LUNCHEON - 5TH NOVEMBER 2014
Melbourne Cup Day Luncheon
Speaker: Brodie Arnhold, CEO Melbourne Racing Club
Topic: ‘Spring Carnival - Leading a Racing Club’
Chairman: John Allen
Former Investec Bank executive, Brodie Arnhold, is the Chief Executive Officer of the Melbourne Racing Club (MRC). Arnhold oversees the MRC’s business operations, both racing and non-racing related. Brodie not only boasts a commercial acumen rare in racing administration, but possesses a vision for the Melbourne Racing Club, and the wider racing industry, that sets him noticeably apart from many other racing and sporting Chief Executive Officers.
He has more than the necessary experience and drive to work with the Club’s executive team and Committee in capitalising on the many opportunities ahead of the club, both in its core business of racing and away from the turf in the investment opportunities with surplus land and entertainment venues. Arnhold is no stranger to the MRC having previously served as a committeeman and the club’s honorary treasurer.
Synopsis Of The Lunch
The Chief Executive Officer of the Melbourne Racing Club, Brodie Arnhold gave a most interesting insight into the many facets of a large metropolitan thoroughbred racing club. Melbourne Racing Club, MRC, changed its name from the Victoria Amateur Racing Club after 125 years. The first Caulfield Cup was run in 1879 in the clubs’ Autumn fixture. In 1881 the Club introduced the Caulfield Guineas for three year olds and the Toorak Handicap a mile race for open age horses. Even more significantly, the Caulfield Cup was switched to the Spring and the race was held twice in the same year – once in the Autumn and again in the Spring of 1881. The Melbourne Racing Club encountered financial difficulties in redeveloping Sandown Racecourse in the south east of Melbourne surviving only by merging with the VATC in 1963.
In 1989 the VATC modernised its Caulfield assets by building and naming the magnificent Rupert Clark Grandstand. Interestingly, Sir Rupert Clark was Australia’s only hereditiary Baronet and a former Chairman of the Commercial Banking Company of Sydney now the NAB. The VATC was newly named the Melbourne Racing Club on January 1st 2002. In the last twelve years the MRC has taken on the Mornington Racing Club, eight licenced premises including hotels with many poker machines and is now in the property development business with hundreds of apartments being constructed on a section of the Caulfield Race Course. The MRC owns the Sandown Racecourse freehold encouraging lateral thinkers to ponder the residential development opportunities in the future on this very valuable acreage of land. The MRC is now a Thoroughbred Racing Club, an Entertainment destination and a rising property developer. Brodie has a substantially different set of commercial challenges to his previous CEO’s who focussed on the thoroughbred industry liaising with like colleagues on a world wide basis without the encumbrances of poker machines, on-line wagering, diminishing numbers of on-course bookmakers and hungry governments constantly seeking a higher dividend from the racing industry. Brodie Arnhold delivered a most informative address at a time of the year when all minds in Melbourne are focussed on the Thoroughbred Spring Carnival.