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COVID-19 Update - Weights

Racing Victoria (RV), in conjunction with the Australian Trainers Association (ATA) and the Victorian Jockeys Association (VJA), have today provided an update regarding the COVID-19 weight allowance for jockeys and the weight scales for feature races during the Spring Racing Carnival.

Since March, Victorian racing has operated under a higher weight scale for all professional race meetings with the minimum weight increased to 56kg and the minimum topweight at release of weights being 62kg.

Due to the ongoing presence of COVID-19 in Victoria, the 2kg COVID-19 allowance will remain in place until at least the end of September 2020 with the date subject to an ongoing review

Earlier this month, a variation was made for Group handicap races which saw the Group 3 Aurie’s Star Handicap (1200m) run at Flemington with a minimum top weight of 61kg on a 55kg limit weight (normally 60kg on 54kg).

An adjustment to the weight scales has also been made for the following two Group handicap races run in September:

  • The Group 2 Bobbie Lewis Quality (1200m) run at Flemington on Saturday, 12 September will have a minimum top weight of 60kg on a 54kg limit weight (normally 59kg on 53kg); and
  • The Group 1 Neds Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) run at Caulfield on Saturday, 19 September will also have a minimum top weight of 60kg on a 54kg limit weight (normally 58kg on 52kg).

Further consideration to the weight scales for the remaining Group 1 handicaps of the 2020 Spring Racing Carnival, the Toorak Handicap (1600m) on 10 October at Caulfield and the Kennedy Cantala (1600m) on 31 October at Flemington, will be made in September.

RV has also announced that the base weight for the following five non-Group set weight and penalty races in September have been amended;







Base Weight



Atlantic Jewel Stakes



Was 55kg now 56kg



Cap D'Antibes Stakes



Was 55kg now 56kg



Jim Moloney Stakes



Was 55kg now 56kg



AAMI Victoria Derby Trial



Was 55.5kg now 56kg



Kennedy Oaks Trial



Was 55.5kg now 56kg

RV also wishes to advise that the weights for the Stella Artois Caulfield Cup (2400m) on 17 October and the Lexus Melbourne Cup (3200m) on 3 November will be released on 8 September 2020 and will be consistent with the historical weight scales for both races.

The conditions of the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups state that the topweight must have at least 58kg when handicaps are released. The minimum weight for both races is 49kg for three-year-olds and 50kg for horses four years and older.

RV Executive General Manager, Racing, Greg Carpenter, said: “We had previously targeted 19 August as the date on which we would revert to pre-COVID minimum jockey weights, however we indicated at the time the need to retain flexibility if circumstances were to change in Victoria.

“Since that announcement, we have seen Stage 4 restrictions imposed across metropolitan Melbourne which further impacts the ability of riders to utilise various facilities, including gyms, to assist in maintaining their weight.

“As a result, we have elected to extend the 2kg weight allowance until at least the end of September, with exemptions made for a series of feature races next month.

“We will continue to monitor the conditions in Victoria in the weeks ahead to determine a suitable date for the return of jockey weights to pre-COVID levels, whilst also giving consideration as to whether any changes are appropriate to weight scales for the two Group 1 mile handicaps run in October.

“The Stella Artois Caulfield Cup and Lexus Melbourne Cup are iconic races and the weight scales for them are well established. Given the weights are released six and eight weeks respectively prior to these races, we’ve made the decision now to provide certainty to all trainers, owners and jockeys.

“We’ve done so in the knowledge that recent history shows that, on average, only around four runners start with less than 53kg in each race and that around a third of our Victorian jockey population can ride in that low range, particularly with the advance notice being provided.”