The Victoria Racing Club (VRC) has announced its revised summer racing calendar, with Rapid Racing set to return and a spectacular month of twilight race meetings to be held at Flemington Racecourse in January next year.
Australia’s premier racecourse will host eight summer race meetings including two in December, four in January and two in February, with hopes racegoers can return in line with easing Victorian Government restrictions soon.
Saturday 12 December will mark the first race day since the Melbourne Cup Carnival, with December Race Day followed by Christmas Race Day on Saturday 19 December.
A twilight program will be introduced for all January 2021 race meetings on New Year’s Day, 9 January, 16 January and 29 January to allow racing enthusiasts to enjoy a later start to the day as the competition on track runs into the early evening.
The innovative Rapid Racing meeting will take place on Friday 29 January, with the day maintaining a condensed program of seven races and 30 minute gaps, kicking off at 4:30pm.
The Rapid Racing concept was introduced last year and saw Victoria’s top metropolitan and country riders face off in a team competition in races held over the famous Flemington straight course.
In February 2021 the VRC will celebrate the return of Group 1 racing with Black Caviar, The Great Horse Race Day featuring the Black Caviar Lightning on Saturday 13 February and Australian Guineas Day falling on Saturday 27 February.
VRC Chief Executive Officer Steve Rosich said the revised summer schedule was designed to create consistency for participants and a greater opportunity for all to enjoy racing at Flemington.
“The VRC’s trial of twilight race meetings last season was a great success and forms the foundation for an outstanding month of twilight racing in January 2021,” Mr Rosich said.
“This move also fits well into the Victorian racing calendar and gives participants greater clarity on twilight race meetings.”
Mr Rosich was also optimistic about the potential return of crowds for summer racing.
“The safe return of VRC members, owners and the public is a priority for the Club,” Mr Rosich said.
“We have missed having them on course – they create the atmosphere that brings Flemington Racecourse to life.
“Our plans to oversee the safe return of owners and crowds to Flemington are well-advanced, and with easing restrictions we are now waiting for the green light from the Victorian Government.
“We are confident that we can welcome crowds back in summer to enjoy great racing from our world-class facilities at Flemington, and hope to be able to confirm this for our members and owners soon.”