An important pathway has been cleared for a merger between the Cranbourne Turf Club and the Pakenham Racing Club.

During separate annual general meetings on Monday, members from Cranbourne and Pakenham voted in favour of creating a unified racing club

A special resolution was passed, two months after a potential merger was first proposed to create a Victorian ‘super club’ in Melbourne’s southeastern corridor.

The Cranbourne Pakenham Racing Club Inc, is the preferred registered name for the new entity but it will trade under a different and ‘more marketable brand’.

Cranbourne chief executive Neil Bainbridge will be the club’s inaugural boss and Sean Clarkson will lead a 10-strong committee as chairman.

Sold as a good deal for members as well as the Victorian racing industry, the new club is expected to stage 60 meetings throughout the racing season on three racetracks - Cranbourne, Pakenham Turf and Pakenham Synthetic.

The merged club will cater for 1500 horses in work at its Cranbourne and Pakenham training centres - a figure that is tipped to deliver 30 per cent of all Victorian starters.

After the closure of Caulfield as a training centre in 2021, most of Victoria’s best stables have a presence at Cranbourne or Pakenham.

Racing Victoria has been a driving force behind the union.

"This is a historic moment for Victorian racing and one that solidifies Melbourne’s southeast ‘super club’ as a racing and training powerhouse,” Racing Victoria chief executive Andrew Jones said,

The merger is expected to be finalised early in 2024 after both clubs work through regulatory and government approvals.

Instead of dealing with Country Racing Victoria, the new club will work with Racing Victoria on funding, operational and programming issues.

“The combined club offers members two tracks for the price of one. Trainers can realise a future where more facilities and options are available to them,” Jones said.

"And club leaders can drive economies of scale across racing, training, customer services, commercial operations, finance, administration, gaming and property.

"Everyone is a winner today.”