Racing Victoria (RV) and the Seymour Racing Club (SRC) advise that the four race meetings scheduled at Seymour between August and October 2018 will be transferred to allow additional time for the track to improve following ongoing investigations into its performance.
The decision means that the Godolphin Seymour Cup, which was programmed on Sunday, 21 October, will not be conducted during the 2018-19 racing season.
The meeting will be transferred to Cranbourne which will retain a Listed $200,000 1600-metre event as its headline, although it will not carry the title of the Seymour Cup.
The meeting set down for Saturday, 18 August has been transferred to Tatura; Echuca will now host the Thursday 6, September meeting; while Wangaratta will conduct the Thursday, 4 October meeting.
As a result of the August meeting transfer, the official trials programmed for Tatura will move from Monday, 13 August to Wednesday, 22 August. Nominations for the trials will now close on Monday, 20 August at 12 noon.
RV and the SRC announced in May that the Seymour track would be given an extended break to allow for testing and works to occur after performing below expectations during the autumn period.
Testing and analysis has since revealed that more time is needed to allow the surface to recover and an improvement plan has been agreed upon which will be implemented over the next eight months.
A return to racing is scheduled for Thursday, 1 November, subject to the successful completion of jump-outs two weeks’ prior to that date.
RV Executive General Manager, Infrastructure and Club Support, Jamie McGuinness, said, “We’ve undertaken a program of testing and analysis in conjunction with the Club and multiple agronomists, and have agreed on an improvement plan that will be implemented over the next eight months.
“As part of this plan, our target is to resume racing on 1 November and proceed with the schedule of meetings beyond that.
“Together with the Club, we considered whether the Seymour Cup could proceed as planned in October and it was agreed that the preference was to remove any doubt now for sponsors, trainers and the local community as to whether the meeting would proceed.
“We share the disappointment of all stakeholders that racing won’t return to this important racetrack until later in the year and we will continue to work with the Club to ensure that the track reaches a suitable condition at the earliest opportunity.”
SRC Chief Executive, Penny Reeve, said, “The decision to transfer these meetings is a tough one, especially to lose the Seymour Cup, however it is in the best interests of improving the long-term condition of the track.
“We will continue to do everything in our power to get the track up and running again and we expect to see a return to racing here at Seymour in November.
“On behalf of the Club, I would like to thank those who continue to support us, in particular the local community, and those Clubs that have taken on our meetings over the next three months.”
Nominations for Tatura close at 12 noon on Monday, 13 August and acceptances will be taken at 9am on Thursday, 16 August.
There will be a change of distance to the following races as a result of the transfer:
Fillies and Mares Maiden Plate 1400m (was 1300m)
0-58 Handicap 1100m (was 1200m)
0-58 Handicap 1450m (was 1400m)
Class 1 Handicap 1980m (was 2000m)
The only change of distance for the Echuca meeting on 6 September will be to the $26,000 Maiden Plate which increases from 2000m to 2100m.
For the Wangaratta meeting on 4 October, there will be a change of distance to the following races:
1590m (was 1600m)
BM64 Handicap 1170m (was 1200m)
BM64 Handicap 1590m (was 1600m)
The only change of distance for the Cranbourne meeting will be to the $25,000 BM64 Handicap which changes from 2200m to 2025m.