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The iconic Warrnambool racing carnival has been reduced to two days as racing administrators continue to plan revised meetings amid the cornavirus pandemic.

Racing Victoria and the Warrnambool Racing Club announced the abbreviated carnival will see an all-jumps program on the first day, May 5, with an all-Flat meeting on May 6.

The decision to cut the carnival from three days was made after consultation with Country Racing Victoria and the Australian Jumping Racing Association.

The opening day will see Warrnambool’s three feature jumps races, the Galleywood Hurdle (3200m), the Brierly Steeplechase (3450m) and the Grand Annual Steeplechase (5500m) staged along with a maiden hurdle, a novice hurdle and a benchmark steeplechase.

Nine feature races will be run on the second day, including the carnival Flat features, the Wangoom Handicap (1200m) and the Warrnambool Cup (2350m).

The decision to split the carnival into days exclusively for jumps and Flat racing was made to reduce the number of people staying in Warrnambool and assist in the logistics of conducting a streamlined event with essential staff only.

WRC chief executive Tom O’Connor said the club’s focus has been on supporting the Victorian racing industry and its efforts to continue racing under new protocols.

“… the Warrnambool community and broader racing industry can be rest assured that this will be a once off,” he said.

“The May racing carnival will return over three days in 2021, bigger and better than ever.”

Warrnambool’s third day, May 7, will be allocated to another club this year.

 
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