19 Sep 2008

Wellington Cup reduced distance should help get Group 1 status back says club

6:52 pm on 19 September 2008

The Wellington Racing Club is to reduce the distance of January's Wellington Cup from 3,200 metres to 2,400 metres and to appeal the decision that has seen the race lose it's group one status.

The club's CEO David Jewell says the move reflects the breeding trends and pattern of racing that have developed in recent years, with a lack of quality 3,200 metre runners being bred and the impact of the shifting of the Auckland Cup also over that distance from New Year's Day to March.

The race was run over 2,400metres for 50 years up to the early 1940's and Jewell believes returning to that distance will also help the race regain its group one status.

He says a 2,400 metre Wellington Cup will be the same distance as the Caulfield Cup and be the major lead-up race for the Auckland Cup, the same role the Caulfield Cup plays in relation to the Melbourne Cup.