The Victoria Racing Club (VRC) and Racing Victoria (RV) are pleased to announce that The Andrew Ramsden at Flemington will be a ballot exempt race for the Lexus Melbourne Cup from 2019 onwards.
The winner of The Andrew Ramsden will gain direct entry into the $7.3 million Lexus Melbourne Cup of that year.
Named after former VRC Chairman Andrew Ramsden (1998 – 2003), the race has received a $200,000 boost in prizemoney to reach $400,000 and will be run on Saturday 25 May 2019 over 2800m.
The Andrew Ramsden will be restricted to three, four and five-year-old horses, a move aimed to afford Australia’s brightest young stayers the chance to compete in the ‘the race that stops a nation.’™
The race will be run under weight-for-age conditions.
VRC Chief Executive Officer Neil Wilson said the decision comes after consultation with key industry stakeholders.
“The VRC conducts a thorough review of racing at Flemington each year, and The Andrew Ramsden presented an opportunity to enhance the staying program at Flemington for Australian-trained horses,” Mr Wilson said.
“Unlike the other four Lexus Melbourne Cup ballot exempt races, the timing of The Andrew Ramsden outside of spring means the winner can have their program tailored towards the Lexus Melbourne Cup, something which owners and trainers will appreciate.”
Mr Wilson also acknowledged Racing Victoria for its contribution and commitment to improving the racing program for Australian stayers.
“We thank Racing Victoria for supporting the VRC’s quest to improve the quality of racing at Flemington year on year.”
RV Executive General Manager Racing & Participant Wellbeing Greg Carpenter said the announcement by the VRC complemented RV’s commitment to providing greater opportunities to stayers in Victoria.
“We congratulate the VRC on adding another race to the suite of ballot exempt races into the Lexus Melbourne Cup,” Mr Carpenter said.
“The revamped race, which enhances the existing staying program both in Victoria and nationally, will provide an important opportunity for an emerging, locally-trained stayer to secure their place in the world’s leading staying event.”
There are currently four other ballot exempt races for the Lexus Melbourne Cup; The Bart Cummings (2500m) at Flemington, the Caulfield Cup (2400m), the Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley and the Lexus Stakes (2500m) at Flemington.