Michael Manley — Herald Sun 

RACING Victoria has announced some important changes to the 2015 Spring Racing Carnival which are designed to provide more opportunities for sprinters and weight-for-age horses.

The distance changes are in two of the country’s premier sprints — the Group 1 Moir Stakes at Moonee Valley on Friday, October 2 and the Group 2 Schillaci Stakes at Caulfield on October 10.

The Moir Stakes, which is run on AFL Grand Final Eve, has had its distance reduced from 1200m to 1000m. The Schillaci Stakes, run eight days later at Caulfield, has had its distance increased from 1000m to 1100m.

As a result, the Moir Stakes becomes the only Group 1 1000m race in the spring and is now the second Group 1 1000m race in Australia — the other being the Lightning Stakes at Flemington in February.

Buffering wins the 2014 Moir Stakes beating Lankan Rupee

RV has also changed the date of the Group 1 Underwood Stakes, putting it back a week from September 19 to September 26.

RV said last year the Makybe Diva Stakes and the Underwood Stakes were only run a week apart which impacted on the quality of the Underwood Stakes. This came about last year when Moonee Valley’s Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes was swapped with the Makybe Diva Stakes.

RV has now arranged so there’s a sequence of two weeks between the Group 1 weight-for-age races in the spring.

This begins with the Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on August 29, and is followed by the Makybe Diva Stakes at Flemington on September 12, the Underwood Stakes at Caulfield on September 26, the Caulfield Stakes on October 10 and the Cox Plate at Moonee Valley on October 24.

RV has also introduced a new event, the $250,000 Inglis Cup (2000m) which will be run at Caulfield on September 26. The race is for Inglis sales graduates who are three and older.

SPRINT SCHEDULE

2 October 2015 — G1 City Jeep Moir Stakes, Moonee Valley — 1000m (changes from 1200m)

10 October 2015 — G2 Schillaci Stakes, Caulfield — 1100m (changes from 1000m)
23 October 2015 — G1 William Hill Manikato Stakes, Moonee Valley — 1200m (no change)
7 November 2015 — G1 Darley Classic, Flemington — 1200m (no change).

WEIGHT-FOR-AGE SCHEDULE
29 August 2015 — G1 New Zealand Bloodstock Memsie Stakes, Caulfield — 1400m
12 September 2015 — G1 Makybe Diva Stakes, Flemington — 1600m
26 September 2015 — G1 Hyland Race Colours Underwood Stakes, Caulfield — 1800m
10 October 2015 — G1 Caulfield Stakes, Caulfield — 2000m
24 October 2015 — G1 William Hill Cox Plate, Moonee Valley — 2040m.