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the everest to be a $10m carrot to attract the world's best sprinters to sydney

the everest to be a $10m carrot to attract the world's best sprinters to sydney News Article With The full text news and with Resource Link at the bottom of the text and you can View this News Article in the source page.

the everest to be a $10m carrot to attract the world's best sprinters to sydney

the carrot of a $10 million sweepstakes race called the everest is set to change the face of australian racing, as the biggest horse players in the world eye a place at randwick on october 14.

racing nsw chairman russell balding and australian turf club chairman laurie macri announced the $10 million everest over 1200 metres for 12 runners on wednesday afternoon and the atc had immediate interest in spots.

main contender: tommy berry wins the tj smith on chautauqua.
main contender: tommy berry wins the tj smith on chautauqua.  p o: bradleyp

"it is a game-changer for racing in sydney," balding said. "it will be known as the everest and will be the richest 1200 metres in the world and the richest turf race in the world."

there is no sprint race anywhere in the world that can rival a $10 million purse, but the $600,000 cost for an everest spot – using a similar model to the pegasus world cup – may deter many owners from running their horses unless they are sponsored.

atc chief executive darren pearce said the club was considering buying one of the spots and using it as a wildcard for sprinters that raced in sydney through the year.

"the idea will be for people to buy spot and they can use it as they see fit. i think it will be interesting to see how the race evolves and the partnerships that occur," pearce said. "it gives sydney a showcase race in spring that everyone will talk about."


the overall response was positive, with one of racing's new vanguard, newgate farm's henry field, echoing the general thoughts.

"we have the best sprinters in the world, it is fitting we should have [the] best sprint race in the world," field said. "it is an exciting concept from racing nsw, which continues to take racing to another level.

"it is going to change the way we look at stallions and when they go to stud because the carrot is there to keep racing. anything that keeps horses racing can only be positive for the industry. we will look [at] the concept before making commitment."

newgate would have contenders like extreme choice, flying artie and russian revolution for the everest. other sprinters, such as chautauqua, star turn, malaguerra, fell swoop and astern would be on the wish list as starters in october. international powerhouse godolphin and coolmore are expected to support the concept.

the international response, however, was cautious with hong g trainer john moore worried about the timing to get his horses back for the international meeting in december.

the $5.8 million winner's cheque should ensure interest from sprinters in all parts of the world. it would, however, be a gamble for owners, who unlike in the pegasus world cup will not share in revenues from the meeting, with only the first three home to get a positive return on the buy-in.

the plan is to have 12 places in the everest, with each berth costing $600,000 and requiring a three-year commitment in the initial stage of the race. it is fully funded and will not cost racing nsw or atc anything extra once a sponsorship and free-to-air tv deal is completed.

the everest will be australia's first $10 million horse race, making it worth nearly two melbourne cups in terms of stakes. the melbourne cup is worth $6.2 million in prizemoney, a purse dwarfed by the $10 million on offer at randwick.

while it may look like an attack on the melbourne spring carnival, the everest will focus on an area which australian racing is built on. it will not compete with the major staying races during the melbourne spring carnival.

macri said the sprint journey was chosen because there is not an opportunity to run for that sort of money over 1200 metres anywhere in the world.

"this is not about sydney against melbourne. this is about playing to sydney's strength," macri said. "our sprinting division is the strongest in the world and we think they deserve an opportunity to showcase them to the world."

the everest will sit only under the $us12 million ($15.9 million) pegasus world cup over 1800 metre and $us10 million ($13.2 million) dubai world cup over 2000 metres.