The Victoria Racing Club (VRC) has revealed a significant development in the lead-up to the renowned Melbourne Cup, as it solidifies its ties with England’s major staying handicap, the Ebor Handicap. In an official press release, the VRC announced that the Ebor Handicap will now serve as the exclusive international race granting automatic entry to the prestigious Melbourne Cup, becoming the seventh win-and-you-are-in race for the event.
Taking place at York Racecourse on August 28, the Ebor Handicap, a 2700-meter race, has played a pivotal role in shaping the outcome of the Melbourne Cup in recent years. Notably, Heartbreak City’s remarkable second-place finish in the 2016 Melbourne Cup was a standout performance from an Ebor winner, underscoring the significance of this partnership.
VRC Chief Executive, Steve Rosich, expressed his excitement about the association between Flemington and York Racecourse, stating, “The Ebor Handicap has been a proven pathway into the Melbourne Cup over the years, and it is fantastic to be able to build on the association with Flemington and York Racecourse. It further cements the Melbourne Cup’s international reach and appeal.”
The connection between the two iconic races has not gone unnoticed by York Racecourse, which has submitted an application to host the prestigious Melbourne Cup Tour. York Chief Executive William Derby shared his enthusiasm for the partnership, emphasizing the added value it brings to the Ebor winner.
Derby stated, “It is fantastic to officially connect two iconic races in the Sky Bet Ebor Handicap and the Melbourne Cup with the introduction of a golden ticket for the Ebor winner into the race that stops a nation and indeed much of the world. This great news will give confidence to winning connections that their start at Flemington is secure, further linking two great races.”
In addition to the inclusion of the Ebor Handicap as a qualifying race, several significant changes have been made to the conditions of the 2023 Melbourne Cup. These adjustments encompass declaration dates and amendments to the balloting conditions.
Owners and connections will be required to officially nominate their horses for the Melbourne Cup by Tuesday, September 5, with entries closing at noon. Notably, any horse that finishes in the top three in a golden ticket race or a Group 1 race spanning 2000 meters or more will automatically bypass the first ballot for the Melbourne Cup.
The VRC’s decision to establish the Ebor Handicap as a crucial race for automatic entry into the Melbourne Cup further strengthens the global significance of Australia’s most prestigious horse racing event. As anticipation builds, owners and connections around the world eagerly await the chance to secure a coveted golden ticket to the race that captivates the nation on the first Tuesday in November.
– RAS NewsWire