NEXT season’s Ballarat Pacing Cup has been switched to December.
Traditionally run in late January, the group 1 event will be run on Saturday, December 13 this year.
The Ballarat Pacing Cup was last contested in December in 1998, when Our Sir Vancelot saluted.
Harness Racing Victoria has made the change as part of a calendar restructure, which couples the state’s two premier races - the Victoria Cup and AG Hunter Cup – in the one carnival at Melton in January-February.
The Ballarat Pacing Cup moves into the timeslot previously occupied by the Victoria Cup, while the Victoria Cup fill what traditionally has been the spot for Ballarat’s marquee event and will be on Saturday, January 31 – a week before the Hunter Cup.
Ballarat will now link up with Cranbourne in a regional cups carnival, which will have it cup on Saturday, December 6.
Ballarat and District Trotting Club chief executive officer Paul Rowse said the club supported the HRV’s initiative to package the Victoria and AG Hunter Cups.
He said the change was being made as a once-off and would be subject to a review before 2015-16 race dates were set.
HRV chief executive officer John Anderson said the change gave Ballarat an opportunity to develop a mouth-watering feast of Christmas racing.
He said it also allowed development of one of the great regional carnivals in December with two the two group 1 events a week apart.
In more big news for the BDTC, the Australasian Breeders Crown semi-final will be returning to Bray Raceway for a second year in a row on Saturday, August 16.
Rowse said last year’s Breeders Crown semi-finals had been a bumper meeting in Ballarat and the club was already working on building further on that success.
Ballarat will again have 35 race meetings in 2014-15.