WARRNAMBOOL Racing Club is expected to knock back a proposal to change the Warrnambool Cup date, sticking with more than a century of tradition.
The club's committee will make the decision at a meeting later this month, retaining the status quo with the $300,000 Warrnambool Cup as part of Thursday's program along with the $350,000 Grand Annual Steeplechase.
The Galleywood Hurdle, which was mooted to be run on the Thursday, will stay on Wednesday's card with the other feature flat race, the Wangoom Handicap.
The Standard reported exclusively on June 24, discussions were taking place between WRC and Racing Victoria about exploring options to move the Warrnambool Cup to Wednesday and the Galleywood Hurdle to Thursday, making for the biggest program changes in more 100 years of the Warrnambool May Carnival.
The discussions sparked robust conversations from racing fans across Australia and in the community, even prompting champion trainer Gai Waterhouse, who was overseas on holidays, to tell The Standard the WRC should refrain from changing the date of the Warrnambool Cup.
"My motto is if it's not broken you don't have to fix it," Waterhouse said.
"I don't think the whole idea has been thought out. 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."
Former racing minister Denis Napthine told The Standard last month there was merit for the proposed changes.
"I think it's not a bad idea and should be looked at. The Warrnambool Cup is the feature flat race over the carnival and often gets a bit lost because of the Gran Annual on the Thursday,"he said.
The over-whelming majority of people canvassed by The Standard gave rise to no change to be adopted. The 2023 May Racing Carnival is on May 2, 3 and 4.
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