Day At The Track

Victoria Cup to be run in October

06:46 AM 18 Jun 2017 NZST
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Victoria Cup night last year
Victoria Cup night last year

Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) has tonight announced the Group 1 Victoria Cup will be run on Saturday night, October 14, next season.

The Victoria Cup will carry prizemoney of $200,000 – reduced from $400,000 in 2016-17, with the $50,000 Group 1 Bill Collins Trotters Sprint run on the same night. 

The $50,000 Smoken Up Sprint will be held on October 6 as the lead-in race to the Victoria Cup, which in turn complements timing for horses wishing to participate in the New Zealand Trotting Cup and Inter Dominion.

HRV CEO David Martin acknowledged the scale of the change, explaining that the reduced prizemoney would enable the provision of more races to the industry, and thereby contribute to a continuation of an increased participation rate evident in recent months.  “Importantly, the Victoria Cup will retain its Grand Circuit status and remain a key feature of our racing calendar,” Mr Martin said.

Mr Martin also said the alteration would allow the Pryde’s Easifeed Great Southern Star to become the headline act on night one of the Summer of Glory at Tabcorp Park Melton on Saturday, January 27.

“There will be multiple Group 1 events on the first night of the Summer of Glory at Tabcorp Park Melton, so it will remain an elite program with the Great Southern Star the main race, but also featuring the Victoria Derby and the Ladyship Cup,” Mr Martin said.

“Night two of the Summer of Glory will feature the Group 1 A. G. Hunter Cup and the Group 1 V. L. Dullard Trotters Cup.  The Ballarat Cup is the week before Great Southern Star night and it made sense not to have three straight Group 1 pacing events of similar distances in three weeks. We wanted to ensure the Hunter Cup attracted the best field possible as part of our Summer of Glory.”

Today’s announcement means the Group 1 PETstock Ballarat Cup will be the lead-in race to the A.G. Hunter Cup, with Grand Circuit horses likely to take a week off between the two events.

Cody Winnell (HRV Media/Communications Manager)

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