THE Muswellbrook Cup will undergo another date change – and it has the blessing of the sport’s hierarchy.
Muswellbrook Race Club announced this week its premier event would now move to Friday, March 29, in 2019.
This means there will be no cup in December.
Muswellbrook Race Club general manager Duane Dowell welcomed the decision from the committee to endorse the change in date after the recommendation came from Racing NSW.
“As for this year, Melbourne Cup Day remains and we’ll have a meeting in late November for Christmas parties etc,” he said.
“But, we are focused on growing our feature race day and when the recommendation came through for a date change to autumn I was very keen to pursue it.
“It’s certainly a positive move for the club.
“The track is at its peak condition in March; we have a greater pool of horses in work at that time of year; and it's a bit cooler for racegoers, too.
“It also leads in to The Championships at Royal Randwick, which starts in early April.”
The Muswellbrook Cup (1500m) will be worth $100,000, like it was in 2017, however Dowell believes it may increase in the near future.
“I won’t rule out a rise in the near future,” he said.
“But, it will depend on the continued success of our Gold Sponsors Club and other corporate support.
“It’s an exciting change that has been in the wings for quite a while.
“We were just waiting for an opportunity.”
Should Muswellbrook Race Club retain the popular Country Championships Wild Card Race Day, it is expected to form part of a two-day carnival in conjunction with Muswellbrook Cup Day.
The Charity Golf Day will remain and be conducted on Thursday, March 28.