The start of the 2019 Cox Plate (Image: Racing Photos)
A Cox Plate under lights would be a reality if the AFL decided to hold its Grand Final on October 24 according to Moonee Valley Racing Club CEO Michael Browell.
Browell said the club would put back the Cox Plate's running to avoid a potential clash and had already spoken to Channel 7 about a 'blockbuster weekend'.
Browell is also open to running the 100th Cox Plate at 5:30pm if the AFL decides to host a night event. There have also been discussions about the NRL holding their Grand Final the following day, October 25.
Racing.com has been told that conflict with other major events is just one scenario clubs and Racing Victoria will look at before deciding to change race times or days. Others include crowd and COVID-19 restrictions, wagering partners and broadcasters.
"If the AFL does come out and say we're running it at its traditional day time slot, we'd run the Cox Plate at night but if they decide to get it out at night then we've got the option of running it at say 5:30pm, running the Cox Plate into the news and then into the AFL Grand Final," Browell told racing.com.
"I'm none the wiser of the AFL and what their plans are."
Browell said that if the AFL did run its decider on October 24, it would be huge for sports fans. There would also need to be some clarity around the T20 World Cup and its scheduling for the night.
"I had a conversation with [Channel 7 Melbourne Managing Director] Lewis Martin what that weekend looks like and if there are no crowds [at The Valley], then it would be a made-for-TV event," he said.
"It's now potentially looking like a blockbuster weekend, we've got the Manikato Stakes on Friday night, potentially the AFL Grand Final, the Cox Plate and then the NRL Grand Final on Sunday."
Browell said that the club was working towards having all decisions around its Carnival made by June 1.
"We're in a holding pattern at the moment around deciding the path forward, June 1 is the date we want to work towards, not just for the Cox Plate, but spring as a whole, what the prizemoney looks like [as well]," he said.
"[Prizemoney] is something we'd work towards on June 1, not just for the Cox Plate, but broader across the (Spring) Carnival too."