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.
Everyone will be disappointed it doesn’t go ahead, but I think ... it’s the right decision.Alanna Kirley
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.
“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.