Cranbourne and Pakenham merge to Southside Racing

Southside Racing Chairman Sean Clarkson, centre, and Vice-Chairman Rick Tyrrell accept the club's new licence from Racing Victoria CEO Andrew Jones. Picture: SUPPLIED

Australia’s newest racing club, Southside Racing, has emerged heralding a fusion of heritage and innovation born from the union of the Cranbourne Turf Club and the Pakenham Racing Club.

With a name echoing across the region, Southside Racing pays tribute to the rich histories of its founding clubs while embarking on an exciting journey forward.

The club’s visual identity seamlessly integrates the iconic racecourses of Cranbourne and Pakenham, fostering unity among members and the wider community.

“The merging of the two clubs is a significant milestone,” Chairman of Southside Racing, Sean Clarkson said.

“We have large training bases at both Cranbourne and Pakenham, and a lot of industry participants in the South East as well, so we’re looking forward to improving our offering from the training point of view.

“We’re grateful and thankful to our members for endorsing the merger. We’re looking to provide them with a better race day experience, and some more opportunities to come to the races.”

Southside Racing stands as Victoria’s second largest racing club.

“This is an exciting opportunity for racing in the southeast,” Chief Executive Officer of Southside Racing, Neil Bainbridge said.

“This is a club that will conduct more than 60 race meetings annually, train 1500 horses daily, run four gaming venues and offer significant opportunities for our community, and for our members to enjoy racing at two fantastic facilities.

“We look forward to being a significant contributor to the Victorian Racing Industry not only now, but well into the future.”

With a significant contribution to Victoria’s racing scene, with over a third of the state’s starters, the club plays a pivotal role in shaping the region’s sporting landscape.

Beyond the track, Southside Racing operates four community clubs, offering daily entertainment and hospitality.

With over 500 employees and an annual economic impact exceeding $300 million, Southside Racing serves not only as a premier entertainment and sporting destination but also as a vital economic engine for the region.

At Southside Racing, the mission is clear: to entertain, with a focus on customers and community, while upholding the legacy of its heritage clubs.

The club delivers raceday presentations that embody enjoyment, complemented by tailored hospitality and entertainment.

Its first-class training facilities cater to trainers and industry participants, fostering innovation at every turn.

Southside Racing is committed to creating a platform for active engagement within the racing community, valuing its social license and striving to provide both social and fundamental value to the rapidly growing region.

Chief Executive Officer of Racing Victoria, Andrew Jones said this a big step for the community in Casey and Cardinia.

“The main goal is to make racing better for everybody. Better for members, better for fans, better for trainers, better for jockeys, better for the City of Casey and the Shire of Cardinia, better for the south side of Melbourne,” he said.

“More scale means more efficiency and more money to invest in all of the things that we want to invest in, and it’s more choice for members and fans.

“I love the new brand. Southside is a great name, and it reflects Cardinia and Casey – young, diverse vibrant growing parts of Melbourne – so there’s lots to be excited about.”

The brand rollout for Southside Racing is scheduled over the coming months, marking the beginning of an exciting new era for horse racing in Melbourne’s southeast.