‘They should act’: V’landys calls for Melbourne Cup date to be moved

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‘They should act’: V’landys calls for Melbourne Cup date to be moved

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Racing NSW chief executive Peter V’landys wants to scrap more than 150 years of tradition and move the Melbourne Cup from the first Tuesday in November.

V’landys, who will take over from Peter Beattie as the chairman of the Australian Rugby League Commission next month, wants a complete overhaul of Australia’s spring racing calendar – including the Melbourne Cup.

V’landys’ pitch comes less than a fortnight before the running of Sydney’s $14 million The Everest, the world’s richest race on turf.

In an interview with Channel Seven on Tuesday, a combative V’landys argued Australia’s most famous race should be pushed back to later in November in remarks which are sure to anger Victoria Racing Club officials.

“The one that has to move is the VRC with the Melbourne Cup,” V’landys said. “The Melbourne Cup will be successful wherever you put it.

“If you are really interested in the national racing scene, don’t give us diatribe. Look at it and if there is a better pattern, they should act instead of being critical all the time thinking they have a monopoly and attacking the other states.

If you are really interested in the national racing scene, don’t give us diatribe

Peter V’landys

“They [VRC] should look at it as a national industry. They shouldn’t look at it as a Victorian racing industry. I don’t think the way it is at the moment is of benefit to the Victorian racing industry let alone the national industry.

“If you are going to attack a state about national racing, I think you should look at your own scene first.”

V’landys has aggressively added rich events to Sydney’s racing scene – including The Everest and the $7.5 million Golden Eagle to be run on Victoria Derby day for the first time next month – to reinvigorate the NSW industry.

It’s an approach that has been at odds with southern officials, in particular VRC chairman Amanda Elliott who in June called V’landys a “silly little man”. She later apologised for the comment.

'They should act': V'landys calls for Melbourne Cup date to be moved - The Reports

Racing NSW chief executive Peter V’landys wants the Melbourne Cup to be moved.Credit:Getty Images

V’landys’ idea has won support from the Melbourne Racing Club, who argue their Caulfield carnival – which begins with the Caulfield Guineas this week and also features the $5 million Caulfield Cup, run on the same day as The Everest – is too close to the AFL grand final.

“The first Tuesday in November is sacrosanct, according to some,” MRC chief executive Josh Blanksby said. “If you take Peter’s lead, should we be reviewing that? Times change. The weather is much better in that space [later in November] and could the pattern work a lot better?

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“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.”

The MRC has brokered a deal with the Australian Turf Club to boast one of the 12 slots for this year’s The Everest.

V’landys could not be reached for comment on Tuesday.

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