Off and racing
Well, spring has officially sprung according to the calendar and for many of our customers, that means only one thing – the annual Spring Racing Carnival has started.
To some, Victoria is the spiritual home of horse racing in Australia. Sure, the Melbourne Cup gets all the attention, but the Carnival kicks off on the last day of August and runs right through till the end of November. All up, it incorporates 21 Group 1 races (that’s the highest level of racing for the uninitiated), along with 27 country cups and includes – of course – the big three; the Melbourne Cup, the Caufield Cup and the W.S. Cox Plate.
The southern state’s racing carnival will pay out about $100 million in prize money over the three months and it’s estimated to contribute more than $750 million in economic benefit to the state overall. Not bad for a few horse races, right?
Not to be outdone, New South Wales has its own racing calendar throughout springtime, including relative newcomer to the racing scene – Everest Raceday at Royal Randwick, billed as ‘the world’s richest race on turf’. With a $6million purse for the winner, it’s certainly giving other fixtures a run for their money!
So, why the focus on the fillies? Simple – because the TASK solution is working behind the scenes at some of the nation’s biggest racecourses. We count the Victoria Racing Club (Home of the Melbourne Cup) and the Australian Turf Club (The Heart of Sydney Racing) and the Melbourne Racing Club (site of the infamous Caulfield Cup) among our valued clients, just three of the growing number of large-scale sporting-facilities that rely on TASK’s enterprise transaction management platform to keep things flowing smoothly.
That’s easier said than done when you think about the sheer numbers. The Everest is only two years old, but already pulls a crowd of more than 40,000 to Royal Randwick. Down south – at the carnival within a carnival – the four-day Melbourne Cup fixture at Flemington includes Derby Day, the Cup, Oaks Day and Stakes Day and attracts 300,000+ visitors who are all primed and ready for a big day out. How much do they rely on TASK? Plenty…we handle over 100,000 transactions at VRC on Melbourne Cup Day alone – that translates to a lot of trackside beers and bubbly.
When the show must go on
With numbers like that, it’s understandable that failure is not an option for our racing customers on days that eclipse all others in the calendar. In fact, at last year’s Melbourne Cup the unthinkable happened and the huge demand for onsite betting caught some by surprise. While the major betting providers struggled to cope and suffered system crashes and outages, the TASK solution soldiered boldly on. Unlucky punters couldn’t get a bet on, but they could still buy a drink and something to eat thanks to the robust TASK transaction management platform.
That system stability is why some of Australia’s biggest turf clubs and courses have opted for TASK. They also love our ‘show must go on’ ethos and our focus on being prepared for any eventuality. That’s why we’ve been pretty busy lately, working closely with racecourses and clubs around the country to ensure that everything is primed and ready for the most demanding three months of the racing year – not just Cup Day. For some clients, this means implementing version updates with new features and functionality, for others it’s been a focus on hardware upgrades and new initiatives like self service kiosks or customer facing mobile applications. We’re also working together to develop planned and structured schedules for future maintenance and improvements, so that everything is ready to roll once things slow down again.
In the meantime, the TASK team will be on-site at all the major racing events throughout Spring Carnival, as part of our industry sponsorship commitments and to ensure we’re on hand to offer technical support and assistance if required. We might even have a little flutter.