Revamped Flemington Racing Spectacular set to feature new Cup qualifier
The Victoria Racing Club is pleased to announce additional prizemoney for the new-look Flemington Racing Spectacular in autumn and a sixth ballot exempt race for the Lexus Melbourne Cup.
The Listed Roy Higgins (2600m) will increase to $500,000 and feature ballot exempt status for the Lexus Melbourne Cup from 2023. The Roy Higgins will now form an important part of the road to the Lexus Melbourne Cup, giving the winning horse and connections more than seven months to prepare for the world’s richest two-mile race.
Another race receiving a prizemoney boost is the Listed Moomba Plate (1100m) which will increase to $500,000 and be renamed shortly as it develops its place on the calendar as a feature three-year-old autumn sprint.
The Roy Higgins and Moomba Plate will be run under set weights and penalties. Both races will take a position on the undercard on the new TAB Australian Cup Day, the third feature race day at Flemington in March and Flemington’s newest race day on Saturday 25 March 2023.
As announced earlier this year, the TAB Australian Cup will be worth $3 million in 2023 and is set to provide a brilliant finale to the Flemington Racing Spectacular.
To enhance the lead-up program for the TAB Australian Cup the VRC has added the $200,000 TAB Australian Cup Prelude (2000m), to be run under set weights and penalties, to the Super Saturday card on Saturday 11 March 2023 at Flemington.
Named after the legendary jockey and dual Melbourne Cup winner, the Roy Higgins is designed as a target race for progressive young stayers over the Flemington Racing Spectacular. The winner earns a guaranteed place in the $8 million Lexus Melbourne Cup later that year.
VRC Chief Executive Officer Steve Rosich said the club was really pleased to offer connections another chance to qualify for a place in the time-honoured Lexus Melbourne Cup.
“The Lexus Melbourne Cup is the race that everyone wants to win and the VRC expects the Roy Higgins to become a highlight on the new autumn program at Flemington that provides for three feature race days,” Mr Rosich said.
“The decision to offer a sixth golden ticket into the Lexus Melbourne Cup was based on the principle that it gives trainers and connections the chance to plan an ideal road to the Cup.
“The Moomba Plate has increased in prizemoney as the VRC felt there was space on the calendar to give the best three-year-old sprinters a chance to showcase their talents at Flemington during the autumn.
“The VRC looks forward to hosting three bumper race days in March with Australian Guineas Day on Saturday 4 March, Super Saturday on 11 March and TAB Australian Cup Day on Saturday 25 March.”
There are currently five other ballot exempt races for the Lexus Melbourne Cup; The Lexus Andrew Ramsden (2800m) at Flemington, The Lexus Bart Cummings (2500m) at Flemington, the Caulfield Cup (2400m), the Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley and the Lexus Archer Stakes (2500m) at Flemington.
Flemington Racing Spectacular Dates
|Australian Guineas Day||Saturday 4 March 2023|
|Super Saturday||Saturday 11 March 2023|
TAB Australian Cup Day
Saturday 25 March 2023
Crystal Pegasus and Jamie Kah winning the Roy Higgins at Flemington earlier this year (Credit: Racing Photos)