The Victorian Racing Club is determined to run this years Melbourne Cup on the first Tuesday of November even if it means the meeting will be without crowds.
The Melbourne Cup is the most iconic race in Australia each year although the coronavirus pandemic could mean the race day could be run behind closed doors this year.
“I think our worst outcome would be not running it at all. We have done a little bit of planning for that, but we’re really focused on running an event and if it’s behind closed doors then it will be behind closed doors,” VRC Chief executive said.
“But we are really focused on having an event because we think we can surround the event in a digital way to give it as much presence as we possibly can. And let’s not forget it has a global reach of over 750 million people and those people don’t attend anyway.
“We are working on the basis that we expect to have a carnival. That’s what we are working on, subject to the current COVID-19 situation making that not possible, we will have a carnival.
“We are absolutely focused on trying to have the first Tuesday of November being the Melbourne Cup this year.”
The question was asked after MVRC chief executive Michael Browell said he would prefer to wait a year and hold the 100th Cox Plate in 2021 if this year’s race was to be run without a crowd on course.
The Melbourne Cup in recent years has been dominated by overseas raiders although travel restrictions could see this years edition be an all Australian field with Master Of Wine the current favourite for the race at $11 with Sportsbet.