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RV Announce Changes To Spring Program
Racing Victoria yesterday announced a number of changes to its spring racing program, including a reduction in distance from 1200m to 1000m for the Gr1 Moir Stakes, reports Racing.com. Traditionally run at Moonee Valley and scheduled on AFL Grand Final eve (this year it will be Friday 25 September), the $400,000 Moir Stakes will become the only Gr1 five-furlong sprint run in Melbourne during the spring, and just the second on the Victorian calendar alongside the Black Caviar Lightning Stakes at Flemington in March. It was one of two changes to the feature sprint program with the $400,000 Gr2 Schillaci Stakes - to be run this year on 10 October at Caulfield - to rise in distance from 1000m to 1100m. The other change to the Spring Racing Carnival feature program was the shift of the $400,000 Gr1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) back a week from the third Saturday in September to Saturday 26 September. RV Racing Operations Manager, Paul Bloodworth, said the changes provide a better lead-in to the Spring's two $1 million sprints - the Manikato Stakes and Darley Classic. "The distance changes to both the Moir Stakes and Schillaci Stakes will allow sprinters aiming for the Manikato Stakes and/or the Darley Classic a gradual build-up in distance as well as providing greater variety in the Group 1 sprints throughout the Spring Racing Carnival," Bloodworth said. The change in timeslot for the Gr1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) will position it alongside the Gr1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m), this year to be run on Saturday 26 September. The Underwood will now be run two weeks after the Gr1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) and a fortnight before the Gr1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m), a traditional lead-up to the Gr1 Cox Plate (2040m). "With the upgrade of the Memsie (Stakes) and Makybe Diva Stakes to Group 1 status in recent years, and now confirmation of the change of date for the Group 1 Underwood Stakes, we believe we have the ideal program of Spring weight-for-age races culminating in the Cox Plate," Bloodworth said.