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More VRC changes to Melbourne Cup week
07 Jun 2016 | By Brent Zerafa - 
The shuffle of the Mackinnon and Emirates Stakes isn't the only change to the racing program for Cup week at Flemington, with the VRC also shifting two more Stakes races.

As a result of the Emirates Stakes, now to be known as the Longines Mile, moving to Derby Day from the final day of the carnival, it was deemed that the 1400m Group 3 Chatham Stakes - run last year as the Guvera Stakes - needed a new home.

The Chatham Stakes has traditionally served as a great lead-up to the Emirates, with Hucklebuck completing the double in 2014 as did All Silent back in 2008.

But the Chatham Stakes will now be moved to Oaks Day, ruling it out as a future form reference for the new-look Longines Mile.

As a result, there will be a straight swap with the Group 3 G.H Mumm Stakes (1100m) for mares, which is now programmed for Derby Day.

"There wasn't going to be much point having the 1400m race on the same day as the Group 1 mile," said Racing Victoria's racing operations manager Paul Bloodworth.

"The VRC have strict requirements to keep the same status of races on Derby Day so we needed to find a Group 3 race that could accommodate the move and the mares sprint race was one that could be easily moved."

Shifting the Longines Mile to Derby Day has the potential to impact the Crystal Mile run at Moonee Valley seven days earlier, prompting a slight change in the conditions for both races.

Racing Victoria will now take nominations for the Longines Mile a week early and release weights prior to the running of the weight-for-age Crystal Mile.

The winner of the Crystal Mile will then be exempt from being re-handicapped, therefore prompting connections to have a throw at the stumps on the quick back-up at Flemington.

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