Spring races targeted at smaller Victorian stables

Racing Victoria (RV) has today announced revamped conditions for two feature race series in the 2022 Spring Racing Carnival and a new support race on Schweppes Thousand Guineas Day at Caulfield to afford enhanced opportunities for smaller stables.

The Melbourne Cup Carnival Country Series and The Valley Sprinters Cup Series will now align with the eligibility conditions of the Country Mile Race Series run in autumn.

To be eligible for either series, a trainer must:

1. Only be licensed in Victoria; and
2. Have trained less than 15 Victorian metropolitan winners in the 2021-22 racing season (ending 31 July 2022) be that in their own right and/or in a partnership.

In addition, a horse must be in the care of its eligible trainer on or before 1 August 2022 as per an official stable return to take its place in either series.

The $1.3 million Melbourne Cup Carnival Country Series features eight $100,000 heats in country Victoria from 23 September to 26 October before culminating in a $500,000 Benchmark 80 1600m final at Flemington on Kennedy Oaks Day, Thursday, 3 November.

The $305,000 The Valley Sprinters Cup Series features four heats throughout country Victoria from 2 to 9 October before culminating in a $150,000 Benchmark 80 1200m final at The Valley on Ladbrokes Manikato Stakes Night, Friday, 21 October.

The first two horses in each heat qualify for the Melbourne Cup Carnival Country Series final, while the first three in each heat of The Valley Sprinters Cup Series automatically qualify for that final. Only horses that contest the heats are eligible for the final of either series.

The Melbourne Cup Carnival Country Series was previously restricted to country trainers before opening in 2021 to all trainers licensed in Victoria only following the cessation of training at Caulfield – the same conditions that applied for the 2021 The Valley Sprinters Cup Series.

The new race on Thousand Guineas Day, 12 October 2022, will be a $150,000 Benchmark 70 1400m race that mirrors the conditions of the Good Friday Trainers Series.

To be eligible for the Caulfield race, a trainer must:
  
1. Only be licensed in Victoria; and
2. Have trained less than five Victorian metropolitan winners in the 2021-22 racing season (ending 31 July 2022) be that in their own right and/or in a partnership; and 
3. Have had less than 50 metropolitan starters in Victoria in the 2021-22 racing season (ending 31 July 2022) be that in their own right and/or in a partnership.

In addition, a horse must be in the care of its eligible trainer on or before 1 August 2022 as per an official stable return to take its place in the Caulfield race.

Quotes attributable to RV Executive General Manager – Racing, Greg Carpenter

“The Melbourne Cup Carnival Country Series is returning to a race that provides smaller stables with a unique opportunity to compete against their peers for serious prizemoney. 

“These changes mean that we will now have a program of races for smaller stables in spring through the Melbourne Cup Carnival Country Series and The Valley Sprinters Cup Series and in autumn through the Country Mile Series and the Good Friday Trainers Series.

“As well as providing enhanced earning opportunities for smaller Victorian stables and their owners, these series deliver great storylines as they did with the breakthrough wins of Alex Rae and Julius Sandhu in the 2018 and 2020 Melbourne Cup Carnival Country Series. 

“The Melbourne Cup Carnival Country Series and The Valley Sprinters Cup Series will provide a point of difference for fans and punters this Spring Racing Carnival and we look forward to their culmination on Group 1 racedays at Flemington and The Valley.

“Equally, we look forward to providing a unique opportunity for those who have enjoyed limited metropolitan opportunities this season with a target race on Group 1 Thousand Guineas Day at Caulfield.” 

ENDS