The Cox Plate Carnival is due for a major shakeup this year with the Moonee Valley Racing Club set to create an entire new meeting.
The meet will run on Cox Plate eve in the traditional Friday night racing format.
The eight race card will feature the Group 1 Manikato Stakes as well as the Group 2 Crystal Mile and the Listed Crockett Stakes.
The Manikato Stakes is also set for a big boost in prizemoney with the current $500,000 to be lifted to at least $750,000 with $1 million the ultimate aim.
It’s all about making the Moonee Valley carnival more marketable to foreign interests with a full list of details at the bottom of the page.
The plans are currently just a proposal however Racing Victoria has given in-principle support with the Asian Pattern Committee likely to do the same.
The APC must be notified of any Group 1 date or condition change in the region after a recent agreement was sealed.
MVRC chairman Bob Scarborough said running a back to back program on the Friday night and Saturday would not only attract the strongest domestic talent but also raise the carnival’s standing overseas.
He said the Manikato’s scheduling just 15 days before the $1 Million Patinack Farm Classic puts it in a perfect position to be targeted by the world’s best sprinters.
“We see only positives on all levels by introducing a two-day Cox Plate carnival,” Scarborough said.
He was quick to crush any talk of the surface not coping with the 17 races in such a short time saying the StrathAyr track holds up very well.
A full list of planned changes are detailed below:
- $6,050,000 in prizemoney will be won over the two days with no less than $100,000 on offer for any race.
- The rail will be placed in the true position on Friday night before being pushed out three metres on Cox Plate Day.
- The Moir Stakes will be shifted from Cox Plate Day to September 28th, the launch of the night racing season.
- Entry will be just $20 on Cox Plate eve and remain at the current $55 for Saturday.
- Extra effort will be made to lure sprinters from PURSUE sprinters from Hong Kong, Singapore and Europe for the Manikato Stakes.
- Manikato Stakes barrier draw to take place alongside Cox Plate field selections at Tuesday’s breakfast with the stars.
- Cox Plate Day program to retain nine race card starting at 1pm and ending just after 5:30.