AN expected surge in patronage has emboldened the Somerset Regional Council to continue its "wonderful" support of the Kilcoy Race Club, according to Mayor Graeme Lehmann.
Councillor Lehmann said annual visitation to meetings at the historic course were forecast to rise from 74,000 to 100,000 over the next few years and the SRC was committed Kilcoy's long-term success.
"With that in mind, council has purchased a 6ha block of land to the north of the racecourse and showground, clearing the way for future expansion at the site," he said.
"This will allow for a new 1200m chute to be added to the track, further increasing its appeal for more regional racing, including televised events."
Race club president Con Searle said the SRC's support was "nothing short of wonderful", adding: "The Council is the most progressive, forward-thinking council I've ever struck. Their foresight into what can be done in the Somerset region is unbelievable and they have got behind us.
"They do a lot for everywhere in the Somerset region but the effort they put into Kilcoy and the grants they have got for us and the new amenities makes our club a model club for other country clubs."
Mr Searle, speaking on Brisbane radio, said the new starting positions may alleviate some pressure points.
"The track is 1270 metres and is a bit like the old Albion Park track. You have to be on the pace although I have seen horses come from behind," Mr Searle said.
"There is the 1060m start where you jump straight onto the turn and then you are turning all the way until near McKenzie's Lagoon where they have to kick up. The 1200m start, once again, jumps onto a turn and the jockeys have to position themselves quickly to get the best advantage.
"What we're going to do is with the permission of Racing Queensland is take our start from the 1060m back into this new land and we're going to have a 1200m and 1250m start. Therefore, it will give the horses about 400 metres straight run before they hit the first turn."
If the track expansion eventuates, it will complement $1.2 million of other amenities which were commissioned late last year including a shared barbecue space, indoor and outdoor dining area, tiered seating for 300 people, improvements to the betting ring and disability access and a direct link to the Trackside Pavilion.
The Queensland Jockeys Association was contacted but spokesman Glen Prentice declined to comment on the possible lift in racetrack safety.