The Harness Racing Victoria (HRV) Board this morning approved new distances forthree of its key races.The Board approved the BIG6 Hunter Cup and Alabar Victoria Derby, which will be runat Melton's Tabcorp Park for the first time in February next year, to be run over 3280metres and 2240 metres respectively.
Both Group 1s were run at Moonee Valley while that venue was the home of Victorian harness racing with the BIG6 Hunter Cup run over 3065m and the Alabar Victoria Derby over 2575m earlier this month.
Distance options for races at Tabcorp Park are 1720m, 2240m, 2760m or 3280m. HRV chief executive John Anderson said the Board acted on recommendations from its Programming and Futurities Sub-Committee and was satisfied that the suggestions were in the best interests of two of Australia’s most prestigious races.
“The Committee resolved to recommend the longer distance for the BIG6 Hunter Cup, which ensures it retains a point of difference and continues to be the supreme test for Australasia’s best horses,” Anderson said.
“The Committee also felt that 2760 metres was too tough an ask for three-year-olds that early in the season, hence the Alabar Victoria Derby being set at 2240 metres.”
The Board also accepted the Committee’s recommendation that the SEW-Eurodrive Victoria Cup, run for the first time at Tabcorp Park last December, should remain a 2240m event in preference to being extended to 2760m.
“The SEW-Eurodrive Victoria Cup is renowned as the middle-distance championship of Australasia and keeping it at 2240 metres is the best way to ensure that remains the case,” Anderson said.
“Tabcorp is proud of its association with the staying championship of Australia and both SEW-Eurodrive and Alabar are extremely supportive of the distances for the races they sponsor.”