Semi-Twilight Oaks Day On The Cards This Spring

By: Sarah Fortnum
April 28th, 2011

Melbourne’s Oaks Day could be moved to a later timeslot in a bid to rectify a swift drop in numbers over the past few years.

The Victoria Racing Club (VRC) are proposing a change to the current Ladies Day format to allow more Victorians to make the first race, which currently begins at 11.10am.

VRC Chief Executive, Dale Monteith, said that if a major change to the current Oaks Day schedule was made, it would not come into effect until next year at the earliest.

“We are looking at the possibility,” Mr Monteith said.

“It’s something we’re investigating.”

Mr Monteith feels that a change to the current program would benefit the day greatly, with many people presently unable to attend due to work.

“We know for a fact that people don’t come until after 12 o’clock on Oaks Day,” Mr Monteith said.

“It is a work day (Thursday) and people don’t get half days off as readily since the GFC (global financial crisis).”

Oaks Day experienced peak crowd numbers of 110,677 in 2004, while last year just 77,506 people attended the track.

The VRC will now begin talks with Channel 7, which possesses the exclusive broadcasting rights to the Flemington Spring Carnival, before a final decision is made.

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