The major move on the calendar is for the Australian Cup which will next year be moved and raced after the lucrative All Star Mile.
Traditionally the Group One Australian Cup has been held on the long Labour Day public holiday weekend however the weight for age distance contest will now move to the 25th March next year.
The change to the schedule comes after many trainers and owners publicly called for the date to be moved to after the All Star Mile so that any potential suitors could run in both races.
With the moving of the Australian Cup, Racing Victoria have also decided to double the prize money towards the Group One meaning that it will now be worth $3m. The other impact of the change is that the race will now conflict with Sydney’s Autumn Racing Carnival.
“I have to say this is the most important change for the Australian Cup since it was reduced from 3200m to 2000m in 1964,” Racing Victoria’s racing boss Greg Carpenter said.
“The Australian Cup, at the urging of trainers, participants, owners and racing fans, will go to the last Saturday in March.
“It will be run after the All-Star Mile, allowing horses that participate in that great innovative race, to also compete in the Australian Cup.
“On that Saturday, it will always be two weeks prior to the Queen Elizabeth in Sydney.
“The elite 2000m weight-for-age horses in Australia won’t have to tread water after they run in the Australian Cup leading into the Queen Elizabeth (Stakes).”
The Australian Cup will now move to the weekend previously held by the Mornington Cup. The Mornington Cup will be moved to the 22nd April and guarantees entrants a starting birth in the Group One Caulfield Cup.