EXPERIENCED sports administrator Tom O'Connor believes he's got the dream job after being appointed Warrnambool Racing Club chief executive officer.
O'Connor, 41, who replaced Peter Downs in the high-profile role, has been in the job just over a week but is looking forward to the challenges the position presents.
"It's just great to get into the job," O'Connor told The Standard.
"It's a really exciting time for not only myself but also my family. I rate it a dream job.
"There's so much history with racing in Warrnambool and to be part of it is just wonderful.
"We've got plenty of projects on the agenda and to finally get involved in them is great after a few weeks finalising things in my old job."
Downs, who was the club's CEO for four years, resigned in July to take up a job as Moonee Valley Racing Club general manager for racing.
The former Wodonga Turf Club general manager and Ovens and Murray Football League general manager said the $5 million redevelopment of the Matilda Room would be a massive boost for the club and the local community.
"The redevelopment is coming along well," O'Connor said.
"I think people will be pleasantly surprised to see how big the Matilda Room will be once it's finished.
"I'm sure when it's finished it will be wonderful for the club and the community. We'll be able to host bigger functions.
"Works are progressing well. The redevelopment is on track to be finished in early April."
O'Connor, who is no stranger to the famous Warrnambool May Carnival, said he was relying on the support and assistance from the staff to help him find his feet.
"We've got a great group of staff," he said.
"I'm just finding my way about all the things that are happening.
"The club is lucky to have such competent people who are very skillful at their jobs.
"I've been to two May carnivals and on each occasion I've been amazed with how big the event has become over the years."
Warrnambool is gearing up for a busy few months, kicking off with a race meeting next Friday before it hosts the inaugural ladies and tradies day on November 8.
The Jericho Cup and the Port Fairy Cup will be run in December while the Koroit Cup is in January.
"This year is the first time we've had the ladies and tradies day on Friday, November 8," he said.
"The meeting replaces our Oaks Day meeting which was held on the Thursday. Bookings for this meeting are very strong.
"Owners and trainers should be delighted because we're offering a lot more prizemoney for this meeting.
"I would say the Jericho Cup should be another successful meeting on December 1 on the back of last year's inaugural race day.
"There's been a lot of interest from people who want to go to the meeting."
Eight races are set down for decision at Warrnambool's meeting next Friday.
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