There are calls to move the Melbourne Cup to a day later in November.
Racing NSW chief executive Peter V’landys has said while he understands the race is traditionally on the first Tuesday in November, “tradition could actually lead you to perish”.
“I’ve got no doubt the Melbourne Cup would work if it was run on the second, third or fourth Tuesday in November, it would make no difference,’’ V’landys said. “The Melbourne Cup will always be the race that stops the nation, it doesn’t matter when it is run.’’
“Racing needs to do this to stay relevant, it can’t just stay the way it has always been because then the sport will go backwards,’’ V’landys said.
“All I’m saying is let’s have this debate, let’s talk about taking a national approach to the big-race calendar and see if there are things we can do better.”
The argument goes that it’s detrimental for Victorian racing as a whole because it comes right off the back of the AFL Grand Final and is too close to other big races in the calendar.
It’s one that Melbourne Racing Club chief executive John Blanksby agrees with.
“The first Tuesday in November is sacrosanct, according to some,” he said.
“Times change. The weather is much better in that space [later in November] and could the pattern work a lot better?
“From our perspective, selfishly speaking, we come right on the back of the AFL grand final and it’s difficult to try and get people’s mind to turn to racing season.
“They have just come off some pretty big finals and you ask them to come again.”