The Melbourne Cup Carnival Country Series will be heading to Seymour this spring.
Seymour has been selected as one of four venues to host the eight-leg racing series on October 22, which will form part of Seymour Cup day.
The competition is worth $600000 in prize money to trainers.
Some of Victoria’s best up and coming country-trained horses will converge on Seymour Racecourse for the chance to compete on Oaks Day.
Eligibility for the Seymour 1400m benchmark 70 race will be restricted to Victorian trainers who do not have a city training base.
Horses that finish first and second at Seymour will earn their way into the final.
This replaces another race for country horses that has featured on Oaks Day for more than a decade.
The series final, worth $200000, will be held at Flemington Racecourse on November 9.
Victoria Racing Club chairman Amanda Elliott said the club was thrilled to boost its support of country racing.
‘‘The Melbourne Cup Carnival Country Final presents a wonderful opportunity for connections of country-trained gallopers to experience the magic of the Melbourne Cup Carnival,’’ Mrs Elliot said.
‘‘The VRC is also delighted to be sharing the 2017 Emirates Melbourne Cup with local racegoers as part of the series.’’
Country Racing Victoria chief executive Scott Whiteman said the Melbourne Cup Carnival Country Series was another important step in recognising the value of country racing.
‘‘This is a tremendous decision by Racing Victoria and will be a much sought-after race,’’ Mr Whiteman said.
‘‘The VRC is to be congratulated too for its determination to once again raise the profile of this important race.’’
Seymour Racing Club will also have the opportunity to host the Melbourne Cup on Seymour Cup Day, in a bid to immerse locals in the atmosphere of Victoria’s coveted Spring Racing Carnival.