Victoria Racing Club
The Victoria Racing Club was founded in 1864. It was formed following the disbanding of the Victoria Turf Club and the Victoria Jockey Club. A legacy passed from the Victoria Turf Club was the annual “race that stops a nation”, the Melbourne Cup, which was first contested in 1861.
From its foundation in 1864 until 2001 the Victoria Racing Club was the responsible authority for the conduct of thoroughbred racing in the State of Victoria, Australia. Since 2001 this role has been managed by Racing Victoria Limited.
The VRC is managed by an unpaid committee, elected by club members.
In 1871 the Victorian Government appointed the VRC as trustees of a site of 352 acres (1.4 km²) of Crown Land, next to the Maribyrnong River, which became known as Flemington Racecourse. Much of the early success of the VRC is attributed to the administration of the first Secretary of the club, Robert C. Bagot and his successor Henry Byron Moore.
The current chairman; Rodney Fitzroy, has made a major impact on the Australian Racing World, making new offices, grandstands, finishing posts and much more. He plans to retire after the 150th Melbourne cup carnival.
The Victoria Racing Club hosts four race meetings at Flemington during the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival. The Melbourne Cup is run on the first Tuesday in November, the Victoria Derby and LKS MacKinnon Stakes are held on the Saturday before the Melbourne Cup, the VRC Oaks is on the Thursday following the Cup, and Stakes day is on the Saturday following the Oaks.
During the winter months, jumps racing is staged, the premier events being the Grand National Steeplechase and the Grand National Hurdle.
- Freedman, Harold and Lemon, Andrew (1987), The History of Australian Thoroughbred Racing, The beginnings to the first Melbourne Cup, Vol. 1, Classic Reproductions, Melbourne, Victoria. ISBN 0 9588578 1 4
- Pacini, John (1988), A Century Galloped By. The first hundred years of the Victoria Racing Club, VRC, Melbourne, Victoria. ISBN 0 7316 2812 8