Moonee Valley Racing Club celebrated the 2018 Chinese New Year with a race meeting, thanks to support from the Victorian Andrews Labor Government.
The Victorian Labor Government promised $40,000 from its Victorian Racing Industry Fund towards the race meeting and Moonee Valley Racing Club is more than matching this figure with $55,000.
Celebrating the Year of the Dog, the Chinese New Year event included performers, dragon and lion dancers, Gods of Fortune mascots, and a range of Chinese cuisine.
The club ensured free entry to racegoers, it has again partnered with the Australian Chinese Jockey Club to support the event and experienced sports commentator Jamie Pi called especially race 5 in Mandarin.
On-course MCs Pete Lazar and Jing kept the crowd entertained including face painting, arts and crafts and the Melbourne City Football Club Fan Zone for children.
The Victorian Labor Government loves races?
Since 2014, the Victorian Labor Government has contributed more than $780,000 towards three infrastructure projects and 12 race day events at Moonee Valley racecourse.
The racing industry in the metropolitan Melbourne region generates more than $1.5 billion for the Victorian economy and helps sustain more than 13,590 full-time jobs locally.
Victorian Minister for Racing Martin Pakula said the Victorian Government was proud to be supporting this Chinese New Year cultural event at the Moonee Valley Racecourse because it helps to create local jobs, boosts our economy and brings the community together.
Victorian State Government Member for Essendon, Danny Pearson said the 2018 Chinese New Year meeting is a great opportunity for the club to celebrate Chinese culture and build positive relationships with Melbourne’s Chinese community.
Moonee Valley Racing Club Chief Executive Officer Michael Browell said thanks to the Victorian Government for its support of our annual Chinese New Year celebrations and for their support of our strong and productive partnership with the Australian Chinese Jockey Club.
The Australian Chinese Jockey Club (ACJC) has played a key role in all of this racing activity. Created to introduce members to all facets of horse racing which will, hopefully, with active participation in the Club's functions, like at Moonee Valley lead them into further involvement in memberships in racing clubs, horse ownership, wagering and possibly horse breeding.
There was a Race day guide to punting, printed, with combinations and terminologies (translated in Chinese in line with those used in Hong Kong) that has been handed out to participants.
Horses in Asia?
Horse racing, more specifically horse ownership in Asia is expensive and deemed by the general public only for the elite, yet most people in the Asian community love the sport of horse racing.
With the growing number of affluent Asians living in Australia and the recent success of a number of horses owned by Chinese interests, it is now the opportune time to tap into this market it seems. It is with this in mind that Derek Lo and Teresa Poon got together to help establish the ACJC, aiming to engage the Asian community in a wide range of horse racing activities; on a social basis at the onset.
Partner for the third year at Moonee Valley, the ACJC is operating as a not-for-profit organization dedicated to connecting Chinese and aspiring owners of racehorses together to become a force and advocate of our interest in horse racing; bring horse racing sport and promote the joy of horse ownership to the Asian community; and assist local and overseas Chinese to acquire Australian racehorses.
ACJC believes and advocates responsible gambling. The Club plans to devote part of its surplus funds to charities and needy projects for the community.
Like nothing you've seen before!
The performances on stage have been abuzz with live traditional acts amazing the crowd. There was everything from fire twirlers and contortionists, to dragon and lion dancers caught up in the Chinese New Year spirit!
A chance to win your way to China!
Filling in the entry card could win two return Business Class tickets from Melbourne to Qingdao, thanks to Beijing Capital Airlines.
Feast of Asian Cuisine!
Visitors enjoyed the finest of Chinese cuisine from the large array of food trucks and stalls on the main lawn, bringing a night market feel to the racetrack.
The giving of Rice!
Seen as an auspicious blessing for the Chinese New Year, visitors had the chance of getting FREE 1-kilogram bags of SunRice, they had to be quick as the rice supply did not last long.
Qi Pao Parade!
A Chinese dress worn for special occasions, Qi Pao is a symbol of timeless beauty and these dresses have been paraded after Race 3 on the main stage.
Guide Dogs Victoria (mainly for the blind)!
To celebrate the Year of the Dog, Guide Dogs Victoria had their 'Puppy Playpen' on display, located to the North Hill, with six of their furry friends.
We hope the Moonee Valley Chinese New Year occasion will keep getting bigger and better.
Was it great to see an Australian State Government support such a racing community building event? What is your take?
A. More such engagements?
B. Not a State responsibility?
C. Don’t like racing?
Please leave a comment with other opinions!