Racing Victoria (RV) has announced that the start of all three race meetings across the state this Saturday will be brought forward due to forecast hot weather, but that Sunday’s historic Pakenham meeting will proceed in its scheduled afternoon timeslot. RV says it has been consulting closely with the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) to ensure that all meetings across the weekend are conducted safely, with the welfare of horses and participants a priority.

Following yesterday’s announcement that Caulfield’s Family Day would begin at 11am on Saturday, the decision was made today to enact earlier starts at Bendigo and Woolamai for their annual cup meeting.

Sunday’s Sportingbet Pakenham Cup – the last to be run at the Club’s current racetrack – will commence as planned at 1pm with the BoM predicting a cool change will hit the region late Sunday morning reducing temperatures to the mid to high 20’s.

Following is the current status of meetings programmed across Victoria the weekend:


RV and Melbourne Racing Club (MRC) yesterday announced that race times for Saturday’s Family Day at Caulfield have been brought forward due to the predicted hot weather.

The February 8 meeting, which was originally scheduled to begin at 1pm, has been brought forward two hours and will now start at 11am. Several program intervals have also been reduced to ensure the majority of the race card avoids the hottest part of the day.

The nine-race meeting will now conclude at 3.20pm with the $400,000 Group 1 Sportingbet C.F.Orr Stakes to be run at 2.45pm.

The Family Day activities planned at Caulfield on Saturday remain unchanged – with a host of free children’s entertainment on offer for the first meeting of the Relaxed Racing period.

Race times for several country meetings across Victoria have also been moved forward due to the predicted hot weather on Saturday.

Saturday’s meeting at Bendigo will now have an earlier start time with a top of 40 degrees forecast. The first race at Bendigo will start at 11.40am, with the last race to run at 3.05pm.

With a forecast of 37 degrees in Woolamai, Saturday’s Woolamai Cup meeting will also have an earlier starting time of 12.15pm, with the final race set down for 3.05pm.


RV has today announced race times for this Sunday’s Sportingbet Pakenham Cup Day will go ahead as planned.

“We have been working closely with the Bureau of Meteorology and, with a cool change scheduled   to arrive late Sunday morning, we have decided to proceed with the current race times at Pakenham,” said RV’s Racing Operations Manager Paul Bloodworth.

“However, we will continue to monitor the forecast over the weekend and, if necessary, we will look to move the meeting time to ensure the welfare of all participants if the forecast changes.”

The first race at Pakenham will be run at 1pm and the last at 5.51pm – with the $100,000 Spotingbet Pakenham Cup scheduled for 4.35pm.

As part of the Relaxed Racing campaign, Pakenham Racing Club will be offering a $40 Country Lawn Pass Picnic Pack on the day which includes admission, a picnic rug on a prime piece of lawn and a hamper with food and drink.

The meeting at Hamilton on Sunday, 9 February will run as scheduled, with racing beginning at 1.20pm and concluding at 4.52pm.


With cooler weather predicted for Monday, the meeting at Stony Creek will proceed as programmed with no intention to alter race times.

To view Racing Victoria’s heat policy click here