Victoria Racing Club will advance its bid for 60,000-strong crowds for each day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival with State Government officials on Friday.
Despite the ongoing threat of Covid and restrictions, VRC chief executive Steve Rosich said the club must ramp up preparations for Cup Week, while mindful of the ever-changing landscape.
“We’re planning for success,” Rosich said.
“We’re putting in plans that can be adapted, that can be up-scaled if we had a situation we can have more than a 60,000 crowd … if we have to adapt the other way, we’ll also be able to do that.
“Formally our application went in yesterday (Wednesday) and the engagement with the government will be strong in the coming weeks, including an important meeting tomorrow (Friday).
“It will be a very different looking Melbourne Cup Carnival with that 60,000 crowd – lower than what we’d normally get.”
Last year’s Melbourne Cup was run without a crowd. Picture: Alex CoppelSource:News Corp Australia
Flemington will host a crowd of up to 5000 on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Rosich, who was party to the introduction of strict veterinary screening of international Melbourne Cup raiders, is adamant overseas trainers and owners will still “find a way” to contend.
“We will have international runners, there is no doubt about that,” Rosich said.
“There is strong interest being shown and why wouldn’t there be with the prizemoney on offer and kudos (in winning the Cup) that still surpasses most, if not all, races around the world.
“We expect people to find a way, but equally it may provide an opportunity for Australian horses and the very best of luck to everyone.
“I’m very positive about the principles put in place to ensure the safety of our international runners in the broader Spring Carnival and indeed the Melbourne Cup … we’re very comfortable with that.”
Originally published asVRC to ramp up talks on Cup Week crowds
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