Cox Plate and Caulfield Cup may now run after the Melbourne Cup
Victorian racing administrators have explored the possibility of running the Cox Plate and Caulfield Cup after the Melbourne Cup due to the COVID-19 outbreak, according to media reports.
The Australian reported that the Melbourne Racing Club, which hosts the Caulfield Cup, was keen to move the whole Spring Carnival back four weeks.
However, the Victoria Racing Club, led by chief executive Neil Wilson, ruled out moving the Melbourne Cup at Flemington from the first Tuesday in November.
With the VRC not keen to move, the MRC and Moonee Valley Racing Club are keeping their position comparatively open despite their signature races remaining unlikely to move from their traditional dates.
“We’re doing scenario planning on every option and we’re pretty fluid, but it’s got to work for everyone if we make any changes,” MRC chief executive Josh Blanksby told The Australian.
“One of the things we were putting forward was the longer you wait, the more chance you are of getting a crowd.
“The simplest way, if you were going to do it, would be everything move back four weeks from P.B. Lawrence Stakes Day (mid-August usually). That is unlikely given the VRC’s position, which I completely understand.”
Meanwhile, MVRC chief executive Michael Browell reiterated that the Cox Plate would most likely be held on October 24, in a day or night timeslot, dependent on the timing of the AFL Grand Final, which is expected to be held on the same day.
“The only thing that could (change things is) the potential to have these restrictions lifted more so that you can have crowds in the tent,” Browell said.
“If you could hold off for a month and be assured of 10,000, 20,000 or 30,000 people, then that is a different option.”