The Valley will now turn its attention to locking away prizemoney for this year’s Cox Plate after the spring carnival program was set late last week.
Chief executive Michael Browell said he was hopeful of finalizing prizemoney, including the Ladbrokes Cox Plate Boost bonus, by the end of June.
Prizemoney is also at the front of Racing Victoria’s attention now it has made a decision on the spring, with Chairman Brian Kruger telling After The Last a call would be made before the end of the month, with the ambition to make it sooner.
While having the spring carnival dates set in stone was crucial, Browell said there was a few more boxes still to tick before the club hit go on plans for the 100th Cox Plate.
“There are still a couple of key elements to the Cox Plate Carnival that we still need a couple of weeks to bed down, including prizemoney, not just for the Cox Plate but for the supporting features,” Browell said.
“We are really keen to land on the international participation so that we can get on and do the recruitment of these internationals. Previously, of course, we would be issuing the invitations to the best 10 or 12 horses (shortly), but all of that has been put on ice.
“And then the other one we are just waiting to confirm is the Ladbrokes Cox Plate Boost bonus which we had in place last year. Now the carnival is set we can go and finalise those arrangements which may lead to a $1m bonus attached to 10 or 11 of the key lead-up races.”
Lys Gracieux scored the $2m bonus after the Japanese star won the Takarazuka Kinen on her way to winning last year’s Cox Plate.
Another eight Australian bonus were up for a $1m bonus if they had won the Cox Plate as part of the bonus.
Browell said The Valley was waiting for Racing Victoria to announce what its contribution to the Cox Plate’s prizemoney would be before finalizing what this year’s race would be run for.
“(The Cox Plate was worth) $5m last year and the club makes a sizeable contribution to the $5m mark. RV will consider that (prizemoney) over the next few weeks,” Browell said.
“Ideally we have it locked away by June, understanding that nominations for the Cox Plate will close the first Tuesday in August.
“We want to make sure we get this finalised and we can start to promote it sooner rather than later.”
Kruger said Racing Victoria would take its time before announcing prizemoney levels so it has the best COVID-19 date before making a decision.
“What we are proposing to do is we will make a decision around both the spring racing carnival prizemoney, but also the changes we implemented a couple of months ago in terms of ongoing reduction in metro and country prizemoney,” Kruger said.
“Looking at that at the end of June. The reason we are not making that decision more quickly … but things change very quickly with what is happening with COVID and what we want to do is make sure when we make the decision around prizemoney, we have got the best available data at that point in time.
“So make the decision perhaps a little bit later but make it with the best data and make sure we make the right decision.”