RV reveal options for 2020 spring carnival

By: Craig Brennan Thursday 28 May 2020

Racing Victoria says its has two options it is exploring for the programming of Melbourne's spring carnival races.

The Melbourne Racing Club has told RV it wants to transfer the Caulfield Cup from its traditional mid-October date to the end of November.

Such a move would result in a dramatic overhaul of the spring carnival.

Another option for RV is to leave the program as it is but this would lead to a clash with the AFL finals series in October.

RV chief executive Giles Thompson said ongoing discussions would continue with key stakeholder groups including race clubs, trainers and owners.

He expects to have some clarity on what the spring may look like by early June.

Thompson said when coronavirus struck and thoughts swung to what a spring carnival may look like, everything was on the table.

That included picking up the whole carnival and moving it back two, three or even four weeks.

But the Victoria Racing Club remained steadfast in their decision not to shift the date of the Melbourne Cup from the first Tuesday in November.

"There is lots of reasons why they don't want to move," Thompson told RSN.

"They think about their broad commercial relationships and their members and they have really important media partnerships both domestically and abroad.

"They also have sponsors that have been sold a particular outcome and they need to work with them."

Thompson said owners and trainers through their respective groups TROA and the ATA would be brought in for their say.

He said every day provided more information which was vital in making a final decision.

"When we make it I can guarantee that there won't be a consensus of opinion out there amongst our participants and the general public," Thompson said.

"We need to make that decision in the best interests of what we perceive to be the best overall interests of racing.

"I would be surprised if what we think it is today, is what it ends up in 10 days time because there will be a lot of information that will come back.

"We really have to think of the pathways through spring and the unintended consequences such as the impact on the autumn carnival and also the Group One carnival in WA."