The body has canned Melbourne's three race meets, at Flemington, Wangaratta and Colac, in the wake of forecasts for the mercury to reach 41 degrees celsius.
Those races join the already cancelled picnic races at Yea in being put on the rack and the body has also moved the start time for Sunday's meeting at Bendigo to 2.18pm, with the temperature forecast to drop in the region by early afternoon.
Racing Victoria's chief executive officer Bernard Saundry said the decision was not taken lightly, but the racing was cancelled was made in the best interests of all participants, staff and patrons.
“The weather across Victoria tomorrow will be extreme and we have taken a view, after examining the latest forecast, that it is in the best interests of all that we not conduct any race meetings,” Saundry said.
“We have a responsibility to protect the health and safety of all participants, both human and equine, along with staff and patrons, in extreme weather conditions such as that forecast tomorrow.
“It's an unfortunate situation for clubs and patrons who were preparing to gather and celebrate Christmas at racetracks across Victoria, but we are not prepared to take any risks in these extreme conditions.”
Saundry said there were still plenty of opportunities for horses to compete during the festive season, but there would be races added at future meets to make up for the cancellations.
“With a busy schedule of race meetings across the Christmas-New Year period, including eight on Boxing Day, we believe there are alternative opportunities for horses to compete in over the next two weeks,” he said.
“That said, we will review the racing programming for the next fortnight and add races to existing meetings where required to accommodate those impacted by tomorrow's abandonments.”
Saunders said two races had already been added to next Wednesday's meet at Sandown, replacing lead up races to the feature Bagot Handicap (2800m) at Flemington on New Year's Day.
Today's racing at Yarra Valley (first race was at 12.02pm) and Moonee Valley (first race 6.45pm) were going ahead under Racing Victoria's hot weather policy, with the mercury already topping 35 degrees Celsius.