Changes to run some of the spring’s major races as the last on the program won’t be implemented for the Melbourne Cup, with the race to remain at 3pm.
In an effort to maximise interest and betting turnover, both the Caulfield Cup and Cox Plate will run as the last on their respective programs.
But Victoria Racing Club CEO David Courtney said there will be no such change to Australia’s biggest race, suggesting a range of logistical factors make 3pm the ideal time slot.
“A range of factors are considered when determining the race schedule for Melbourne Cup Day, including major event logistics with over 100,000 patrons on course, the race-day entertainment experience for hospitality partners and their guests, international time zones and local and international media commitments,” Courtney told The Age.
A change of broadcaster from Channel 9 to 7 has allowed the Melbourne Racing Club to schedule both the Caulfield Guineas and Caulfield Cup at 5:45pm.
Melbourne Racing Club Chairman Mike Symons said the club had wanted to run the races late in the day for many years but Channel 9 were not interested.
The Cox Plate, held at Moonee Valley, will jump at 5:40pm this year while the Group 1 Manikato Stakes will also be saved for last as the feature race at the venue’s Cox Plate eve meeting.