Ballarat Turf Club is preparing to dig in its heels to retain the existing spring time slot for its cup.
The Ballarat Cup meeting is scheduled to again be a standalone metropolitan class race day on Saturday, November 21.
However, it is facing a potential threat from Melbourne Racing Club, which is discussing the possibility of running the two-week Caulfield Cup Carnival after the Melbourne Cup in late November - shift which would force Ballarat to change its date.
The MRC is exploring the idea to avoid a clash with AFL finals and improve the chances of racegoers being able to attend.
BTC chief executive officer Belinda Glass said the club was "very keen" to keep its spot immediately after the Melbourne Spring Carnival as the last major meeting of the spring.
"We've put a submission to Country Racing Victoria to maintain the date."
Glass said whether COVID-19 restrictions had been relaxed to allow a crowd was not a factor for the club.
"We want to keep the date, crowd or no crowd."
She said the club had worked hard to secure a standalone Saturday for its cup and develop its into the biggest provincial race days on the Victorian racing calendar.
The 2019 Ballarat Cup Day was the richest race day ever run in regional Victoria, with an increase is stakemoney of $620,000 lifting the total pool to $1.8m over 10 races.
The Sportsbet Ballarat Cup climbed from $350,000 to $500,000 to be the richest race in regional Victoria.
Glass said any change had the potential for substantial financial implications for the meeting, particularly in relation to the longstanding partnership the BTC had developed with the Queensland-based Magic Millions.
Magic Millions contributes $200,000 to stakemoney for the $252,000 Magic Millions 2yo Clockwise Classic and $151,500 Magic Millions 3/4yo Classic on Cup Day.
The purpose of the Clockwise Classic - the only race run in a clockwise direction in Victoria - is to provide lead-up race and experience the Queensland way of going for the Magic Millions 2yo Classic on the Gold Coast in early to mid-January.
Glass said the Magic Millions feature races had become integral to the cup meeting and this could be at risk if the cup was pushed too far back into the year.
She said in addition to the Magic Millions factor, she would also have reservations about being able to "sell" a Ballarat Cup in the lead-up to Christmas or early in the new year, when many people were away on holidays.
Glass said the possibility of the Ballarat Cup being run before the Melbourne Cup had not been discussed in detail.