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Crowd of 10,000 for Melbourne Cup as Flemington hosts government trial

A limited crowd set for the Melbourne Cup after it was run behind closed doors last year
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A crowd of up to 10,000 has been set out for next month's Lexus Melbourne Cup at Flemington after Australia's biggest racing fixture was selected to form part of a government trial.

Racing Victoria (RV) backed Sunday's announcement by the Victorian government to stage two vaccinated economy trials, with the first taking place at Warrnambool on Thursday, when the fully vaccinated spectator limit will be capped at 300.

It is hoped a wider reopening will take place at racecourses in the state on November 4, two days after the Melbourne Cup.

RV chief executive Giles Thompson said: "We warmly welcome the announcement by the Victorian government that the Lexus Melbourne Cup meeting at Flemington and Warrnambool's midweek meeting will be part of the vaccinated economy trial and thank them for their ongoing support of the Victorian racing industry.

"With the clarity afforded around our biggest week of the year and the latest projections around when Victoria will reach the 80 per cent fully vaccinated target, we have sought to provide certainty for our clubs, participants and local communities on our plans for the resumption of spectators.

Twilight Payment (right): winner of last year's Melbourne Cup

"Following consultation with Country Racing Victoria and a number of country clubs, we have set our target for the resumption of spectators in accordance with the government's roadmap as Thursday, November 4, or the date thereafter where Victoria reaches the 80 per cent fully vaccinated target."

RV added that if the vaccination target is reached earlier, a decision on spectators will be made by each racing club. 

Last year's Melbourne Cup was staged behind closed doors, while in 2019 the attendance was 81,408.

The timescale comes too late for this month's Caulfield Cup and Cox Plate meetings, which are due to take place without crowds for the second year in succession.

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We have sought to provide certainty on our plans for the resumption of spectators
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