Victorian horse race dates released

Racing Victoria has released the dates for next season that will see slightly fewer meetings overall, but a calendar primarily the same as 2023-24.

Overall, there are 548 meetings programmed for 2024-25, seven fewer than this season.

There will be 112 meetings staged on metropolitan track, 386 country meetings, 17 country non-TAB meetings and 33 picnic meetings across 350 days, with 16 race-free days, including a two-day Christmas break.

A total of 57 nights meetings has been programmed, one more than the current season, and 16 twilight fixtures, also up one.

RV said the reduction in meetings comes following a review which found meetings through January to April, with the volume of meetings, field sizes were declining, while at other times of the year, when less meetings are programmed, field sizes remain healthy.

The traditional Spring Carnival remains untouched, and RV has again placed the Thousand Guineas meeting at Caulfield after Champions Day at Flemington.

Joining the summer program next season will be the Pakenham Cup meeting on December 21, moving from its autumn date this year and attaining metropolitan status.

A switch of meetings has been granted for AFL Grand Final weekend, with Sandown to race on the Saturday and Mornington the following day.

In recent years, this has been the other way around.

One new meeting RV hopes to cash in on is ‘Super Bowl Monday’, where a meeting will be run at Caulfield Heath to coincide with the Super Bowl from the US.

RV was delighted with the push of the Australian Cup to the end of March which resulted in the race achieving its highest rating since 2017, while the All-Star Mile, won by Pride Of Jenni, run two weeks earlier, rated above the international Group 1 benchmark for the sixth consecutive year.

Matt Welsh, RV’s Executive General Manager – Racing, said the dates for 2024-25 aim to enhance the changes that were made this season.

“Overall, the small reduction in the volume of meetings is designed to help maximise field sizes through the first quarter of the year where the number of races with less than eight starters increases to more than 20 percent against an annual average of 15 percent,” Welsh said.

“The programming changes through summer ensure that our calendar better matches the available racehorse population at that time to maximise field sizes and ultimately industry returns through wagering which is our goal.

“New in February will be a meeting at Caulfield Heath on Super Bowl Monday where the MRC and their partner Sportsbet will showcase the NFL and racing trackside for sports fans.

“With the continued growth in sports wagering, it’s important racing is tapping into this next generation of potential customer.”

About RS NewsWire

Racing and Sports is a global publisher of online horse racing form and information, and a leader in interactive racing technology. Racing and Sports is at the cutting-edge of information technology, allowing businesses and website users first access to emerging technologies.

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