The Victoria Racing Club is sticking to its guns over the timing of the Melbourne Cup carnival, with general manager of racing Leigh Jordon saying they hope the Cup can be “the race that starts the nation” this year.
Jordon says the Cup’s place in the nation’s sporting and social culture can play a significant role in getting life back to normal when, it is hoped, the coronavirus pandemic has waned considerably in Australia later this year.
“The race that stops the nation on the first Tuesday in November, the club sees this year that it could be the race that starts the nation,” Jordon told RSN radio.
“It’s a chance to restart and for people to really get in touch with what the Melbourne Cup really means to Australians and people in the suburbs.
“It’s all about having the barbecue and watching the races on the TV and the history of the winners and the horses, the trainers, the owners, people getting dressed up and enjoying the day.”
The debate over the timing of the spring carnival and whether or not it should be moved so as not to clash with the AFL finals has been intensifying in recent days, with the Melbourne Racing Club saying it is prepared to move the Caulfield Cup if it meant crowds could attend.