O’BRIEN CALLS FOR CUP CARNIVAL REVAMP

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Trainer Danny O’Brien would like to see the whole spring carnival shifted and the Melbourne Cup run in the first week of December.

A major overhaul could be on the agenda with the Melbourne Racing Club (MRC) exploring the option of moving its Caulfield carnival, including the Caulfield Cup, from mid-October to the end of November.

O’Brien, who won last year’s Melbourne Cup with Vow And Declare, said shifting the spring carnival back a month would be beneficial.

“The problem we have is we are stuck with dates that aren’t really the best for the racehorse,” O’Brien told RSN.

“The horses go dormant over winter. They are a seasonal animal, they grow a winter coat and their bodies shut down until the spring starts.

“Our season is way too close to winter.”

O’Brien said Melbourne’s best races were rushed through in early spring when horses are nowhere near their peak before shutting down for autumn.

He said a later spring carnival would be especially beneficial for three-year-olds who could actually be racing in the Caulfield Guineas as two-year-olds.

Reports suggest that the Caulfield Cup would move to November 28 with the Caulfield Guineas run a week earlier.

The AFL grand final is usually held on the last Saturday of September but has been pushed back after the coronavirus crisis suspended the season.

The AFL season resumes on June 11, with the grand final scheduled for October 24, which is Cox Plate day.

The Victoria Racing Club remains steadfast in keeping the Melbourne Cup in its traditional date of the first Tuesday in November.

Chairman Peter Le Grand said the MRC was exploring options of moving its carnival but was yet to be discussed at committee level.

Racing Victoria said no decisions have been made about programming of the spring carnival.

“As we have consistently stated, nothing is off the table at this time given the unprecedented circumstances of 2020,” RV said in a statement.

“Equally, we have said that we do not need to make any decisions prior to June.”

What do you think?