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Bart Cummings Winner Exempt From Cup Ballot
The Victoria Racing Club (VRC) has announced that the Listed The Bart Cummings (2500m) to be run at Flemington on Sunday 4 October has been granted ballot exemption status for the Melbourne Cup. The VRC will also increase prize money for the race, held on Turnbull Stakes Day, from $150,000 to $300,000. The Bart Cummings joins the Lexus Stakes, Mackinnon Stakes, Caulfield Cup and Cox Plate as races that carry Melbourne Cup ballot exemption status. "Ballot exemption for The Bart Cummings will introduce another dimension of intrigue in the lead up to the race that stops a nation, and further enhance the quality of the Turnbull Stakes Day card," VRC Chief Executive Simon Love said yesterday. "This demonstrates our commitment to staying races, which the VRC is backing up with a $150,000 increase in prize money for The Bart Cummings. It now becomes a compelling pathway into the Emirates Melbourne Cup, adding certainty before first acceptances are taken, just as the Lexus Stakes on AAMI Victoria Derby Day offers the opportunity before final acceptances." Racing Victoria Executive General Manager of Racing, Greg Carpenter, welcomed the announcement. "This is a significant enhancement to the conditions for the Emirates Melbourne Cup and provides another unique and coveted opportunity for a horse, particularly one lower in the handicap, to win its way into the world's premier staying race," Mr Carpenter said.