Saturday metropolitan meetings will change from the start of the new season with an additional race being added to every program. The meetings will increase from eight to nine races and will be run at 35 minute intervals (instead of 40 minutes) to ensure the meetings are run in the same time-frame.

The increase will see an additional $640,000 in stakes given away during the 2014/15 season and these changes have been largely implemented following the release of the industry’s Strategic Plan last November.

RV Executive General Manager, Racing, Greg Carpenter, today explained the moves.

“Enhancements to the racing program, more benefits for participants and a need to consolidate the industry’s revenue streams are some of the key objectives of our Strategic Plan,” Carpenter said.

“The addition of a ninth race in Melbourne each Saturday provides further opportunities to enjoy the thrill of a city winner, whilst maximising wagering outcomes which ultimately fund the industry."

Carpenter said the decision to reduce the gap between races to 35 minutes had been supported by Victoria’s three metropolitan Clubs and was made in the best interests of punters and participants.

“Whilst the ninth race offers great benefits for the industry, we did not want to detract from the customer experience, be they on course or off,” Carpenter said.

“The reduction to 35 minute gaps means that next season’s nine race cards will effectively take the same amount of time to conduct as our existing eight race programs.

"Only a selection of Group 1 racedays will retain gaps of 40 minutes or more for all or selected race on the day to assist in showcasing the premier events and managing the movement of patrons.”

To read the complete Racing Victoria press release for all details go to