Melbourne Racing Club ditches fizz and fashion to put the horse at the centre of new campaign

A new content campaign to promote the Caulfield Cup Carnival has set out to celebrate the horse rather than the betting or booze available at the event.

The Melbourne Racing Club enlisted UK-based agency Equine Productions to shoot the two-and-a-half minute film which centres on the preparation of the horses ahead of a race.

But in a sign that horses may struggle to remain the centre of attention for long, the club also announced that a deal has been struck with Nova Entertainment to create an extravaganza of food, drink and music at the Melbourne race course.

Recent campaigns from the likes of the Australian Turf Club and Perth Racing Club have focused on the social side of the sport rather than the horses.

Jason Shugg, GM of marketing at the Melbourne Racing Club said in a statement: “We are keen to promote all aspects of Spring Carnival at Caulfield, our quality food, spectacular style, exceptional entertainment and world class horseracing, but we thought it was time to return the horse to the heart of promotion.

“We wanted to showcase these beautiful animals and the passion that goes into producing these amazing equine athletes for racing, and Equine Productions have had great success doing exactly that in the UK.

“We’re always looking to produce shareable content that appeals to a broader audience who will hopefully convert into racing fans. I am confident this short film will evoke emotion toward the heroes of our sport, the horses.”

But soon after MRC turned the spotlight on horses, Nova issued a statement heralding the creation of an “entertainment mecca” at Caulfield, with Shugg saying the event was known for offering the best in “food, fashion and racing”.

“Through partnering with Nova and Smoothfm we can add amazing entertainment to that brand experience, catering for both the younger crowd wanting a cracking day out to those who are treating themselves and appreciate a more chilled out experience,” he said.

In the first event of its strategic partnership with MRC, Nova said it will provide a “full food and dining experience” with chill out areas, live DJs and musical performances.

“We are delighted to form a strategic ongoing partnership with the MRC,” Nova chief operating officer Louise Higgins said. “They have created amazing events that have great appeal to our Nova and Smoothfm listeners and agencies.”

In the push to elevate horses to centre stage, Equine Productions spent a week filming behind the scenes of training at Caulfield Racecourse including all the people who produce the stars of the sport; the trainers, strappers, work riders and jockeys.

Nathan Horrocks, creative director of Equine Productions, is excited to be bringing a new aspect to Australian racing: “We were recruited to produce a short film that focused on the stars of the sport, the horses and the passion of the people who prepare them for racing.

“We’ve used new techniques which haven’t been seen in promotional clips in Australian racing before. We hope we’ve created something beautiful that stirs emotion in the viewers to encourage them to watch the horses this spring.”



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