5.30pm: Saturday’s Dederang Cup has been called off due to hot weather.
Racing Victoria informed club officials of its decision at Wednesday lunchtime.
“I understand that everyone will be disappointed it doesn’t go ahead, but I think that they’ll understand that with the forecast, it’s the right decision,” Dederang Picnic Race Club secretary Alanna Kirley said.
“We have to make sure we don’t put jockeys and horses at risk.”
It’s the first time in at least 63 years, since current records have been stored, that the club’s only race meet of the year has been called off due to heat, but it could be the first time since its inception in 1865.
The BOM is predicting the Border will hit 41 degrees.
RV has made a number of changes to its schedule, pushing Caulfield back to Sunday and Kilmore to Monday. The Dederang Cup generally attracts around 3000 people.
Kirley said it’s too early to gauge the financial fallout, but admitted “it probably will be” a five-figure loss.
“There is funding available from Country Racing Victoria for a meet that’s abandoned, so we can apply for that,” she said.
“We also were very fortunate we had a race day attraction from the Victorian State Government, so I think if we equate that correctly for the things that we’ve been out of pocket, we could potentially recourse some of those.
“The club is in a very sound position, we actually keep funds aside for just such an event.”
And the meet isn’t necessarily lost for the year either as Dederang will now work with RV to find another suitable date. As the Dederang Cup is a picnic meet, it can’t clash with another amateur program, with its season finishing in April.
Another stumbling block could be the availability of volunteers.
UPDATE: No races, no worries, Dederang Hotel has ‘saved’ Saturday after Racing Victoria announced the cup would be abandoned due to the heat.
The Dederang Hotel announced they would be serving cold beers, a barbecue, hot pizzas and a musical line up throughout the night.
TC and Postie will open the night from 6pm, followed by the Royce Twins.
Saturday’s annual Dederang Cup has been abandoned, with temperatures expected to exceed 39 degrees.
Racing Victoria operations manager Paul Bloodworth said no suitable dates were available in close proximity.
He said they would discuss rescheduling the race meet later in the season.
As a result of the Dederang meeting being abandoned nominations for the meeting at Woolamai on Sunday 7 January have been extended until 3pm today.
A Saturday meet in Kilmore has also been rescheduled to Monday due to the heat.