CHAMPION trainer Gai Waterhouse has strongly urged Warrnambool Racing Club to refrain from making program alterations to the Warrnambool Cup and Galleywood Hurdle at its famous three-day May Racing Carnival.
Waterhouse, who is currently overseas, spoke exclusively to The Standard about an idea to move the $300,000 Warrnambool Cup from Thursday to Wednesday and switch the $175,000 Galleywood Hurdle to the Thursday instead of Wednesday.
"I'm against moving the Warrnambool Cup to the Wednesday," Waterhouse said.
"I've been going to the Warrnambool carnival since 2013 and I can't see too much wrong with the program.
"There are people who like to make changes just for the sake of change and I think that's what this idea is all about.
"My motto is if it's not broken you don't have to fix it."
Waterhouse said it was important to give flat and jumps jockeys a reason to travel.
"I don't think the whole idea has been thought out," she said.
"For example, if they run the Warrnambool Cup on Wednesday the club will need to put another good flat race on the Thursday or the big-name flat jockeys will head back to Melbourne after Wednesday's races which would rob the carnival of hype, atmosphere and colour."
The Standard revealed last Friday Racing Victoria and the WRC were in early discussions about potential program changes.
Both parties have declined to comment.
Any decision needs to be made before December before Racing Victoria finalises it schedule.
Top Warrnambool trainers Symon Wilde and Tom Dabernig have come out in support of the changes while Lindsey Smith is in favour of tradition.
The Warrnambool Cup and Grand Annual have been run on the same day for more than 100 years except in 2020 when COVID-19 restrictions made the event a two-day carnival which saw the Grand Annual Steeplechase run on the Tuesday and the Warrnambool Cup on Wednesday.
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