Victoria launches double-header Wednesdays | RACING.COM

Craig Williams wins on Valente (Image: Racing Photos)

Twilight Racing (Image: Racing Photos)

The next three months will see a change to the racing landscape in Victoria with race-free Mondays introduced to the program across the state along with the addition of ten Wednesday twilight meetings.

Running from January 15 to March 26, there will be no race meetings conducted in Victoria on Mondays except for the traditional Labour Day public holiday on March 12.

This has been designed to give racing industry participants a break in the busy seven-day schedule, especially during the summer and autumn period with an increase in night meetings.

This has allowed for a second meeting to be staged on Wednesdays, replacing the existing Monday meetings, which will be staged between 12.30pm and 4pm.

The existing Wednesday meetings, one of the major wagering meetings of the week, will now be run as a twilight program between 4.30pm and 8pm through January.

As the season moves into February and March, and the daylight hours shorten, the finishing times of those twilight meetings will be brought forward to 7.30pm and 7pm respectively.

Racing Victoria, in consultation with the metropolitan Clubs and Country Racing Victoria, believes that the popularity of night racing will create a good foundation for regular twilight racing to be successful but this trial period will test whether punters and racegoers agree.

“We are looking ahead with keen interest to next week’s introduction of three months of race-free Mondays,” said Paul Bloodworth, RV’s Racing Operations Manager.  

“This initiative is a first for racing in Victoria, and one which will assist us in future decision-making around the use of twilights and our customers’ preferences.

“We will be closely monitoring the impact this trial has on wagering and participation as we convert the Monday meetings to Wednesday fixtures, with the existing Wednesday afternoon meetings shifting back to twilight.

“Due to the success of our night racing program and the significant turnover growth created by double-header Thursdays and Fridays, we are confident this trial period will be a success.”

The Melbourne Racing Club will stage seven of the ten twilight meetings, with the first Wednesday twilight meeting at Caulfield on January 17. The other six will be staged at Ladbrokes Park Sandown. Ballarat Turf Club will stage two twilight meetings and Bendigo Jockey Club the other one.

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