Winner of the 2007 and 2008 Country Racing Event of the Year the Dunkeld Racing Club has witnessed phenomenal growth since its humble beginnings with attendances growing from 5000 in 2005 to in excess of 11,000 in 2008.
The success of the Royal Mail Hotel William Thompson Dunkeld Races is a story to behold. What the venue lacks in permanent facilities it makes up for in raceday character. The wind rolling the odd plastic flower through the paddock (that serves as a car park) attests to its prime location, next door to the town’s cemetery. There is no grandstand or permanent seating, but we do have a couple of three sided sheds and a couple of grand sheds (four sides) that are used as bars on raceday. We advise you not to bring anything electrical, there is no power.
Despite this adversity, at Dunkeld we pull out all stops year after year to deliver an award winning event. You might call it a challenge, we call it our duty. From not a single marquee in 2000 to around 170 in 2008, preparing for this event is something that resembles a military exercise. With bookings from Adelaide to Apollo Bay and Brighton to Buninyong, the logistics of coordinating paddocks and precincts is not for the faint hearted.
On raceday, we offer you a vast array of fully serviced marquee enclosures, public areas with shade and seating, in excess of 15 bar outlets, a wide range of food vendors, multiple big screens, betting facilities, free super kid’s enclosure 6 live music performances dispersed throughout the venue, the ever popular fashions on the field and of course great racing.
For those that have been initiated, a trip to the Dunkeld Races is an annual pilgrimage, planned twelve months in advance. And, it’s not just local people who attend. One of the biggest audience segments is metropolitan Melbourne. So then, why do thousands of people attend a day at the races at Dunkeld? Because it’s what a real country race meeting is all about - people, horses, the community, picturesque settings and, above all, the chance to have a great day out.
Country racing plays a prominent role in the heart and soul of Victoria. When you hear the thundering hoofs of the thoroughbred meet the fresh country turf, racing truly comes alive.
A registered company pursuant to the Corporations Act comprising of a Board of 10 Directors, Country Racing Victoria represents 48 professional clubs ranging from large clubs in the outer metropolitan areas of Melbourne such as Werribee, Cranbourne and Yarra Valley to small clubs in rural areas such as Edenhope, Manangatang and Towong.