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Gai: Leave Cox plate alone

Gai: Leave Cox plate alone

Australia’s ‘first lady of racing’, Gai Waterhouse, says officials shouldn’t change something that’s ‘magical’, following the mooted move of the Cox Plate.

Waterhouse on Thursday threw her support behind keeping the race on its historic date, rather than moving it to late November, after the Melbourne Cup Carnival at Flemington.

The Hall of Fame trainer said that the Melbourne Spring Carnival is the envy of the world.

“It stretches out over six weeks, nowhere else in the world is there a carnival which stretches out over that time. Pushing the Cox Plate to late November and adding two weeks to the carnival to make it two months is too long,” she said.

“They have something which is magical and has stood the test of time. They have a wonderful progression from Caulfield, through to Moonee Valley on to Flemington. The progression is just fantastic; why change something that works?”

Waterhouse said she thought Racing Victoria officials were too preoccupied with competing with other racing jurisdictions.

“Why worry about the opposition? If they make this move, they are doomed to failure,” she said.

“Everyone’s worried about what’s happening in Sydney. Tell Melbourne people not to worry about themselves as they have a magical carnival. Why muck up something so special?”

Waterhouse said last year’s Spring Carnival showed how perfectly it worked for racehorses.

“Gold Trip went from the Caulfield Cup where he finished second to the Cox Plate and to the Melbourne Cup, which he won,” she said.

“Each of the races complement each other. Each of the racetracks are so wonderfully different. It’s magical and it works, why tinker with it?”