THREE years after revealing its battles with financial loss and low membership, Wangaratta Turf Club is marking a major turnaround, as it vies to be Country Racing Victoria’s Club of the Year.
Capping off one of its most successful seasons, the turf club is a finalist for the award, which ranks it among the best four of Victoria’s 65 country race clubs along with Cranbourne, Swan Hill and Dunkeld.
Success has been building over the past two years, with the club nominated in 2011 and 2012 in the awards’ best new event concept category, for its March Wangaratta Cup Festival and its Seniors Festival Race Day in October.
The club has also received two major boosts to its annual Wangaratta Cup Day.
Winsec Savings and Loans has signed on as the naming rights sponsor for a further three years, while Premier and Minister for Racing Denis Napthine has announced Wangaratta will host a $100,000 Super Gold Bonus Race to bolster the race day program in March.
All this is a far cry from 2010, when the club revealed it had experienced an average annual loss of $70,000 for four years, had no cash reserves, static membership, and was contending with difficult race dates.