ATC and Racing NSW Propose Prizemoney Boosts St Leger Resurrected
t is that time of year, when Australian thoroughbred racing of the highest quality enters its brief slumber.
No further search for evidence of this fact is necessary when the talk turns to the not-too-distant spring racing season and the plans of the various parties whose job it is to keep racing fresh and relevant.
Two of those parties are Racing New South Wales and the Australian Turf Club, which while the rest of us are focused on the AFL and NRL fixtures, are busy with plans for a New and Improved Sydney spring carnival.
Of course, the major spectacle has been known for some time, with the announcement that Royal Randwick will stage the inaugural running of The Everest, a Group 1 sprint that dropped the mic on the Melbourne Cup and seized the title of the World’s Richest Turf Race.
In just over a month of racing from September 9 to October 14, there will be $22.5 million in prizemoney. October 14 will be a day to remember, as four straight Group 1 races, culminating with The Everest, will be run.
Racing NSW Chairman Russel Balding AO had a well-crafted spray of hyperbole, as is fitting, calling October 14 “an historic event,” that will, “reinforce Sydney’s position as a leading global event city.”
Flowery words notwithstanding, where it really matters, prizemoney, several races have received major boosts. Although the boosts can only be described for the moment as proposals, five races are in line to see prizemoney jump to $500,000 from as low as $150,000. That is some pretty serious coin and shows that Racing NSW and the ATC are willing to back hyperbole with action.
Other moves include changes to racing conditions for some races, but the most noteworthy is that the ATC St. Leger has been resurrected and will be on the racing calendar for the first time since 2001, on the same card as The Everest on October 14.