Scone Race Club, located in the Horse Capital of Australia

Contact us on (02) 6545 1607

SRC Chairman's Report 2016

The 2016 year has once again proved to be a successful one for this great country Race Club. Our financial result shows a loss $119,176, however when depreciation of $264,506 is added back (much of this is attributed to the infrastructure built in 1992) a cash surplus of $145,330 is revealed. Our net current assets at 30 June 2016 were $928k compared to $1,063k last year. During the year $271k was invested in fixed assets.

The Club has no borrowings at all and interest incurred during the year amounted to $1,175.

The fixed asset investment made during the year was in relation to a new area for owners and trainers to assemble before, during and after the race they are involved in. We also took advantage of the opportunity to redesign the area between the jockeys’ room and the mounting yard. This has had a significant effect in reducing the crowding and congestion that has long been a problem in this area, affording a safer and more pleasant environment for all participants.

The new owners and trainers’ area has been extremely well received by the racing public and I am confident it will add a new dimension to the enjoyment of owners and trainers that participate at Scone. We did not request or receive any support from the Country Racecourse Development Fund for this project.

The issue of irrigation and water storage is still work in progress. We have received an approval in principal from Racing NSW regarding our application for funding to repair our aging irrigation system. We are desirous of doing this in conjunction with the construction of an adequate water storage facility. To this end we are seeking to purchase some land from the adjacent TAFE block so that we can construct our own dam which would be largely serviced by harvesting run off from the Scone Airport. We have held preliminary discussion with Council in regard to funding assistance for the construction of the dam.

Our May Carnival this year was once again a great success. Blessed with wonderful weather, a record crowd crammed into the race course on Cup Day to watch a great day of racing. The Cup itself was an enthralling event with the first seven runners over the line separated by three-quarters of a length. The winner Pajaro was a triumph for former local boy, now leading Sydney trainer, Peter Snowden and his son Paul.

The Saturday meeting again provided us with a stellar day of equine competition with a G3 race accompanied by the $400k R L Inglis Guineas and four other listed races. Local trainer Greg Bennett led in a winning double and other winning trainers included The Hawkes Team, Chris Waller, Peter and Paul Snowden, John O’Shea and Kris Lees who managed the quinella in the G3 Godolphin Dark Jewel Classic. Amongst Greg Bennett’s winners was the Cressfield owned Clearly Innocent who won the listed Yarraman Park – Horsepower Luskin Star Stakes. Earlier in the year at The Championships Greg had trained Clearly Innocent to win the $300k Country Championship at Randwick – an outstanding achievement by our leading local trainer.

Towards the end of the year our Racing Secretary/CEO, Sarah Wills announced that she would be leaving the Club to return to New Zealand to nurse her ailing father. We thank Sarah for her significant contribution to the Club during her 5-year tenure and wish her well for the future. We are underway in the search for her replacement.

From the time of Sarah’s unexpected departure Donna McKinnon has had to step into the role of caretaker Secretary/CEO and during this time has displayed outstanding commitment to the task. Donna puts in many additional hours of tireless work and I shudder to think how the Club could have coped without her dedication over the past few months. Donna will be an invaluable asset to the incoming CEO, as she is generally to the Club. A huge “thank you” to Donna.

A thank you also to Bernie Evans who continues to perform well in his role as Track Manager. Once again Bernie presented an outstanding racing surface for our May Carnival and betting turnover throughout the year would confirm that punters trust the Scone Race track at all times under any prevailing conditions.

Finally, it is with some sadness that I announce formally today that I will be retiring as Chairman and Committeeman in the early New Year. My health issues are well documented and in any event, I will be 65 at my next birthday, so it is time to move on and give way to the abundance of youthful talent that so evidently exists in this area. I will miss the Club – 23 years on the Committee and over 20 of those as either Vice Chairman or Chairman – it will be a big gap in my day to day life. I would like to fill that by reducing my golf handicap but sadly that is as likely as the current Australian Cricket team winning a Test Match.

Cheers! Farewell to all, it has been a great ride.


Noel Leckie