annually and helps to sustain more than 13,590 full-time equivalent jobs.