ChillOut 2011l has scored a major coup with an inaugural horseracing day at Kynteon Park Racing Club.
The well-known Hanging Rock Cup — normally run on Australia Day — will be re-run on ChillOut Festival Race Day after the event was postponed in January due to kangaroos invading the course.
Kyneton and Hanging Rock Racing Club manager Mark Graham told the Star Observer the Hanging Rock Cup will be re-run at the March 12 event with six other races on the day.
“For us it’s about building stronger ties with the wider community and exposing our product to a wider range of people,” Graham said.
“We see it as a fantastic opportunity to work with the ChillOut Festival and I think it will be terrific. It’s only year one, but we’re taking a long-term view on it.”
Graham said — apart from the horseracing — entertainment will be available on the day, including MC Dolly Diamond, bands, and local food and wine stalls.
The ChillOut races will occur on one of the biggest days on the Victorian racing calendar and a big screen will be set up to broadcast races from Flemington and around the state.
A shuttle bus for racegoers will also run during the day from the Daylesford information centre, Kyneton Station, and the racetrack.
“[Patrons] won’t have to worry about how they get themselves to the racecourse and they don’t have to worry if they want to sample a couple of glasses of wine,” Graham said.
ChillOut media spokesman Paul Kidd said the event is a welcome addition to the festival’s program.
“It’s a really exciting and new event for us,” he told the Star Observer.
“Lots of people love horseracing and I think it’s an event that has tremendous potential, so I hope people will take it into their hearts.
“We try and make our festival distinctive and a bit different and something where people can experience a kind of country atmosphere. I think a country race day is part of that.”
Kidd said he believes the horseracing event marks ChillOut’s importance in the region as a key tourist attraction.
“Over the history of ChillOut, over 14 years, we’ve gone from being something that the community was quite suspicious of, and not very welcoming of, to being quite integrated in in Daylesford and Hepburn and neighbouring towns,” he said.
“I think it’s been a really constructive process that the racing club is looking to reach out to gay and lesbian patrons.”
Tickets for the ChillOut Festival Race Day will be sold at the gate. Cost $10 or $6 concession, children under 15 free.