Everything in the world !

victorian racing welcomes sydney's $10 million sprint

victorian racing welcomes sydney's $10 million sprint 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.

victorian racing welcomes sydney's $10 million sprint

victoria's three race clubs have welcomed sydney's bold initiative to launch a $10 million sweepstake sprint – to be known as the everest – during the melbourne spring carnival, arguing that it would boost the sport all over the country.

however, racing victoria said it wanted more time to digest the details of the audacious announcement before making up its mind as to what, if any, impact the new event would have on the spring carnival.

lankan rupee
craig newitt aboard lankan rupee in the 2015 schillaci stakes, a race that could be impacted by a new sydney sprint. p o: getty images

the timing of the sydney event, to be run over 1200 metres at randwick in mid-october, is likely to have some consequences for the series of top-cl sprint races staged in victoria between late september and mid-november.

the optimists believe that rather than having an injurious effect, the event could provide a further stimulus to the victorian carnival, particularly if foreign horses travel to contest the nsw sprint and then stay to pursue targets further south.

the sydney race will take place on the same day as the opening weekend of the caulfield spring carnival, at which the 1600-metre caulfield guineas, confined to three-year-olds, is the main feature.

obviously, the everest is unlikely to draw potential candidates from that race. but on the caulfield support card the schillaci stakes – a group 2 race over 1100 metres – could suffer some impact if any high-cl sprinters who might have contested that event are rerouted north.


but officials feel that is unlikely given the schillaci's group 2 status, as many of the topliners would be aimed at the other group 1 sprints during the spring carnival – the moir and manikato stakes at moonee valley and the darley cl ic down the flemington straight on the final day of the melbourne cup carnival.

moonee valley's moir stakes is likely to be the group 1 contest most in danger of being affected by the new race. it is run on the last friday night of september or first in october, depending on the calendar, and this year will be two weeks before the everest.

the manikato will come one month later – two weeks after the everest this year, with the darley cl ic a fortnight after that.

michael browell, ceo of the moonee valley racing club, said there could be some impact on the moir but was not overly concerned.

"it might have a small impact on the moir if some of the sydney horses stay up there, but the dates work well in many ways as there is a fortnight between races," he said. "you could go moir-everest-manikato-darley and on to hong g if you wanted for a five-race preparation. we think it will generally work in fine."

amanda elliot is the acting chair of the victoria racing club. she is not worried about melbourne's thunder being stolen by a race in which the owners have to pay so much money to take part.

"we are not at all concerned about it," she said. "they will have to find people prepared to invest such a large sum to compete, but i am quite encouraged to see a bit of innovation.

"in fact we could be the beneficiaries. if they can attract some international runners their connections might like to come to the spring carnival and race then in the darley cl ic at flemington. good luck to them."

there was a similar message from jake norton, general manager of racing at the melbourne racing club, which runs the caulfield carnival.

he said there might be an impact on the schillaci stakes, but said the caulfield guineas meeting always competed with group 1 racing in sydney as the spring champion stakes was run at randwick that weekend.

"hats off to the atc and nsw. competition is generally a good thing for the industry. the schillaci stakes will probably be disrupted, but there could be a greater disruption for the other races if this becomes the sprinter's grand final event," norton said.

racing victoria issued a brief statement on wednesday afternoon: "we have only been informed of racing new south wales' plans today so it would be premature for us to comment on what it means for victorian racing without the opportunity to fully understand and evaluate the concept. 

"we will naturally be interested to see the level of support it receives from local and international participants," the statement said.