Albany Racing Club general manager Mark Bayliss is aiming to get his club to provincial A status within the next two years

Taj StubberAlbany Advertiser
Albany Racing club general manager Mark Bayliss.
Camera IconAlbany Racing club general manager Mark Bayliss. Credit: Laurie Benson

New general manager Mark Bayliss has expressed his desire to get the Albany Racing Club to a provincial A club status within the next two years.

Bunbury, Pinjarra and Northam are the three provincial A clubs in WA, and while Albany remains a provincial B club Bayliss has plans to take the ARC into the top bracket of the provincial venues.

If successful, races in Albany would be run for bigger prize money.

A boost in horse numbers, which could lead to more meetings being allocated to Albany, is a key part of becoming a provincial A club according to Bayliss.

Get in front of tomorrow's news for FREE

Journalism for the curious Australian across politics, business, culture and opinion.


He has put an emphasis on achieving the status in the next two years.

“We have to achieve good numbers across the board to be able to get there,” he said.

“We want to run a healthy club and hopefully get more meetings.

“If we can get a good track and trainers start bringing their horses down more regularly, that’ll help us.

“I think we can get to that goal.

“We are going to change a few things on race day and make it more enjoyable for the younger generation.”

Bayliss was hopeful of having race dates for the 2020-21 season confirmed within the next fortnight.

Albany is normally allocated 14 meetings and Mt Barker Turf Club has six fixtures to give the Great Southern 20 race dates in total.

By the time the new Great Southern racing season comes around, prize money and bonuses will have returned back to 100 per cent.

Racing and Wagering WA announced last week that prize money for all three codes of racing will return to the full wage as of August 1.

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, RWWA made the decision to reduce prize money and breeding bonuses by 20 per cent from April 6.

The reinstatement of prize money and bonuses will return to the equivalent of more than $20 million annually to the racing industry.

RWWA chairman Jeff Ovens said the industry had taken the correct approach to keep alive.

“Racing has been fortunate to continue operating throughout COVID-19, allowing RWWA to actively support the continuation of racing at 80 per cent of stakes levels at a time where our income was impacted by at least 50 per cent,” Ovens said.

“We recognise how difficult the situation has been for race participants.

However, this decision was made to mitigate some of the impacts from COVID-19, to ensure the long-term survival of the WA racing industry.”

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails